National Council on Teacher Quality

National Council on Teacher Quality Research and advocacy group dedicated to ensuring that every child gets effective teachers. www.nctq.org The National Council on Teacher Quality is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research and policy organization that works to ensure that every child has access to an effective teacher.

We research and evaluate issues related to teacher quality, and provide practitioners and policymakers with the evidence and guidance needed to fight for improvements in their states, regions, and communities. For more information, visit www.nctq.org.

Mission: To ensure every student has quality teachers. We are committed to lending transparency and increasing public awareness about the four sets of institutions that have the greatest impact on teacher quality: states, teacher preparation programs, school districts and teachers' unions.

Operating as usual

As states prep for new legislative sessions in 2021, we hope all of you education equity warriors will help keep reading...
11/28/2020

As states prep for new legislative sessions in 2021, we hope all of you education equity warriors will help keep reading science at the forefront. Here are 4 actions states can take to improve reading instruction for all: https://buff.ly/3pO3Ayi

While this year has been unlike any other in our lifetimes, we are grateful for all the education warriors across our na...
11/26/2020

While this year has been unlike any other in our lifetimes, we are grateful for all the education warriors across our nation -- especially teachers -- who have rallied to support children’s learning. #thanksgiving2020 #gratitude

Is your state passing or failing in its commitment to prioritizing teacher diversity and equity? Find out by using the n...
11/25/2020
Teacher Diversity & Equity Policy Scan - The Education Trust

Is your state passing or failing in its commitment to prioritizing teacher diversity and equity? Find out by using the new educator diversity data & policy tool from The Education Trust.

And stay tuned for Jan. 2021 when NCTQ shows how teacher prep can be part of the solution!

Access to a racially and culturally diverse teacher workforce is beneficial for all P-12 students, particularly for students of…

Effective teachers should not be dissuaded from serving as a mentor teacher to aspiring teacher candidates. Though it ca...
11/23/2020
Persuading great teachers to take on student teachers

Effective teachers should not be dissuaded from serving as a mentor teacher to aspiring teacher candidates. Though it can have a bad rap, a new study shows being a cooperating teacher doesn't harm teacher evaluation scores or student learning. https://bit.ly/36M3sF2

Remember when we learned just how powerful a good cooperating teacher can be for a teacher-in-training?

This District Trendline from NCTQ takes a deep dive into teacher support systems—particularly new teacher induction, tea...
11/21/2020
Supporting teachers through induction, mentoring, and collaboration

This District Trendline from NCTQ takes a deep dive into teacher support systems—particularly new teacher induction, teacher collaboration, professional development, and mentoring.

Check it out:

As school districts work out next year's instructional format and take stock of their teacher workforce, districts in a position to hire are also readying themselves for a potentially unprepared influx of novice teachers.

New data and analysis examines the current requirements, pay, and other policies surrounding substitute teachers for 124...
11/20/2020
Substitute teachers during the pandemic: requirements, benefits, and pay

New data and analysis examines the current requirements, pay, and other policies surrounding substitute teachers for 124 large school districts across the country.

Explore it here:

Although districts reopening schools virtually may have less need for substitute teachers due to teachers' reduced exposure to illness, districts reopening in-person need more substitutes than normal, as social distance measures reduce class sizes and teachers may be absent more often due to increas...

Strong reading instruction is foundational to achieving educational equity. Learn which states are taking action by requ...
11/19/2020

Strong reading instruction is foundational to achieving educational equity. Learn which states are taking action by requiring new teachers to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of reading science. https://bit.ly/33Glnxc

The 2020 Teacher Prep Review shows big gains across #teacherprep programs in the adherence to proven, equitable classroo...
11/18/2020

The 2020 Teacher Prep Review shows big gains across #teacherprep programs in the adherence to proven, equitable classroom management strategies. Unfortunately, one key strategy -- reinforcing good behavior with praise -- is still least likely to be taught though it has the most research behind its efficacy. Read more: https://buff.ly/3kA84Wj

As conversations on reading science reignite in response to Lucy Calkins' call for the 'rebalancing' of Balanced Literac...
11/17/2020
Better reading starts with better teacher preparation

As conversations on reading science reignite in response to Lucy Calkins' call for the 'rebalancing' of Balanced Literacy, it's worth noting which teacher prep programs adequately cover the five components of effective reading instruction. #2020TPR

Reading is the gateway to educational achievement and lifelong success, especially for students who face seemingly insurmountable social and economic barriers.

Let this fact sink in: When schools assign student teachers to their very best teachers—and not just any willing volunte...
11/16/2020
Student teaching: The pipeline to great new teachers

Let this fact sink in: When schools assign student teachers to their very best teachers—and not just any willing volunteer—the impact on teacher quality is astounding. Because of the high quality of these student teachers' experiences, they are likely to be as effective in their first year of teaching as most third-year teachers.

Findings like these have important implications. Schools that want to create a strong, stable teacher pipeline may not need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on alternative sources of new teachers. Instead, they mostly need to turn their attention to strengthening student teaching.

Read more:

Five steps every school district should take to get the most bang for the buck with student teachers

"Even before COVID-19 we knew that our public education system was inequitable ... The pandemic only brought these endur...
11/15/2020
A letter from NCTQ Board Member Mike Miles: The Courage to Address Systemic Inequity

"Even before COVID-19 we knew that our public education system was inequitable ... The pandemic only brought these enduring and systemic challenges into stark relief."

Read NCTQ Board Member & CEO of Third Future Schools Mike Miles' vision for five transformative efforts school systems should take in the wake of COVID-19 to address the roots of systemic inequity: https://bit.ly/31eB6Eg #edequity #flipthesystem

As school and systems leaders, we have a real opportunity now to change the education system to provide a better and more equitable education for all students.

Cognitive psychology and neuroscience research have definitively debunked the idea that different students have differen...
11/14/2020
What we’re reading: The stubborn myth of “learning styles”

Cognitive psychology and neuroscience research have definitively debunked the idea that different students have different "learning styles" (i.e. that there are visual learners, auditory learners, kinesthetic learners, etc.), yet more than half of states continue to endorse learning styles by including them in licensure tests for aspiring elementary teachers. Read the analysis from William Furey and Education Next on why this is the education myth that will not die.

Some excellent recent research and analysis from William Furey and Education Next exposes that more than half of states continue to endorse learning styles by including them in licensure tests for aspiring elementary teachers.

Recently released #2020TPR data shows the majority of elementary teacher prep programs don’t attend to the most critical...
11/13/2020
NCTQ: Yearbook: Student Teaching/Clinical Practice

Recently released #2020TPR data shows the majority of elementary teacher prep programs don’t attend to the most critical component of student teaching: strong mentor teachers. Unfortunately, neither do 2/3 of states.

State governments are arguably the most powerful authority over the teaching profession. Since 2007, NCTQ has tracked and analyzed teacher policies across all 50 states and the District of Columbia in our State Teacher Policy Yearbook.

As COVID-19 cases reach record levels, a number of districts are implementing safeguards through leave policies and heal...
11/12/2020
Leave and health insurance for teachers: safeguards amid COVID-19 worries

As COVID-19 cases reach record levels, a number of districts are implementing safeguards through leave policies and health insurance. Read more on steps taken by large districts across the nation:

In the absence of a federal protection, it becomes the jurisdiction of individual districts to lay out protocols.

We're tracking how COVID-19 is impacting state #teachereval plans for SY20-21, including whether summative evaluations w...
11/11/2020
Evaluating teachers during the pandemic

We're tracking how COVID-19 is impacting state #teachereval plans for SY20-21, including whether summative evaluations will be required, whether states that required objective measures of student growth prior to the pandemic will continue to require them this year, and whether any modifications have been made to the measure of professional practice.

Read more about the trends we found and what's happening in your state: https://buff.ly/38wrtnO

Of the 24 states that have released guidance on teacher evaluation for SY20-21 thus far, 21 are still requiring summative evaluations for all teachers.

A forthcoming study from Dan Goldhaber and team illustrates just how important it is for aspiring teachers to be assigne...
11/05/2020
Benefits of learning from the best

A forthcoming study from Dan Goldhaber and team illustrates just how important it is for aspiring teachers to be assigned a genuinely effective cooperating teacher during student teaching—and makes the case that there are enough great teachers to go around.

Some of the essential skills can be learned from textbooks and lectures—but knowing how to put it all in motion requires some real-world practice.

"This is a grave time. As we try our best to weather this storm, we find ourselves asking a lot of questions that produc...
11/03/2020
COVID-19: Teacher Policy Resources

"This is a grave time. As we try our best to weather this storm, we find ourselves asking a lot of questions that produce answers no more reliable than what we might expect from a Ouija board. But if there is a silver lining to be had here—and we actually think there will ultimately be quite a few—Americans may gain a deeper appreciation for the critical function of government and, with it, an appreciation for our nation's schools...and teachers."
- Kate Walsh, NCTQ President

NCTQ's COVID-19 response resources aim to help:

Data and analysis from NCTQ on school district and state teacher policies in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Reinforcing good behavior with praise is the classroom management strategy with the most research behind its efficacy, b...
10/29/2020

Reinforcing good behavior with praise is the classroom management strategy with the most research behind its efficacy, but it is the least likely to be taught and practiced by future teachers.

Learn more in the new 2020 Teacher Prep Review: https://buff.ly/3kA84Wj

The evidence for the importance of high-quality clinical experience is undeniable. A 2010 National Research Council repo...
10/27/2020

The evidence for the importance of high-quality clinical experience is undeniable.

A 2010 National Research Council report said that clinical experience is one of three "aspects of preparation that have the highest potential for effects on outcomes for students." Remarkably, Daniel Goldhaber and his colleagues at the University of Washington reported in 2019 that first-year teachers can be as effective as typical third-year teachers if they spent their student teaching experience in the classrooms of highly effective teachers.

Read more in the 2020 Teacher Prep Review: https://buff.ly/3kA84Wj

Want aspiring teachers to be successful? Adrienne Williams, NCTQ Senior Fellow, talks about how teacher prep should take...
10/26/2020
Preparing for reality: Bringing together the head, heart, and habits

Want aspiring teachers to be successful? Adrienne Williams, NCTQ Senior Fellow, talks about how teacher prep should take a cue from the Teaching Lab and work with local K-12 partners to (1) prep aspiring teachers with necessary content knowledge/understanding of the standards & curriculum, (2) place them in teacher-led learning communities, and (3) give them ample opportunity to practice what they’ve learned.

READ MORE:

Teacher preparation is a delicate balance between having a broad enough lens to account for the multitude of contexts those new teachers will find themselves in, while also being specific enough to those contexts to actually be helpful.

A new study from David Quinn of the USC Rossier School of Education explores whether there's a way to change the way tea...
10/23/2020
Changing habits: easier than changing hearts and minds?

A new study from David Quinn of the USC Rossier School of Education explores whether there's a way to change the way teachers' biases affect students, even without changing their underlying beliefs. In the study experiment, when teachers were given a structured rubric that offered clearly defined performance criteria for evaluating a student writing sample, racial bias in grading virtually vanished. Read more on this new and important research:

The path to becoming anti-racist is long, challenging, and for teachers, essential. Tackling one's mindset and implicit biases takes hard work, and even trainings intended to help people do this work may not lead to changes in behavior.

As if 2020 weren’t bizarre enough, Lucy Calkins just acknowledged Balanced Literacy needs rebalancing.  NCTQ President K...
10/22/2020
October surprises

As if 2020 weren’t bizarre enough, Lucy Calkins just acknowledged Balanced Literacy needs rebalancing. NCTQ President Kate Walsh digs in on this and other education wins of the week, including NCTQ’s new Teacher Prep Review report that shows big gains made by teacher prep in their expectations for mastery of classroom management strategies.

Science has taken some really hard knocks in 2020. Over the past week, however, science had a couple of well-needed wins within the world of education—both in reading instruction and classroom management.

Strong preparation requires meaningful practice.NCTQ is out with new data and a report on the training provided by over ...
10/20/2020

Strong preparation requires meaningful practice.

NCTQ is out with new data and a report on the training provided by over 1,000 elementary teacher preparation programs in how to manage a classroom and in program efforts to assert quality control in clinical practice experiences (including both student teaching and residencies).

While more elementary programs are turning to classroom management strategies that are strongly rooted in research, NCTQ reports very little progress when it comes to clinical practice, including the all-important selection of the classroom mentor teacher.

Read more on the findings in the new 2020 Teacher Prep Review: Clinical Practice and Classroom Management: https://buff.ly/2T8AOcP

If you're looking to help improve education for all students, and are whip smart in online communications strategy, adep...
10/19/2020

If you're looking to help improve education for all students, and are whip smart in online communications strategy, adept in lucid writing, and an ace at efficiently managing multiple workstreams, then apply to be our new Assistant Director of Communications: https://buff.ly/2zrwE5X

The new NCTQ District and State COVID Teacher Policy Tracker SY20-21 contains policies in formal negotiated agreements b...
10/19/2020
COVID-19: Teacher Policy Resources

The new NCTQ District and State COVID Teacher Policy Tracker SY20-21 contains policies in formal negotiated agreements between teachers unions and school districts regarding: Health and Safety, Teacher Assignment, Instruction Requirements, Teacher Evaluation, and Teacher Leave Policies.

See these data along with our other COVID Teacher Policy Resources:

Data and analysis from NCTQ on school district and state teacher policies in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Each year, over a million students enter 4th grade unable to read. Kids of color make up two-thirds of that list. Americ...
10/13/2020
2020 Teacher Prep Review: Program Performance in Early Reading Instruction

Each year, over a million students enter 4th grade unable to read. Kids of color make up two-thirds of that list.

America is facing a reading crisis that disproportionately affects children of color.

The NCTQ 2020 Teacher Prep Review emphasizes the importance of scientifically-based reading instruction as a way to combat educational inequity. Learn more:

Teacher Preparation to Teach Reading: Summary of findings on NCTQ's Early Reading standard

Compensation isn't the only way states and districts can incentivize teachers to take on leadership roles. Learn more ab...
10/11/2020
NCTQ Databurst: Teacher Leadership Opportunities

Compensation isn't the only way states and districts can incentivize teachers to take on leadership roles. Learn more about incentives, monetary and nonmonetary alike, in NCTQ's Teacher Leadership Databurst:

This NCTQ Databurst reveals that the majority of states support leadership opportunities for classroom teachers and analyzes the details of the formal policies.

WANTED: Assistant Director of Communications. If you’re whip smart in online communications strategy, adept in lucid wri...
10/10/2020

WANTED: Assistant Director of Communications. If you’re whip smart in online communications strategy, adept in lucid writing, and an ace at efficiently managing multiple workstreams, we’d like to meet you! By making complex research and policy recommendations easy to understand, your work will help improve education for all students. Apply at https://buff.ly/2zrwE5X.

Did you know that more than half of states continue to endorse learning styles by including them in licensure tests for ...
10/09/2020
What we’re reading: The stubborn myth of “learning styles”

Did you know that more than half of states continue to endorse learning styles by including them in licensure tests for aspiring elementary teachers?

NCTQ is reading Education Next's piece on the myth of learning styles. Join us here:

Some excellent recent research and analysis from William Furey and Education Next exposes that more than half of states continue to endorse learning styles by including them in licensure tests for aspiring elementary teachers.

The standard amount of sick and personal leave offered to teachers appears to be in the range of 10 to 14 days, which wo...
10/08/2020
Leave and health insurance for teachers: safeguards amid COVID-19 worries

The standard amount of sick and personal leave offered to teachers appears to be in the range of 10 to 14 days, which would only just cover the amount of time that individuals are required to quarantine upon exposure to coronavirus per CDC guidelines, if used until depleted.

77% of NCTQ's sample of the nation's districts falls within this range.

The October District Trendline is here to bring attention to safeguards for teachers amid COVID-19. Read the piece here:

In the absence of a federal protection, it becomes the jurisdiction of individual districts to lay out protocols.

Analysis from NCTQ reveals that the majority of states don't require out-of-state teacher applicants to provide evidence...
10/06/2020
NCTQ Databurst: Licensure Requirements for Out-of-State Teachers

Analysis from NCTQ reveals that the majority of states don't require out-of-state teacher applicants to provide evidence of prior successful teaching.

Furthermore, not enough states require such applicants to complete a criminal background check, nor demonstrate knowledge of scientifically-based reading instruction.

Check out the NCTQ Databurst: Licensure Requirements for Out-of-State Teachers to see more on the numbers, the importance, and the recommendations for improvement:

New data from the National Council on Teacher Quality reveal that the majority of states do not ask for evidence of prior successful teaching for those teachers coming from out of state who are applying for a teaching license—in spite of imposing many demands covering a host of other factors.

Fewer than half of states require districts to consider teacher performance for tenure decisions.Do you know what your s...
10/04/2020
Tenure decisions and teacher effectiveness

Fewer than half of states require districts to consider teacher performance for tenure decisions.

Do you know what your state requires of its teachers in order for them to earn tenure?
To find out and to learn more on teacher tenure, check out the March Trendline:

Tenure serves as a key milestone in a teacher's early career. Tenure status can play a role in multiple aspects of a teacher's career, from observation and evaluation processes to her rights and status during layoffs or dismissal.

NCTQ examined the requirements of 1095 programs only to find that the vast majority are not equipping their elementary t...
10/03/2020
A Fair Chance: Simple steps to strengthen and diversify the teacher workforce

NCTQ examined the requirements of 1095 programs only to find that the vast majority are not equipping their elementary teacher candidates with the knowledge needed to succeed in the classroom.

Check out A Fair Chance for all the details: https://buff.ly/2NuzJYU

Extraordinarily high numbers of aspiring elementary teachers are failing their content licensing tests, and teacher candidates of color are hit the hardest.

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Did You know a Teachers HEDI score can be heavily skew by the observations cycle to produce favorable results. This data Set shows the overall composite rating of all the teaching in a NYC DOE school. In both data sets a huge majority of the teachers are rated in the effective 90% or greater spectrum of this evaluation measuring system. The two schools I had selected is from the years 2015-2016, both schools also as well are direct opposites in the following: test scores, student racial dynamics, social economic status and school ranking system. The Anderson school P.S. 334 is a K-8 public gifted and talented school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York City that is Ranked #1 out of 2349 and P.S. 41 Francis White is a public school in Brooklyn that is ranked #2284 out of 2349. In the school year 2015/16 The Anderson school produced 95% of its students as proficient and P.S 41 Francis White produced 12% of its students as proficient, yet each school still hold over 90% of its educators as effective teachers. The whole HEDI teacher evaluation system is not solely measured on test results. The breakdown for this year’s measures used are as follows; 60% is the measures of teacher practice and 20% Local measures of student learning and 20% is State exams. In conclusion it is easy to skew the data set. 1) If a teacher remembers key rubric talking points and only performs a dog and pony show during observations , 2) is liked by admins, and 3) fixed ( cheat on the grades of the local measures) which included growth exams that are scored by the teacher. But now if the data is highly subjective why do we continue to use this system? Can this system be used to produce systemic racist? Yes, if we do not get an accurate picture of how the teachers are really teaching our students it does (accessibility to teachers of real quality). Yes, when in low social-economic districts state show on paper fraudulent success information our students of color do not received the acquired amount of resources needed to promote real success (denial of resources). Yes, when you horde students who are performing in higher student levels.
Average ACT scores are the same for those who choose nursing as a career and those who choose teaching. So, both fields compete with each other for talent from the same pool. Compare the salaries of nurses (posted yesterday) to teachers (just posted below) to see one reason "why" the teaching profession is having trouble finding enough teachers with sufficient aptitude! The difference in lifetime earnings is crazy! Step/level dictates how a teacher is financially compensated. It rewards incompetent teachers and penalizes good ones. It got us into this mess and its elimination will help to get us out.
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