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The National Council on Teacher Quality regularly issues reports on the state of teacher education programs, finding that many do not meet the group's standards for rigorous preparation. On Thursday, the University of North Carolina system released a study it did in collaboration with NCTQ that raises questions about the value of meeting the standards. In a series of comparisons of classroom teachers working in North Carolina who graduated from programs that NCTQ says adhere to its standards and those who graduated from other programs, teachers in the former group were more effective at improving students test scores in only 15 of 124 comparisons. In 5 comparisons, the graduates of NCTQ-approved programs were less effective. And in the vast majority of 104 comparisons, there was no difference.

The NCTQ issued an analysis of the study emphasizing other points than the large majority of comparisons that found no difference between the performance of teachers who graduated from programs that met the council's standards and those that did not. The council press release said that "graduates of teacher prep programs with higher NCTQ ratings are more effective on average than graduates of programs with lower ratings, no matter if the measure of effectiveness is student test scores or teacher evaluations." Further, the council noted, the researchers found that “NCTQ standards are grounded in available research and completely transparent.”