National Council on Teacher Quality

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The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) is a nonprofit organization that "advocates for reforms in a broad range of teacher policies at the federal, state, and local levels," according to its website. In particular, NCTQ supports "a more market-sensitive approach to the structure of the profession, in order to encourage a more equitable distribution of the finest teachers to the schools that need them the most and in the subject areas that are particularly difficult to fill." [1]

According to the Department of Education's Office of Inspector General report on Department PR expenditures in fiscal years 2002 through 2004, NCTQ and the Oquirrh Institute received $677,318 in 2003 - 2004, to "increase the American public’s exposure and understanding of the research and full spectrum of ideas on teacher quality." In 2005, the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Education called the NCTQ grant into question because a) it had been approved although two out of three reviewers had recommended against approving it; b) it was unsolicited; and c) NCTQ president Kate Walsh had run op eds without a legally required EDGAR disclosure.[2]


The National Council on Teacher Quality was started in 2000 with nearly half a million dollars, according to its federal tax return[3]. In 2001, it received a $5 million two-year grant from the Department of Education[4] to found an organization that would compete with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for teaching certification. The National Council on Teacher Quality founded this organization, the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE), in partnership with an organization called the Education Leaders Council.

In 2004, the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence became its own nonprofit organization, and in 2005, NCTQ president Kate Walsh resigned from the board of the ABCTE amid controversy.[5][6][7]

However, the NCTQ has continued to push for alternative routes to teacher certification and other corporate education reform policies such as a restriction on teacher seniority using a variety of methods:

  • In 2005, the NCTQ began publishing evaluations of teacher preparation programs.[8]
  • Since 2006, the NCTQ has been producing the State Teacher Policy Yearbook, which compares states on policy issues that the NCTQ advances. Some key policy issues they promote include basing 50% of teacher's evaluation on "evidence of student learning," which in practice means student performance on standardized tests. Another is whether states allow alternative routes to teacher certification.[9]
  • In 2007, the NCTQ launched a national "Teachers Rules, Roles and Rights" database that allowed users to district policies from 50 school districts. The project was funded by the Gates Foundation.[10] This database has now grown to cover more than 100 districts in all 50 states. It is sponsored by the Gates Foundation.[11]
  • Since 2009 and 2001, the NCTQ has been providing analyses of "human capital" policies in several school districts and working with school districts to influence collective bargaining agreements.[12] Districts include Kansas City, Missouri; Baltimore, Maryland; Boston, Massachusetts; Seattle, Washington; and Hartford, Connecticut.
  • Currently, the NCTQ is collaborating with US News and World Report on a report "grading" teacher preparation programs. The $3.6 million project is funded by foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation and the Broad Foundation.[13]


Partial list of grants

According to Media Transparency, NCTQ has received funding from: [14]

  • Smith Richardson Foundation
    • $75,000 in 2001, to provide "up-to-date information to policy makers and school administrators about how they can assess the performance of teachers"
    • $75,000 in 2002, for "Improving Teacher Quality Through Innovation and Information"
    • $125,000 in 2003, to "convene a conference and commission research that will examine approaches to training and licensing teachers"
  • Fordham Foundation
    • $25,000 in 2000, in support of program development for 2000
    • $105,000 total in 2001 "in support of promoting a commonsense strategy for boosting teacher quality"
    • $26,107 in 2002
    • $30,000 in 2003, to support the Teacher Research Laymen's Guide project
    • $30,000 in 2004, for general operations
    • $30,000 in 2005, to support development of the State Policy Yearbook

Total funding

The National Council on Teacher Quality tax returns[15] list the organization's total income as follows:

Year		Amount
2000		473,579
2001		1,523,636 
2002		2,627,307
2003		3,189, 982
2004		1,911,527
2005		561,483
2006		791,032 
2007		1,442,127 
2008		1,822,320

List of funders in 2011

The following organizations funded the NCTQ in 2011:[16]

B & L Foundation

Barksdale Reading Institute

Barr Foundation

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Carnegie Corporation of New York

Chamberlin Family Foundation

Daniels Fund

Doris and Donald Fisher Fund

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Finnegan Family Foundation

Foundation for the MidSouth

Gleason Family Foundation

Goldsmith Family Foundation

Houston Endowment

Joyce Foundation

Longfield Family Foundation

Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education

Phil Hardin Foundation

Polk Bros Foundation

Rockwell Collins, Inc.

Searle Freedom Trust

Steans Family Foundation

The Aaron Straus and Lillie Straus Foundation

The Abell Foundation

The Boston Foundation

The Bower Foundation

The Brookhill Foundation

The Edythe and Eli Broad Foundation

The Garner Foundation

The George Gund Foundation

The Harold Whitworth Pierce Charitable Trust

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

The Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation

The Osa Foundation

The Teaching Commission

The Walker Foundation


Personnel in 2011

The Board of Directors in 2011[17] is:

Barbara O'Brien, Chair

Stacey Boyd

Chester E. Finn, Jr.

Ira Fishman

Marti Watson Garlett

Henry L. Johnson

Donald N. Langenberg

Clara M. Lovett, treasurer

Carol G. Peck

John L. Winn, vice-chair

Kate Walsh (US), president

The 2011 advisory board[18] includes:

Steven J. Adamowski, Superintendent , Hartford Connecticut Public Schools

Michael Barber, Partner and Global Head of Education, McKinsey & Company

Roy E. Barnes, Partner, The Barnes Law Group

Cynthia G. Brown, Director of Education Policy, Center for American Progress

David Chard, Dean, School of Education and Human Development, Southern Methodist University

Andrew Chen, President, EduTron

Celine Coggins, Founder and CEO, Teach Plus

Paula S. Dominguez, Rhode Island House of Representatives

Jo Lynne DeMary, Director, Center for School Improvement , Virginia Commonwealth University

Michael Feinberg, Founder, KIPP

Michael Goldstein, CEO and Founder, The Match School, Massachusetts

Eric A. Hanushek, Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution

Joseph A. Hawkins, Senior Study Director, Westat

Frederick M. Hess, Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Paul T. Hill, Director, Center for Reinventing Public Education

E.D. Hirsch, Author and Founder, Core Knowledge Foundation

Michael Johnston, State Senator, Colorado

Barry Kaufman, President, BK Education Consulting Services

Frank Keating, President and CEO, American Council of Life Insurers

Martin J. Koldyke, Founder and Chairman, Academy for Urban School Leadership

Wendy Kopp, CEO and Founder, Teach For America

Tom Lasley, Executive Director, EDvention

Amy Jo Leonard, Teacher, Turtle Mountain Elementary School, North Dakota

Deborah McGriff, Partner, NewSchools Venture Fund

Ellen Moir, Executive Director, New Teacher Center

Robert H. Pasternack, Vice President, Voyager Expanded Learning

Michael Podgursky, Professor, Dept. of Economics, U. of Missouri-Columbia

Michelle Rhee, Founder and CEO, StudentsFirst

Stefanie Sanford, Director, US Program Policy & Advocacy, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Daniel Willingham, Professor, University of Virginia

Suzanne Wilson, Professor and Chair, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University

The staff in 2011[19] is:

Earlier personnel

According to their website, NCTQ staff include: [20]

The NCTQ board of directors includes: [21]

And the NCTQ advisory board includes: [22]

Contact Information

National Council on Teacher Quality
1225 19th Street NW
Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202 222-0561
Fax: 202 222-0570

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. "What We Do", accessed 2005 or 2006.
  2. Department of Education report
  3. [ The 2002 990 tax return
  4. United States Government Accountability Office, "Discretionary Grants," February 2006.
  5. Bess Keller, "Upheaval Hits Teacher-Credentialing Board", Education Week, October 19, 2005.
  6. Donald C. Orlich, "Follow the money, taxpayers," The Spokesman Review', February 5 2005, page B5.,2619535&dq=national-council-on-teacher-quality&hl=en
  7. Department of Education Office of Inspector General "Review of Department Identified Contracts and Grants for Public Relations Services," Department of Education, issued September 1, 2005.
  8. Ed Schools, NCTQ, accessed April 5, 2011.
  9. 2010 State Teacher Policy Yearbook, accessed April 5, 2011
  11. Sponsors, National Council on Teacher Quality, accessed April 5, 2011.
  12. School Districts and Teachers Unions, National Council on Teacher Quality, accessed April 5, 2011.
  13. Trip Gabriel, "Teachers’ Colleges Upset by Plan to Grade Them," New York Times, February 8, 2011.
  14. Recipient Grants, Media Transparency, accessed April 5, 2011.
  15. The 2002 Form 990 tax return and [ The 2009 Form 990 tax return
  16. Our Funders, National Council on Teacher Quality, accessed April 5, 2011.
  17. Board of Directors, National Council on Teacher Quality, accessed April 5, 2001
  18. Advisory Board, National Council on Teacher Quality, accessed April 5, 2011
  19. Staff, National Council on Teacher Quality, accessed April 5, 2011
  20. Staff, National Council on Teacher Quality, accessed 2005 or 2006
  21. Board, National Council on Teacher Quality, accessed 2005 or 2006
  22. Advisory Board, accessed 2005 or 2006

External resources

  • Department of Education Office of Inspector General, "Review of Department Identified Contracts and Grants for Public Relations Services" (ED-OIG / I13F0012), issued September 1, 2005; available in MS Word (432K) and PDF (214K) formats.

External articles