A Response to the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) Report

Monday, June 17, 2013

On June 18, 2013, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) will release its report on teacher preparation programs in the United States, including programs considered alternative teacher certification programs. NCTQ contacted all teacher preparation programs in the United States and requested that they participate in the survey. Almost all independent, non-profit institutions, including Chestnut Hill College, refused to participate. Note that in the June 6, 2013 email sent to our Chair of the Division of Teacher Education and Leadership, NCTQ admits as much. Quoting directly from the NCTQ email, “Because we made some 16,000 scoring decisions in the course of conducting the Review and because many institutions opted not to work with us, we expect some errors, as much as we have taken great pains to avoid them.” Just that sentence alone should give us all pause as to the validity of the NCTQ “ratings.” 


Chestnut Hill College wants parents of college-bound students and the general public to know that we TRUST you to research more thoroughly when considering the value of a liberal arts college education,including the quality of teacher preparation programs. To that end, know that state and national associations of independent colleges, as well as national teacher preparation organizations have declared that NCTQ’s findings in past reports on teaching have been seriously flawed with respect to its methodology and research integrity, including its over-generalized conclusions. In fact, nearly 90 percent of nationally accredited teacher preparation programs consistently stated that NCTQ was not an objective arbiter of teacher education quality (http://aacte.org/resources/nctq-usnwr-review/, reviewed 6/12/13).


The National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) is a national accrediting body that uses multiple criteria to focus on the outcomes of preparation programs. By contrast, NCTQ’s reliance largely on inputs reduces Chestnut Hill College’s and our compatriot independent faith-based college and university missions to sorting rather than educating. Chestnut Hill College shares the belief that NCTQ’s findings do not represent anywhere near the quality of our teacher preparation programs. Ironically, many of the teacher preparation programs in Pennsylvania have significantly changed since NCTQ’s data collection began; which means that much of the data presented are on programs no longer in existence.


Chestnut Hill College’s Education programs have consistently been rated as among the finest in the region; our candidates’ letters of recommendations from cooperating teachers and even principals, lauding their extensive knowledge and skills in instructional planning, delivery, classroom management and professionalism have opened many doors to new teaching positions. In fact, in 2010, our continuing commitment to producing the highest quality teachers and school leaders led us to pursue national accreditation for ALL our programs through the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This commitment to continuous quality improvement, as well as meeting nationally recognized benchmarks should provide confidence that our teacher preparation programs do indeed produce some of the best teachers for all our future P-12 students.


The following links provide a more comprehensive review of NCTQ: