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FAQs on the 2014 NCTQ Teacher Prep Rankings

Find out more about the National Council on Teacher Quality rankings of undergrad and grad programs.

A teacher writing on the chalkboard.

The NCTQ rankings are designed to hold teacher preparation programs accountable for the quality of their graduates.

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The National Council on Teacher Quality has just released the NCTQ Teacher Prep Rankings with U.S. News & World Report as the publisher. 

Last year, U.S. News published ratings of teacher prep programs using a star system that evaluated programs based on NCTQ's standards. This year, both the NCTQ and U.S. News websites have instead published rankings of 1,612 elementary and secondary education programs at 1,127 institutions.

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this project and U.S. News' role.

Why is U.S. News publishing NCTQ’s rankings of teacher preparation programs?

U.S. News believes that teacher education programs have not been fully scrutinized in the past. There is a push to improve both teacher quality and the quality of schools at the elementary and secondary level nationwide. Teachers now need to be capable enough to implement the new Common Core standards. The new rankings are part of this national effort to hold teacher preparation programs accountable for the quality of their graduates.

We hope that the NCTQ rankings that U.S. News is publishing will lead to improvements in teacher preparation programs and provide information that prospective students can use to compare these programs. 

What role did U.S. News play in developing the methodology, collecting data from teacher preparation programs and compiling the NCTQ Teacher Prep Rankings?

U.S. News did not play a role in any of those areas. NCTQ developed the methodology with input from many higher education experts, collected all the data used in the rankings from education schools and calculated the actual rankings. U.S. News is the publisher of NCTQ's rankings. 

Do these new NCTQ rankings replace the U.S. News Best Education Schools rankings?

No, the NCTQ rankings do not replace the U.S. News Best Education Schools rankings. U.S. News will continue to publish the Best Education Schools rankings as part of our annual Best Graduate Schools rankings.

How are the U.S. News Best Education Schools rankings different from the NCTQ Teacher Prep Rankings?

The methodologies used to compile the U.S. News Best Education Schools rankings and the NCTQ Teacher Prep Rankings are completely different and fully independent from each other.

The current U.S. News Best Education Schools rankings only evaluated the 356 graduate schools that grant a doctoral degree in education. The U.S. News rankings methodology focused on the research output of those doctoral programs and did not evaluate any teacher preparation programs at those education schools.

The NCTQ Teacher Prep Rankings are part of the organization's larger Teacher Prep Review, which evaluated 2,400 elementary, secondary and special education programs at 1,127 institutions. NCTQ's evaluation is focused solely on the quality of teacher training provided by these specific programs at these institutions. 

U.S. News did not use any data from the NCTQ Teacher Prep Rankings to compute our Best Education Schools rankings, and, similarly, NCTQ did not use any data from the U.S. News Best Education Schools rankings to compute its Teacher Prep Rankings.

Has U.S. News worked with other organizations to conduct rankings in the past?

Yes. Many of the rankings U.S. News publishes are the result of finding highly knowledgeable partners and working with them to produce rankings.

U.S. News currently partners with RTI International to produce our Best Hospitals rankings and has worked with the American Institutes for Research to create the Best High Schools rankings.

How can I locate the methodology used to compile the 2014 NCTQ Teacher Prep Rankings?

Visit the NCTQ site to find the complete methodology and other detailed information about how the NCTQ rankings were compiled.

I have a question about the data or methodologies used in the 2014 NCTQ Teacher Prep Rankings. Whom should I contact?

Please send your inquiry via email to Maegan Rees at NCTQ.

I am in the media and have questions about the 2014 NCTQ Teacher Prep Rankings. Whom should I contact?

Please send your inquiry via email to Maegan Rees at NCTQ.