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School of Education scores highly in NCTQ assessment

The School of Education scored highly in an evaluation of teacher-preparation programs conducted by the National Council on Teacher Quality released Thursday (April 12).

The School’s graduate program in secondary education was placed at the 89th percentile nationwide in the NCTQ rankings. It was the highest ranking among secondary education programs evaluated this year in North Carolina.

NCTQ assessed only graduate-level teacher education programs this year, examining 406 programs.

“This assessment is another indicator of the strength of our programs,” said Fouad Abd-El-Khalick, dean of the School of Education. “While many assessments such as these have shortcomings, we appreciate receiving scrutiny that is intended to find areas of possible improvement as we always work to improve our efforts to prepare educators for effective work in schools.”

The NCTQ, founded in 2000, is a nonprofit research and policy organization that conducts research on teacher preparation programs and advocates for policy changes regarding teacher preparation. It released its first teacher preparation report and rankings in 2013, finding that many programs did not satisfactorily prepare teachers. NCTQ’s methodology has been criticized in the past for relying too heavily on evaluations of course syllabi and program entrance requirements.

In its new rankings of graduate secondary education programs, the NCTQ examined the School of Education’s M.A.T. program, assigning the following grades:

Program Grade
Selection Criteria A
Secondary Content in the Sciences F
Secondary Content in the Social Sciences A
Secondary Methods Coursework A
Student Teaching B
Classroom Management No grade
Secondary Methods Practice A

“We’re pleased with indications that our master’s program is doing a good job preparing educators,” said Diana Lys, assistant dean of educator preparation and accreditation.

Lys said the ‘F’ rating for secondary content in the sciences reflects state licensure testing for comprehensive science, which is what NCTQ relied upon for its assessment.

“While the state minimum testing requirements may not meet NCTQ standards, at Carolina’s School of Education we exceed state licensure requirements by ensuring that all graduates pass required North Carolina licensure exams before they graduate. For us, that is a high bar in North Carolina, but was not taken into account in the NCTQ assessment.”

In its report, NCTQ highlighted the School of Education’s MAT program for being both selective and racially diverse. Carolina was one of 27 institutions that earned an A+ from NCTQ for being selective while also maintaining a level of racial diversity that is the same or greater than that of its university as a whole, or of the teacher workforce.

The NCTQ’s assessments may be found here