No Alabama universities have agreed to participate in a national study of the quality of teacher education programs and several, including UAB, UAH, the University of Alabama and the University of Montevallo, have chosen to opt out.
The University of Mobile even sent a letter to the organizers threatening to take legal action if it fares badly in the ratings, which are scheduled to be published in U.S. News & World Report next fall.
"In the event the University is given a poor rank, disparaged, or otherwise painted in a false or misleading light in your publication because of the University's refusal to participate in the survey, because of the NCTQ's methodology, or for some other reason, the University will seek all civil remedies available to it," attorney Casey Pipes wrote in a letter to U.S. News & World Report Editor Brian Kelly.
Officials with the National Council on Teacher Quality, which is collecting the data and producing the ratings, say the schools aren't being transparent with their data and fear being evaluated. But the organization's methodology has also come under fire from the Council of Academic Deans from Research Education Institutions, the heads of many large university systems, and the Alabama Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.