Last week Pennsylvania decided it had hemmed and hawed enough and is now ready to specify how teachers across the state can achieve ?highly qualified teacher? status in their content areas?many days late, and a few dollars short. As TQB has previously discussed, Pennsylvania at first either courageously or naively insisted that all teachers needed to pass a subject matter test, while most other states came up with more creative and meaningless ways to declare teachers highly qualified. But then 28% of the teachers across the Keystone State failed the test, and suddenly Pennsylvania switched gears. The new plan, known as the ?bridge certificate?, will still do a better job of determining teacher content knowledge than most state plans. However, this is more of a testament to the lack of standards across the country than to Pennsylvania's plan. Under the bridge certificate, teachers must either complete a substantial amount of professional development or take twelve college credits in the content area.
To get a more thorough understanding of what sorts of plans states have instituted to determine teacher qualifications across the country, read NCTQ?s spring report or, better yet, wait for our final 50-state analysis?due out in December.