NCTQ: To Whom Are You Accountable?

Who defines a quality teacher education program? Apparently, NCTQ does. But under what authority? With what documentation? Within what parameters?

I know; who has time to check on all those particulars? Hopefully many people!

NCTQ just sent notices to teacher prep programs throughout the country, over 1100 institutions in all, to let them know how miserably most of them scored on NCTQ performance standards. The fact that the majority of these teacher prep programs never sent or gave access to their data to have it scored should make one wonder how much data could have been reviewed. Well, not much, because NCTQ did not have the data in hand. They appear to have used publicly available data when possible and made sweeping judgments from it. Schools that did not comply  with their demands to produce “data” were still included in their “report” and found wanting.

This travesty is not a compliance or accountability  issue. College and university teacher education programs are accountable to multiple entities such as accrediting bodies and state boards of education. But they are NOT accountable to NCTQ.

Organizations such as NCTQ, that set themselves up to oversee others without sanction are at best bully pulpits, set up to coerce teacher education programs to toe the standardization line. (See The Bully Politics of Education Reform.)

Public school teachers and administrators have already been hamstrung by the education accountability measures in place throughout the U.S. Colleges and universities must remain the places where dissent is not only allowed, but encouraged. If college faculty become bound to arbitrary guidelines set by those with unseen agendas, education may become completely bastardized by those operating under the auspices of reform.