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 Georgia's alternate route does not exceed the admission requirements of traditional preparation programs, the state is flexible regarding the needs of nontraditional candidates.
Previously the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP) required candidates to have a minimum 2.5 GPA; however, the state no longer requires candidates to demonstrate prior academic performance, such as a minimum GPA, as an entrance standard for the alternate route program.
Candidates must show evidence of content knowledge through a major or content coursework. The state will accept a passing score on a subject-matter exam in lieu of this requirement.
Applicants to GaTAPP must pass a basic skills assessment. The state will accept a master's degree or equivalent scores on the SAT, ACT, and GRE in lieu of this requirement.
Georgia does not require all of its candidates to pass a subject-matter test. Only candidates applying to teach where a related content major is not available, such as Early Childhood or Special Education, are required to pass a content assessment.
Georgia Rule 505/2-.05 http://www.gapsc.com/EducatorPreparation/GaTapp/description/description_home.asp
Screen candidates for academic ability.
Georgia should require that candidates to its alternate routes provide some evidence of good academic performance. The standard should be higher than what is required of traditional teacher candidates, such as a GPA of 2.75 or higher. 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.
Require all applicants to pass a subject-matter test for admission.
While Georgia is commended for allowing candidates lacking sufficient subject-area coursework to demonstrate their knowledge on a test, the state should require all candidates, including those with a major in the subject, to pass a content-knowledge test. The concept behind alternate routes is that the nontraditional candidate is able to concentrate on acquiring professional knowledge and skills because he or she has strong subject-area knowledge. Teachers without sufficient subject-matter knowledge place students at risk.
Georgia reiterated that all of its candidates are not required to pass a subject-matter test. Only candidates applying to teach where a related content major is not available, such as Early Childhood or Special Education, are required to pass a content assessment.
While a major is generally indicative of a background in a particular subject area, only a subject-matter test ensures that candidates know the specific content they will need to teach.