National Council on Teacher Quality Releases Second Annual Review of Teacher Preparation Programs

In the search for well-prepared teachers, Florida school districts face challenges

The results from the National Council on Teacher Quality’s (NCTQ) second annual review of teacher preparation programs find that in Florida the push for quality teachers faces an uphill climb. This has serious implications for all Florida school districts as they aim to hire well-prepared teachers.

School districts in Florida can seek best prepared teachers by recruiting from higher ranked regional teacher preparation programs listed at the end of this brief. These programs include those in Florida and in the district’s immediate geographical area.

Background on the Review

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has published the second edition of our Teacher Prep Review – a comprehensive evaluation of the nation’s teacher prep programs giving school districts actionable information about the 2,400 teacher training programs that produce 99 percent of the traditionally prepared teachers in the country.

Summary of the Review in Florida

  • 49 teacher preparation programs housed in 29 Florida institutions were fully evaluated.
  • 10 elementary and 15 secondary programs are strong enough to receive a national ranking.
  • 24 programs in Florida did not receive a numeric rank because their performance was in the bottom half of the national sample.
  • In addition to elementary and secondary programs, NCTQ examined three special education programs in Florida.

Highlights for Florida

No Florida program earns Top Ranked status: Top Ranked status is a distinction awarded for overall strong performance to 107 programs in the nation; in Florida, there are no programs with this distinction.

10 programs in Florida are among the highest ranked programs in the country:

  • Florida State University – Undergraduate, elementary, rank #97
  • Flagler College – Undergraduate, elementary, rank #101
  • Florida State University – Graduate, elementary, rank #107
  • Florida Gulf Coast University – Undergraduate, elementary, rank #144
  • University of Florida – Graduate, elementary, rank #165
  • University of Central Florida – Undergraduate, secondary, rank #193
  • Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University – Undergraduate, secondary, rank #247
  • Daytona State College – Undergraduate, secondary, rank #285
  • Florida State University – Undergraduate, secondary, rank #293
  • Florida State University – Graduate, secondary, rank #293

In addition to these programs, districts in Florida can look to recruit teachers from the preparation programs that are highly rated in specific areas. (A list of highly rated programs by area is included at the end of this brief.)

  • Early reading: 54% of evaluated elementary programs in Florida meet or nearly meet this standard by preparing teacher candidates in effective, scientifically based reading instruction, compared to 34% of programs nationally.
  • Classroom management: 5 Florida programs (17%) fully meet the standard by providing feedback to teacher candidates on specific classroom management strategies to improve classroom behavior. This is similar to the national average of 15%.
  • Student teaching: No programs in Florida were found to ensure a high quality student teaching experience, in which candidates are assigned only to highly skilled teachers and receive frequent concrete feedback. 5% of programs nationally require such an experience.
  • Selectivity: 20% of programs in Florida fully meet this standard, similar to the national average of 22%. These 12 programs select candidates above the 50th percentile in the population of college-attending high school graduates, a relatively modest bar compared to what other high-performing nations require.
  • Elementary content preparation: Only the graduate program at the University of Florida was found to nearly meet this standard. Nationally, 11% of all elementary programs either meet or nearly meet this standard.
  • Secondary content preparation: The results were better for subject matter preparation of secondary teacher candidates, with 37% of programs fully meeting the standard compared to the national average of 35%.
  • Alternative certification: In addition to analyzing colleges and universities providing traditional teacher preparation, NCTQ reviewed a sample of secondary alternative certification providers not affiliated with a university or college. The results for these 85 providers including four programs in Florida were even weaker than for traditional programs. NCTQ found their admissions standards to be too low, efforts to assess subject matter knowledge inadequate, and too little training or support provided to candidates who are asked to hit the ground running in the classroom. Only one provider out of 85 earned high marks (Teach For America, Massachusetts).