Peter Greene truly performs a public service for all of us. He reads the deluge of reports and studies about what’s wrong with teachers, public schools, unions, teacher preparation, etc. so others don’t have to.

In this post, he writes a hilarious summary of the latest report of the National Council on Teacher Quality. He starts by noting that no one on the “council” or the staff is an experienced teacher.


That’s a clue.
NCTQ rates the education schools of the nation, not visiting any campuses, just reading course catalogues. In this report, NCTQ rates states by how faithfully they are adopting NCTQ’s recommendations for teacher evaluation , even though it offers no evidence for the soundness of those recommendations. It’s main policy goal is to ensure that teachers are evaluated by the test scores of their students, ignoring the succinct dismissal of that policy by the American Statistical Association in 2014.

You might find it useful to read Mercedes Schneider’s review of the NCTQ board (linked in Peter’s post) and my account (see link below*) of the origins of NCTQ, birthed by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Foundation to undermine Ed schools, and rescued by Secretary of Education Rod Paige with a grant of $5 million when it was floundering.


Peter writes:

“What NCTQ would like to see more than anything else in the whole wide world is a teacher evaluation system driven by test scores that in turn drives everything else. Hiring, firing, promotions, tenure, revoking tenure, pay level– they would like to see all of those tied to the teacher evaluation.
“NCTQ credits Delaware, Florida and Louisiana with “connecting the dots” best of all. The language used for this baloney is itself baloney– it’s like the baloney you make out of the leftover scraps of baloney. But it’s worth seeing, because it’s language that keeps reappearing, including in places like, say, TeachStrong….

“The report includes not a word about how we might know that any of the recommended policies actually works. We are clear that the be-all and end-all is to raise student test scores. Any proof that higher test scores are indicative of anything other than scoring higher? And as we move to teacher evaluation systems, is there any proof that, say, linking tenure to test scores improves test scores or anything that are actually related to a good education?

No. So the report is left with a basic stance of, “Here are some things everybody should be doing because we think they are good ideas, though none of us have ever been public school teachers, and none of us have any real experience in public education. But you should do these things, and if you do, education in your state will be better in ways that we can’t really support or specify.” And it took over 100 pages to say that. But this is NCTQ, so some bunch of media dopes are going to report on this as if it is real research from reputable experts who know what the hell they’re talking about. What a world.”


*my origins post:

sorry, WordPress won’t let me embed the link. This is what I get for upgrading to iPhone 6