The National Coucil for Teacher Quality issued a report calling for higher admission standards for entrants into teaching, specifically, higher SAT and ACT scores. This report was reviewed on behalf of the National Education Policy Center. It is interesting and strange that so many people think that scores on the SAT or ACT have remarkable predictive powers. The cardinal rule of psychometric is that a test should be used only for the purpose for which it was designed. These tests were designed to gauge likely success in college, but multiple studies have concluded that the students’ four-year grade-point-average is more reliable than either the SAT or ACT. Why would anyone think they predict good teachers? NCTQ should turn its attention to making the teaching profession more fulfilling and rewarding. At a time of teacher shortages, raising the bar will exacerbate the shortage.

The NCTQ is Gates-funded and endorses VAM to rate teachers. So they start with a strong bias towards standardized testing.

NEPC says:

BOULDER, CO (March 23, 2017) – A recent report from the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) advocates for a higher bar for entry into teacher preparation programs. The NCTQ report suggests, based on a review of GPA and SAT/ACT requirements at 221 institutions in 25 states, that boosting entry requirements would significantly improve teacher quality in the U.S. It argues that this higher bar should be set by states, by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), and by the higher-education institutions themselves.

However, the report’s foundational claims are poorly supported, making its recommendations highly problematic.

The report, Within Our Grasp: Achieving Higher Admissions Standards in Teacher Prep, was reviewed by a group of scholars and practitioners who are members of Project TEER (Teacher Education and Education Reform). The team was led by Marilyn Cochran-Smith, the Cawthorne Professor of Teacher Education for Urban Schools at Boston College, along with Megina Baker, Wen-Chia Chang, M. Beatriz Fernández, & Elizabeth Stringer Keefe. The review is published by the Think Twice Think Tank Review Project at the National Education Policy Center, housed at University of Colorado Boulder’s School of Education.

The reviewers explain that the report does not provide the needed supports for its assertions or recommendations. It makes multiple unsupported and unfounded claims about the impact on teacher diversity of raising admissions requirements for teacher candidates, about public perceptions of teaching and teacher education, and about attracting more academically able teacher candidates.

Each claim is based on one or two cherry-picked citations while ignoring the substantial body of research that either provides conflicting evidence or shows that the issues are much more complex and nuanced than the report suggests. Ultimately, the reviewers conclude, the report offers little guidance for policymakers or institutions.

Find the review by Marilyn Cochran-Smith, Megina Baker, Wen-Chia Chang, M. Beatriz Fernández, & Elizabeth Stringer Keefe at:

Find Within Our Grasp: Achieving Higher Admissions Standards in Teacher Prep, by Kate Walsh, Nithya Joseph, & Autumn Lewis, published by the National Council on Teacher Quality, at: