Grading NJ’s Teacher Preparation Programs

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The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has released its State Teacher Policy Yearbook, which rates individual states on teaching preparation programs; elementary, middle, and high school teaching requirements; special ed teaching preparation; student teaching; and accountability.

New Jersey did okay: a bump up from last year’s D+ to a C-, which puts us 18th among all states in the country. According to NCTQ, these should be our top priorities:

Admission into Preparation Programs: require that preparation programs screen candidates prior to admission by using a common test normed to the general college-bound population and limit acceptance to those candidates demonstrating academic ability in the top 50th percentile.

Elementary Teacher Preparation: Ensure new content test sufficiently measures knowledge of all subjects. Require a rigorous assessment in the science of reading instruction. Require preparation programs to provide mathematics content specifically geared to the needs of elementary teachers. Require a content specialization in an academic subject area.

Student Teaching:
Ensure that cooperating teachers have demonstrated evidence of effectiveness as measured by student learning.

Teacher Preparation Program Accountability: Collect performance data to monitor programs. Set minimum standards for program performance with consequences for failure to meet those standards. Publicly report performance data.

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