Saturday, February 1, 2014

NCTQ Yearbook Earns a "D"


Press Release

February 1, 2014 (Michigan) – The STAB1 has released its first annual Report Card on Education Policy Grading, which judges the grades given by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) in the 2013 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Michigan (report). While many different factors went into the grade earned by the NCTQ for their report, we realize that the media has limited space available to analyze our findings (given all the recent news about Justin Bieber and all) and decided to boil it down to a single grade that is familiar to the public2.

The "D" earned by NCTQ’s Yearbook communicates that it includes some nice graphics but it is incoherent in its analysis3. Furthermore, it appears that their expectations are based solely on opinion with no references provided to support their positions. In fact, some of the expectations seem to be biased by a prior position held by the NCTQ President, Kate Walsh4.

Essentially, the NCTQ’s Yearbook does not match our vision of sound educational policy. If it had, we would have rewarded the report with an “A” grade. Because it did not align with our ideology, we will shame it with a low grade that we trust the public will interpret as unsatisfactory. Once the NCTQ comes to view educational policy the same way we do, then we anticipate their grade will improve5. After all, isn’t the role of grades to manipulate others to match our view6?

1 The Sarcastic Teachers of America Board
2 We all agree on what an "A" means, right?
3 You can’t want higher standards for teacher preparation and more flexible pathways to teacher certification7.
4 Kate Walsh started the first alternative certification program for teachers in Maryland. (see 3)
5 We suggest they keep the graphics – very nice.
6 No, it is not! But that seems to be the idea behind grading schools by groups like the NCTQ.
7 Because alternative teacher certification often means little teacher preparation coursework.
8 Are you still reading this? Why?

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