While states may be having trouble counting the number of highly qualified teachers, cities around the country are making encouraging progress by using innovative programs to get certified teachers. In Los Angeles, fewer than 6% of newly hired teachers are on waivers compared to 2001 when nearly 60% of new teachers in Los Angeles were on waivers. In Philadelphia, with the help of Teach For America, only 4% of new teachers are working on emergency permits compared to 12% last year. And in New York City, thanks to programs like the NYC Teaching Fellows, every one of the 9,000 teachers hired this year is state-certified.
It seems that cities are finally making use of alternative routes in significant numbers to expand the pool of qualified applicants. Have these programs withstood the test of time or does pressure from NCLB requirements get the credit?