National Council on Teacher Quality Announces Executive Search Plans as it Enters Next Phase of Innovation and Growth

NCTQ President Kate Walsh to Retire after 20 Years


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Washington, D.C.--The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) today announced that the nonprofit organization's long-time president, Kate Walsh, is retiring in 2022, starting a leadership transition process over the next year. Walsh's decision to step down from this leadership role will bring to a close a remarkable 20 years of service to NCTQ and create new leadership opportunities for the organization as it deepens its commitment to strengthening teacher quality.

"On behalf of the Board of Directors, we want to thank Kate for her leadership and impact over the past two decades," said NCTQ Board Chair and CEO of Learn to Earn Dayton Tom Lasley. "NCTQ is grounded in the conviction that equitable access to high quality teachers is a basic human right, and Kate has carried the torch since its founding. Using data, research, and strategic advocacy, Kate has developed partners and champions on both sides of the political spectrum and at the national and state levels to drive critical improvements in education. We are grateful for her steadfast and strategic leadership that has solidified the reputation of NCTQ as a trusted source of information for policymakers, practitioners, and advocates."

"Under Kate's expert guidance over the past two decades, the National Council on Teacher Quality has become a major force for improving teacher quality and educational equity across the U.S.," said NCTQ Founding Board Member and Fordham Institute President Emeritus Chester Finn. "Today, it's a matchless source of reliable data and sophisticated analysis for serious education reformers and a much-needed scourge of complacency and mediocrity."

NCTQ will embark on its next chapter from a strong position of leadership in the field. Over more than 20 years, NCTQ has amassed the largest repository of data on the teacher workforce outside the U.S. government. With more than 250,000 database views and 300 custom data requests each year, NCTQ's extensive, groundbreaking datasets on teacher education practices and the teaching profession enable evidence-based guidance on key teacher quality issues. Most notably, NCTQ produced:

  • The first-ever report card on the quality of the nation's teacher preparation programs, the Teacher Prep Review, leading to significant improvements in how aspiring teachers are prepared for the classroom;

  • The State Teacher Policy Database, which houses state laws and regulations that impact the teaching profession, benchmarking the strength of each state's policies and allowing for comparisons among states; and

  • The Teacher Contract Database, the only collection of the teacher contracts, board policies, and salary schedules for 150 of the largest districts in the U.S.
These data have served as a catalyst for strengthening elementary reading instruction, state teacher licensing requirements, and implementation of strategic pay structures, among other education advancements.

"NCTQ's data and policy recommendations are an invaluable resource for education leaders and policymakers committed to providing all children with equitable access to a high quality education," said The Education Trust President and former U.S. Secretary of Education John King. "Under Kate's guidance, NCTQ has presented critical data bringing transparency to key challenges to strengthening and diversifying the teacher workforce."

"NCTQ is an authoritative force in education reform—no doubt a testament to Kate's adept leadership," said Managing Principal of Watershed Advisors and former Louisiana State Superintendent John White. "Throughout my time in Louisiana, we often turned to NCTQ for guidance on issues ranging from evaluating the quality of our teacher preparation programs to identifying key teacher competencies, knowing any recommendation would be rooted in evidence and actionable."

Driven by the belief that relevant, comparative data can transform teacher quality, the Board has affirmed its commitment to NCTQ's focus on instilling greater transparency and higher standards among the institutions that exert influence and authority over teachers—states, school districts, and teacher preparation programs. This transition is also an opportunity for new policy and practice innovations, including opportunities to make NCTQ's data more broadly accessible and advancing its commitment to educational equity.

The Board of Directors will oversee the process to select Walsh's successor and has hired executive search firm Slesinger Management Services to assist with the transition to new leadership. Learn more at


To schedule an interview with NCTQ Board Chair Tom Lasley or NCTQ President Kate Walsh, contact Nicole Gerber at (202) 393-0020 ext. 712 or by email at

About the National Council on Teacher Quality: NCTQ is a nonpartisan research and policy group, committed to modernizing the teaching profession and based on the belief that all children deserve effective teachers. We recognize that it is not teachers who bear responsibility for their profession's many challenges, but the institutions with the greatest authority and influence over teachers. More information about NCTQ can be found on our website,

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