Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that is relevant to the immediate needs of new teachers.
Alaska does not provide streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
Alaska Transition to Teaching (AKT2) candidates must complete a set of courses based on Charlotte Danielson's Essentials of Effective Teaching prior to teaching. While completing this coursework, candidates must also make ten 45-60-minute classroom observations. This preservice training occurs during the spring while candidates are not yet employed in a school.
AKT2 candidates also complete a field experience and cultural workshop during the summer. Throughout their first two years as teachers, candidates are paired with a mentor from the Alaska Statewide Mentor Project, which uses the New Teacher Center model.
Candidates can complete course requirements in two years and earn standard certification at that time.
Ensure that new teachers are not burdened by excessive requirements.
While requiring some preparation prior to entering the classroom is important, Alaska requires alternate route candidates to complete a considerable amount of coursework and fieldwork before they begin teaching, much of which is more typically associated with a traditional preparation program. All coursework requirements should be manageable for career changers and other nontraditional candidates and should contribute to the immediate needs of new teachers. Appropriate coursework should include grade-level or subject-level seminars, methodology in the content area, classroom management, assessment and scientifically based early reading instruction. Requiring candidates to complete considerable coursework and field placement prior to employment in a school, when they are likely to be employed in a non-education field, is unreasonable.
Alaska recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.