Mercedes Schneider reports that the National Council on Teacher Quality received a formal evaluation for the first time in its 15-year history, and, the results are “not pretty.”

Created by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Foundation/Institute to encourage alternative routes into teaching, NCTQ labored in obscurity for several years. Then, with the rise of the corporate reform movement, NCTQ became the go-to source for journalists looking for comments about how terrible teachers and teacher education are. It also became a recipient of Gates’ funding. See its 2011 report on teacher evaluation in Los Angeles here.)

Now NCTQ issues an annual report published by U.S. News & World Report, rating the nation’s colleges of education and finding almost all of them to be substandard. Among its standards is whether the institution teaches the Common Core. It bases its ratings on course catalogues and reading lists, not on site visits. Some institutions, skeptical of NCTQ’s qualifications and motivation, have refused to cooperate or send materials.

NCTQ recently agreed to collaborate with professors at Vanderbilt University and the University of North Carolina to assess the quality and validity of NCTQ’s ratings of colleges of education. The bottom line: the ratings do not gauge or predict teacher quality.

The full study opens with these conclusions:

“In our analysis of NCTQ’s overall TPP ratings, we find that in one out of 42 comparisons the graduates of TPPs with higher NCTQ ratings have higher value-added scores than graduates of TPPs with lower ratings; in eight out of 30 comparisons graduates of TPPs with higher NCTQ ratings receive higher evaluation ratings than graduates of TPPs with lower NCTQ ratings. There are no significant negative associations between NCTQ’s overall TPP ratings and teacher performance. In our analysis of NCTQ’s TPP standards, out of 124 value-added comparisons, 15 of the associations are positive and significant and five are negative and significant; out of 140 teacher evaluation rating comparisons, 31 associations are positive and significant and 23 are negative and significant.

“With our data and analyses, we do not find strong relationships between the performance of TPP (teacher prep program) graduates and NCTQ’s overall program ratings or meeting NCTQ’s standards.”

What does it mean?

Gary Henry of Vanderbilt Universoty was quoted here:

“The study also examined teacher evaluations but failed to establish a strong relationship between good teacher evaluations and NCTQ standards, according to Henry.

“The conclusion was the same,” Henry said. “Higher NCTQ ratings don’t appear to lead to higher performing teachers.”

I think that means the NCTQ ratings have no value in rating institutions or their graduates.