Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kentucky’s Ed schools resisting US News & World Report plan to rank teacher preparation institutions nationwide

Education Week reports (subscription?) that the education school complexes in Kentucky and several other states are resisting a partnership between the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) and US News & World Report magazine to rank the performance of education schools around the country.

Per EdWeek, Kentucky’s Ed school crowd says the USN&WR/NCTQ proposal lacks transparency.


But, it is our public Ed schools that are refusing to voluntarily provide information the NCTQ wants to evaluate. To be honest, that seems rather foolish, because the NCTQ is just going to open records request the information, anyway.

I am still looking at information on what the USN&WR/NCTQ evaluation will examine, so I don’t know if this particular ranking effort will be worthwhile. However, I strongly suspect the evaluations will be conducted and published because the NCTQ people I talked to are VERY motivated, with good reason. When you cut through all the noise, the facts are that the US has slipped on international testing, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress shows that after many years of focusing on education reform, K to 12 student performance across the nation still lags what we all would like to see.

By the way, the NCTQ also has some interesting arguments to support their side of the story. You can find some of that here.

Also, the NCTQ is very familiar with some stunning comments made by Arthur Levine, past president of Columbia Teachers College.

In his report, “Educating Researchers,” Levine writes about his interviews with education school personnel responsible for training the research community. Says Levine:

“It quickly became apparent that in today’s highly charged environment, those interviewed for this study had less interest in ‘truth telling’ than in defending their positions.”

That comment, from the former head of one of the nation’s oldest, most competitive and best-known teacher preparation institutions, raises concerns about Ed school protests against the USN&W report.

So, is USN&WR off track with their planned evaluation, or are Ed schools just trying to hide serious problems?

Stay tuned for more on this one.

No comments: