Who We Are

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) is on a mission to ensure every child has effective teachers and every teacher has the opportunity to be effective.

Building on two decades of research and policy analysis, we have marshalled our resources behind two big bets for achieving an effective, diverse teacher workforce:

Bet #1. Aligning the preparation of new elementary teachers to research-driven practices, imparting to them the knowledge and skills necessary for their students to flourish.

Bet #2. Strengthening the policies and practices that will lead to the highest quality teacher workforce, specifically recruitment, assignment, evaluation, development, and compensation.

Founded in 2000, we are the only nonprofit, nonpartisan organization solely dedicated to issues of teacher quality. We are staffed by a number of former teachers and funded by a broad range of foundations and philanthropic individuals and do not accept federal funding.

What We Do

NCTQ's approach to achieving an effective, diverse teacher workforce is through greater transparency and higher standards among the institutions that exert influence and authority over teachers: states, school districts, and teacher preparation programs.

Over our history, NCTQ has amassed the largest repository of data on the teacher workforce outside the U.S. government with unique datasets that capture state laws and policies, teacher contracts and school board policies, and the practices of teacher preparation programs. These groundbreaking datasets have served as a catalyst for driving improvements in teacher preparation, achieving greater diversity in the field, improving elementary reading instruction, strengthening state regulations, and implementation of strategic pay structures, among other education advancements.

We share our data freely with the public but we also use it to conduct our own original analyses, linking it to high quality, peer reviewed research and best practices from across the world to inform actionable, evidence-based recommendations.

Core Datasets

  • Teacher Prep Review — The most comprehensive dataset on the nation's 1,200 elementary teacher preparation programs that captures program practices, down to the course level, on a set of factors that most closely links to success in the classroom, including institutional pass rates on elementary licensing tests.

  • State Teacher Policy Database — A compilation of state laws and regulations concerning oversight of teacher preparation, licensure, alternate routes, equitable assignment of teachers, evaluation, tenure, dismissals, layoffs, compensation strategies, and much more.

  • Teacher Contract Database — The only one-stop collection of teacher contracts, board policies, school calendars, and salary schedules for 150 large school districts, which include the nation's 100 largest districts as well as the largest district in every state.

Our leading work
July 2021

Driven by Data: Using Licensure Tests to Build a Strong, Diverse Teacher Workforce

The NCTQ publication of long-hidden data on institutional pass rates for elementary content teacher licensure tests serves as a compass, pointing toward strengths and opportunities in preparing aspiring elementary teachers for success in the classroom.

January 2020

2020 Teacher Prep Review: Program Performance in Early Reading Instruction

New data and analysis from the National Council on Teacher Quality finds significant progress on the science of reading instruction in teacher preparation. For the first time since NCTQ began publishing program ratings in its...


NCTQ Blog: The Latest in Teacher Quality

Gain insight on a variety of key education issues through summaries and perspectives on the latest research in teacher quality as well as in-depth analyses from NCTQ's databases of school district and state teacher policies.

July 2021

Smart Money 2.0

A new analysis by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) examines salary data and related compensation materials from 90 large school districts to determine lifetime earnings trajectories for teachers over a 30-year career. The...

October 2019

State of the States 2019: Teacher and Principal Evaluation Policy

Since the 2015 passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a large number of states have backed away from recently enacted policies that were designed to breathe new life into moribund teacher and principal...

February 2021

Teacher Prep Review: Program Diversity and Admissions 2021

New data from NCTQ examines the interplay between racial diversity and admissions standards in teacher preparation programs. We present strong evidence that these two considerations need not be competing goals, finding just short of 200...