Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should require alternate route programs to exceed the admission requirements of traditional preparation programs while also being flexible to the needs of nontraditional candidates.
While Florida's alternate routes do not exceed the admission requirements for traditional preparation programs, they do accommodate the needs of nontraditional candidates.
Florida has three alternate route programs: the Florida Alternate Certification Program (FACP), Educator Preparation Institutes (EPI), and the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) alternate route program. The state requires that all alternate route candidates obtain a Temporary Certificate statement of eligibility for admission to any program.
Candidates applying for the Temporary Certificate must have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Applicants must have a major in, or closely related to, the intended teaching field. The state will accept a passing score on a subject-matter exam in lieu of this requirement. All candidates are required to pass a test of basic skills and a subject-matter test.
Florida Education Code 1012.56 http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/cert_types.asp
Increase academic requirements for admission.
While a minimum GPA requirement is a first step toward ensuring that candidates are of good academic standing, the current standard of 2.5 does not serve as a sufficient indicator of past academic performance. The standard should be higher than what is required of traditional teacher candidates, such as a GPA of 2.75 or higher. Some accommodation in this standard may be appropriate for career changers. Alternatively, the state could require one of the standardized tests of academic proficiency commonly used in higher education for graduate admissions, such as the GRE.
Eliminate basic skills test requirement.
The state's requirement that alternate route candidates pass a basic skills test is impractical and ineffectual. Basic skills tests measure minimum competency—essentially those skills that a person should have acquired in middle school—and are inappropriate for candidates who have already earned a bachelor's degree. Passage of a basic skills test provides no assurance that the candidate has the appropriate subject-matter knowledge needed for the classroom. The state should eliminate the basic skills test requirement or, at a minimum, accept the equivalent in SAT, ACT or GRE scores.
Florida recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.