Teacher Preparation

Frustrated by ‘Roadblocks,’ Group Reviewing Teacher Ed. Appeals to Students

By Stephen Sawchuk — October 15, 2012 1 min read

As its contested project to examine the practices of all 1,400 schools of education continues, the National Council on Teacher Quality is appealing to a new party with a stake in the outcomes: university students.

The group today unveiled a new ad campaign that will offer stipends to college students who agree to provide the materials the council is examining for its review, including course syllabi and student-teaching manuals.

Using graphics that could have been pulled right out of “Mad Men,” the campaign shows a silhouette of an individual wielding a flashlight. “You have the right to know,” one advertisement reads. “Help us do what your university would not.”

The teacher-preparation community has been highly critical of the NCTQ’s project, with many colleges alleging that the review is ideologically biased or methodologically flawed. Other programs have asserted that they meet state approval standards or have fulfilled national accreditation.

For its part, the NCTQ alleges that colleges of education have been throwing up many roadblocks, including by charging high fees for gathering and replicating the materials, forcing the council to use freedom-of-information requests, or asserting such materials are intellectual property.

The NCTQ has, in fact, been tapping students for a while to help with its review. Folks in the university-based teacher-preparation world generally argue that they should not be required or coerced into participating.

The review is due out next spring.

Graphic courtesy of National Council on Teacher Quality. Used with permission.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.