National Review Myth Buster #2: Diverse Funders with a Common Goal of Improving Teacher Prep

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Our National Review of Teacher Prep is well under way.  We've been working hard to coordinate with colleges, universities and other state-based stakeholders to advance the review.  In spite of this outreach, myths and misrepresentations about our standards, methodology and motivations persist. In this series of PDQ posts, we are setting the record straight.  Yesterday, we addressed how institutions would not be penalized in our review for complying with faulty state laws or regs.  Today we examine the project's funding sources.

The National Review is supported by a diverse group of almost 40 private foundations.  (NCTQ accepts no government money).  Our funders span the ideological gamut from liberal to conservative and are located all over the country. Some fund only in their states, while some fund national projects.  They are certainly diverse in terms of the size of their endowments, ranging from big foundations like Broad and Carnegie to many small family foundations.  The Review's funding is not even dominated by the biggest foundations; the largest contribution still comprises only 17 percent of the total project funding.

Our funders also vary in the projects they support.  About half have funded Teach For America; half have not.  But some have funded traditional schools of education, including one that has its name on the local school of education.  The only thing these foundations have in common is their dedication to improving teacher quality, taking many different paths to doing so.  If you want to learn more, all of our funders are listed on our website. 

BOTTOM LINE:  All of our funders understand this important reality.  The nation needs 240,000 new teachers each year, most of whom get trained by higher ed institutions.  Addressing the quality of preparation provided by these institutions is a must if we are going to achieve our goals for improving teacher quality.