Jack Hassard, professor emeritus of science education at Georgia State University, here reviews the ratings of the National Council on Teacher Quality and declares them to be “junk science.” He looks at the Georgia institutions of teacher preparation and finds that the ratings are haphazard, spotty, and inaccurate. The he gathers some of the major critiques by others and concludes that the ratings as a whole are bogus, nothing more than propaganda to undermine teacher preparation and force it into NCTQ’s political framework. He calls the NCTQ ratings an “assault on teacher preparation.”

Professor Hassard taught science education at GSU for 33 years. He notes that 21 institutions offer 269 programs for teacher preparation in Georgia. Of those 269, the NCTQ reviewed 39, not by visiting them but by reading course catalogues and syllabi, which reveal nothing about the quality of the programs. He calls the Georgia ratings “feeble and incompetent.”

The ratings were assembled, writes Hassard, by unqualified reviewers: “We analyzed the make-up of the NCTQ people, and discovered that it represents a “stacked deck.” Only 2.5% of the participants in the review were teacher educators–active professors out there doing teacher education. The NCTQ was stacked with corporate executives, foundation executives, and employees of NCTQ. It was far from representing the field of teacher education.”

He adds: “The “methods” used include sources including: syllabi (when they can get them), textbooks, catalogs, handbooks, evaluation forms. We show that the NCTQ report on teacher preparation is junk science. The method that they employed in their study avoided data from the very sources that could help uncover the nature of teacher preparation. These sources are faculty, administrators, students, and cooperating school districts and educators. Without interviewing and observing teacher preparation programs directly, and without establishing a cooperative relationship with the these institutions, the NCTQ condemns itself to false claims, outright opinions that have little bearing on the nature of teacher preparation.”