Tag Archives: National Council on Teacher Quality

A Reform agenda from Minnesota

Tim Pawlenty, governor of Minnesota, has an education agenda that Kansas might want to consider. Some of the elements include:

  • “Require that candidates for college teacher preparation programs pass the basic skills test prior to entry into the program.”
  • “Authorize alternative teacher preparation and licensure programs provided by various types of qualified providers to create pathways for mid-career professionals and others to earn a teaching license.”
  • Change tenure so that it’s given in five-year, renewable periods.

It sounds as if the governor has been paying attention to the National Council on Teacher Quality.

For a few years now, Minnesota has had a weak version of a merit pay system called Q-Comp. An analysis conducted for the state Department of Education says the program has some benefits, though the Office of the Legislative Auditor has found that the program has not always been administered properly. In particular, “Q Comp’s effect on student achievement cannot be adequately measured using existing data.”

In keeping with the theme of posts from last week, Minnesota scores higher than the national average on math and reading on the Nation’s Report Card. Like Kansas, it is a whiter-than-average state, so I looked at the percentage of white students who are at or above the proficiency level, as a quick way of controlling for demographics. Minnesota does well, scoring above the national average on grade 4 and 8 mathematics as well as grade 8 reading.

Teacher Training Criticized

From the Joplin Globe:

A nationwide organization says Missouri gets “dismal” marks for its statewide teacher policies.

Kansas gets the same ranking from the study, and Oklahoma is marginally better, earning a ranking of “weak but progressing.”

The grades come from the National Council on Teacher Quality, a group that conducted a three-year research project on each state’s policies for educating and certifying teachers.


Missouri and Kansas take hits in the study for having standards for elementary teachers that do not clearly refer to the knowledge and skills the teachers need before entering the classroom. That increases the likelihood that teachers will enter classrooms with significant gaps in their knowledge of essential core subjects, the report said.

Sandi Jacobs, vice president for policy with the national group, said that criterion was developed using the No Child Left Behind Act as a rough guideline. The act calls for teachers to be labeled as highly qualified to teach subjects they are asked to teach.

Source: Group gives Missouri, Kansas bad grades in teacher policies, Joplin Globe, June 27