But, given that NCTQ has just come out with their really, really big new ratings of teacher preparation institutions… with their primary objective of declaring teacher prep by traditional colleges and universities in the U.S. a massive failure, I figured I should once again revisit why the NCTQ ratings are, in general, methodologically inept & vacuous and more specifically wholly inconsistent with NCTQ’s own primary emphasis that teacher quality and qualifications matter perhaps more than anything else in schools and classrooms.
The debate among scholars and practitioners in education as to whether a good teacher is more important than a good curriculum, or vice versa, is never-ending. Most of us who are engaged in this debate lean one way or the other. Disclosure – I lean in favor of the “good teacher” perspective. Those with labor economics background or interests tend to lean toward the good teacher importance, and perhaps those with more traditional “education” training lean toward the importance of curriculum. I’m grossly oversimplifying here (perhaps opening a can of worms that need not be opened). Clearly, both matter.
I would argue that NCTQ has historically leaned toward the idea that the “good teacher” trumps all – but for their apparent newly acquired love of the Common Core Standards.
Now here’s the thing – if the content area expertise of elementary and secondary classroom teachers and the selectivity and rigor of their preparation matters most of all – how is it that at the college and university level, faculty substantive expertise (including involvement in rigorous research pertaining to the learning sciences, and specifically pertaining to content areas) is completely irrelevant to the quality of institutions that prepare teachers? That just doesn’t make sense.
Much more, here.