The pulse: what are states doing to expand the teaching pool?

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For all of those teachers who have slogged through course after course in a supposedly alternate route to certification, you know all too well that states have a ways to go before these programs are truly alternative. 

Only 7 states (Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Virginia) were deemed to have genuine alternate routes by State Teacher Policy Yearbook standards in 2011. These standards include whether states are making sure programs have: 

  • Streamlined coursework targeted to the immediate needs of new teachers
  • Selective admissions requirements that are also flexible for nontraditional candidates
  • Reasonable program length
  • Intensive support through mentoring and practice teaching experiences

The good news is more and more states are permitting nonprofits and school districts to provide alternate route programs.  Also, 26 states—up from 20 in 2009—now permit broad usage of alternate routes across subject areas, grade levels and geographic locations.

Sarah Brody