Contrary to its noble-sounding name, NCTQ is NOT about improving "teacher quality" but about lowering the standards to become a teacher so that the pay is around day care teacher wages. Teachers in their current incarnation are too expensive for the privatizers.
Diane Ravitch writes about it in the Washington Post. She should know all about NCTQ--she was there at the beginning:
NCTQ was created by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation in 2000. I was on the board of TBF at the time. Conservatives, and I was one, did not like teacher training institutions. We thought they were too touchy-feely, too concerned about self-esteem and social justice and not concerned enough with basic skills and academics. In 1997, we had commissioned a Public Agenda study called Different Drummers; this study chided professors of education because they didn't care much about discipline and safety and were more concerned with how children learn rather than what they learned. TBF established NCTQ as a new entity to promote alternative certification and to break the power of the hated ed schools.
For a time, it was not clear how this fledgling organization would make waves or if it would survive. But in late 2001, Secretary of Education Rod Paige gave NCTQ a grant of $5 million to start a national teacher certification program called the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (see p. 16 of the link). ABCTE has since become an online teacher preparation program, where someone can become a teacher for $1,995.
Today, NCTQ is the partner of U.S. News & World Report and will rank the nation’s schools of education. It received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to review teacher quality in Los Angeles. It is now often cited as the nation’s leading authority on teacher quality issues. Its report has a star-studded technical advisory committee of corporate reform leaders like Joel Klein and Michelle Rhee.
And I was there at the creation.
Diane should have known better, but she was being used by forces far greater than herself and for nefarious ends.
Make sure to read the "Dr. Democracy" comment. NCTQ has the usual suspects whose motives are highly suspect involved in the outfit.
A critique of this organization is here.
Take a look at this nugget:
Alternative Licensure Programs
In the NCTQ report on Illinois teacher education, alternative providers of teacher preparation are given “narrative evaluations but no ratings” because of their “unique designs.” And now, in the list of institutions to be evaluated for the nationwide report, alternative providers not based at colleges or universities have been excluded entirely. Given NCTQ's stated goal of conducting the first national review of teacher preparation programs and given the very large (and growing) number of teachers being prepared by Teach For America, iteach TEXAS, and other such providers, this exclusion is difficult to understand. Shining a light on traditional programs while allowing others to avoid such scrutiny gives the impression that some programs are being protected or held to different standards, whether that is the intent or not.
Ya think? OF COURSE they are held to different standards or none. NCTQ is all about destroying the profession of teaching to allow any idiot to "teach" a class. There is NO need for "alternative licensure" programs in this country when there is a massive glut of unemployed, traditionally-trained and licensed teachers nationwide. But it doesn't stop con artist "think tanks" like NCTQ from continuing to push them.
I thought NCTQ was bullshit years ago, when I used to get Education Week in the mail and they would have the annual survey the outfit put out.
It's especially full of it regarding Oregon and licensure. Oregon gets a "D-" I believe in the NCTQ's latest survey. On the contrary, Oregon is notorious for being picky about its teachers and for trying to shut out out-of-state teachers. I am going through this situation right now. Ignorance such as this example is what happens when you have noneducators running the show. NCTQ "researchers" (read hacks) try to sound authoritative, but in reality they don't know what in the hell they are talking about.