Useful Guidance on Alt Cert

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In a show of support for alternative certification routes into teaching, the U.S. Department of Education has released ? Alternative Routes to Teacher Certification,? highlighting six programs in Florida, Texas, Georgia, New York City, California and Kansas found to be "innovative." It's a useful guide for districts that are looking to design a comprehensive program.

These programs were singled out for doing all sorts of things that sound right (high standards for selection, a good training curriculum, and lots of teacher support) but what's most important when it comes to gaining broader national acceptance of alt cert is unfortunately absent here. Quantitative measures such as program completion rates, principal satisfaction surveys and, most critically, retention rates are reported only sporadically. Absent hard data while relying on a research methodology that consisted mostly of selected interviews, it's difficult to distinguish which programs really do deliver on alt cert's promises.