Educational Institutions

National Council on Teacher Quality

  • Washington, DC
  • www.nctq.org

Mission Statement

The National Council on Teacher Quality is led by the vision that every child deserves effective teachers. As a nonpartisan research and policy organization, we recognize that it is not teachers who bear responsibility for their profession's many challenges, but the institutions with the greatest authority and influence over teachers. To that end we work to achieve fundamental changes in the policy and practices of teacher preparation programs, school districts, state governments, and teachers unions. We advocate for reforms at the federal, state and local levels.

Main Programs

  1. Teacher Prep Review
  2. State Teacher Policy Yearbook
  3. District Policy
Service Areas

Self-reported

National

GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA

ruling year

2001

Principal Officer since 2002

Self-reported

Ms. Kate Walsh

Keywords

Self-reported

NCTQ, National Council on Teacher Quality, teacher quality, teacher preparation, teachers

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EIN

04-3536571

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (B05)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

NCTQ is the most influential organization in the country for driving reforms in states' policies. The fact that we produce an annual metric of state progress, the State Teacher Policy Yearbook, allows us to measure not just states' progress, but our own influence as well. The Yearbook assesses states on no fewer than 30 policy areas, making it very hard for states to improve their overall grade substantially. States have to make big improvements in not just one—but in five-to-10 areas—to have their grades improve. Over the past five years, 37 states have made enough changes to their policies across the 30+ Yearbook goals to increase their grades by at least one full grade level. In 2009, the average grade was D; it is now C-. Just 9 states have made no overall improvement in their grades since 2011. And if anything, we have made it harder for states to do better, moving the goalpost back, so to speak, on a number of Yearbook goals.NCTQ has demonstrated that we can amass huge amounts of information, process it accurately, and present it in a way that is influential in the policy arena. We produced the most comprehensive report on a field within higher education ever in the history of the United States. The Teacher Prep Review was not just a singular accomplishment for teacher education, but for all of higher education. Our annual Yearbook consists of no fewer than 9,000 unique pages and 52 separate volumes. The Teacher Contract Database, launched in 2007, includes every state law, compensation schedules, school calendars, teacher contracts, and any school board policy relating to teachers for over 100 school districts.NCTQ has demonstrated that our data can move districts to make difficult changes. Our district work has driven key policy changes at the district level and in contract negotiations through both the power of our reports and the influence that the comparative data we provide wields. We have also completed 13 customized studies of districts, revealing much data that is often difficult for a district to have publicly aired but that always helps the district move forward. Our recommendations provided each of these districts with specific, actionable changes to improve teacher quality. We can provide evidence of forward progress in these districts, but Boston is the best example. Even five years after our study was issued, the report has served as the ""how to"" manual for moving from a system of seniority-based hiring to one of principal autonomy, and for cleaning up lax evaluation policies.We are learning how to have more of an influence with the mainstream public, particularly in our teacher prep work and the launch of a new website aimed at aspiring teachers, Path to Teach.In the field of teacher preparation, we literally have put the issue on the map, and a movement has been ignited. The issue of poor teacher preparation has taken hold as something this country must resolve, and viable solutions are at hand. Between 2011 and 2014, no fewer than 40 states toughened up their teacher prep regulations, after years of inattention to this aspect of teacher policy. A number of major foundations that had previously not funded teacher prep initiatives have begun making high-leverage investments. The new accrediting body CAEP (in spite of tripping a bit recently) came out with strong new standards, privately giving NCTQ much of the credit because of our external pressure. A reform group of deans has been formed, Deans for Impact. The concept of high-quality inspections of programs has gained a secure foothold in the market. National journalists Amanda Ripley and Elizabeth Green both wrote prominent books calling attention to the need for better teacher prep. Media coverage of teacher prep has increased three-fold since 2013 when the first edition was released.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Teacher Prep Review

The Teacher Prep Review is the bedrock of NCTQ's work to transform teacher preparation. The Review gives the public access to qualitative program information for some 2,400 teacher prep programs, information that cannot be found anywhere else. For the first time, the public can make more informed choices, forcing shifts in the labor market and ultimately changing how institutions prepare teachers. The Review is modeled after the famous 1910 Flexner Report, which rated the quality of medical schools in the United States and precipitated wholesale changes in medical training. Beginning in fall 2016, we will publish updated data on program quality. Meanwhile, we are introducing two new strategic layers to this work in order to better target the consumers of teacher preparation--aspiring teachers and school districts--helping them make more informed decisions about which programs to give their business. We are: 1. Helping school districts use their student teaching partnerships as powerful levers for improving teacher preparation and getting better prepared teachers. We help districts align these partnerships to their own hiring needs, accepting only as many student teachers as they can responsibly train and only those whom they determine are good prospective hires. 2. Educating and motivating aspiring teachers, parents and guidance counselors--who currently don't know how to judge teacher prep programs--to make more informed decisions about which programs to give their business. Our new website, www.pathtoteach.org, distills our ratings into more accessible language for 17-25 year-olds (with discrete interfaces for the differing needs of those looking for undergrad and grad programs) and is designed to help them choose the best college. We need to raise additional funds to market the site and grow our reach.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

College Aged (18-26 years)

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$5,200,000.00

Program 2

State Teacher Policy Yearbook

We produce the 52-volume State Teacher Policy Yearbook each year (a comprehensive version every other year is alternated with more focused case studies on particular topics) not just to document the current policies of states, such as a journalist might do, but to lay out a blueprint for reform. Our intent is to guide state action in this complex arena, urging them to address what most would consider largely anachronistic, ineffective and often counterproductive policies governing the teaching profession. For that reason, the Yearbook is not just an encyclopedia. Instead, it measures, grades and ranks each state against a whole range of policy recommendations (currently 36 goals) covering teacher preparation, retention, dismissal, evaluation and compensation. If the content of our advocacy fails to ignite enthusiasm for reform, we also hope to motivate states to act if for no other reason than to improve their ranking and grade.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Other Named Groups

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

$575,000.00

Program 3

District Policy

All of our work in this area advances the need for districts to understand that there are solutions in place to common problems they're facing. NCTQ's Teacher Contract Database houses the teacher policies spelled out in teacher contracts, school board policies and state law for over 100 school districts and 50 states and provides the base data for all of our district work products: --Teacher Trendlines and Catching up With Contracts. These monthly publications are written for school district officials and cover how districts compare across select policy areas and respond to common challenges. --"The Best Places for Great Teachers to Work."" Modeled after Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For, NCTQ seeks to build the first-ever serial report analyzing the features of large school districts (the 100 largest would be our sample) that do the best job creating a great place for great teachers to teach. With regular updates and the highlighting of ""the best,"" the report will provide a healthy incentive for change among school districts seeking to join the list of top performers. --Single-issue, multi-district research papers. For instance, in the past year we published Smart Money: What Teachers Make, How Long It Takes and What it Buys Them and Roll Call: The importance of Teacher Attendance. Both met with significant media attention. We plan to revisit the issue of a teacher attendance in a follow-up report in 2016, gauging improvements and making further policy recommendations.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Budget

$1,100,000.00

Service Areas

Self-reported

National

GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA

Funding Needs

The work for which we are seeking support includes:We recently started working with school districts to get better prepared teachers by helping them leverage their student teaching partnerships with higher education institutions. We help districts align these partnerships to their own hiring needs, accepting only as many student teachers as they can responsibly train and only those whom they determine are good prospective hires. We would like to work with about five districts in a state.For years, everyone from education reformers (ourselves included) to teachers unions has focused on teaching's long list of negatives. A more positive approach might yield much better results. We are launching Great Districts for Great Teachers, modeled after Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For. The competition will focus on 123 large school districts (the nation's 100 largest districts in addition to the largest districts in 23 remaining states). NCTQ serves as the only reliable repository of policies affecting teachers at every stage of their careers and have been remarkably successful at pushing states to improve. The foundation of that success is our State Teacher Policy Yearbook, which provides states with a comprehensive evaluation of their policies every other year, a device which has proven highly motivating. It costs us about $25,000 a year per state to keep the Yearbook current and to be able to come when states call us for help.We have approached foundations that have an interest in a specific state, city, or district to support our work to review the teacher preparation programs that are of interest to them.

Accreditations

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

NATIONAL COUNCIL ON TEACHER QUALITY INC
Fiscal year: Oct 01-Sep 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

National Council on Teacher Quality

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Principal Officer

Ms. Kate Walsh

BIO

Kate Walsh has served as the president of the National Council on Teacher Quality since 2003, leading work to ensure that every child has equal access to effective teachers. At NCTQ, Walsh has spearheaded efforts to instill greater transparency and higher standards among those institutions which exert influence and authority over teachers. Notably, she launched the first-ever review and rankings of the nation's teacher preparation programs. Previously Walsh worked at The Abell Foundation in Baltimore, the Baltimore City Public Schools, and the Core Knowledge Foundation. Among her accomplishments, she started and ran a boarding school located in Kenya, East Africa in order to educate at-risk boys from Baltimore; founded one of the nation's premier STEM programs, yielding numerous Intel Talent Search winners for Baltimore City; and started the first alternative certification program for teachers in Maryland. A long-time resident of Baltimore, Walsh has also served on the Maryland State School Board.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"Over the past several decades, the teaching profession has suffered a brain drain as talented women and minorities have many more career options than they once did. We're drawing too heavily from the bottom half of students for our prospective teaching pool in terms of academic ability. We no longer live in a world where people become teachers for life, as most adults work their way through two, three, or more careers. Yet the teaching profession is structured to appeal only to Lifers, particularly in the way it compensates teachers. For example, much of the salary and benefits that teachers get is ""backloaded." That is, a disproportionate amount is reserved for the last few years a teacher is teaching. In one district, 70 percent of the raises a teacher will receive are reserved for years 20 and beyond. This does little to help entice top talent into the profession in today's world. We also have come to grips with massive educational failure that is pretty unique to the United States. Poor kids get a very different quality of education than do middle class kids. Poor kids, especially minority kids, are too often assigned the weakest teachers. In spite of billions of dollars spent to address this problem, which we call the achievement gap, we've made little headway. So our job at the National Council on Teacher Quality is to help move this mountain. We have a different approach than any other teacher organization. We believe massive changes in policy and practice are needed by the institutions that have authority over the teaching profession. That includes state legislatures, school districts and teachers unions, as well as institutions of higher education. We dedicate our time to documenting the impact that these institutions have on teacher quality, which is often quite a hindrance to improving the quality of teachers and the teaching profession. Everything we do is aimed at getting these institutions to change their policies and their practices. "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. John Winn

Retired State School Chief, Florida

Term: Apr 2013 -

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?