The state should ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that is relevant to the immediate needs of new teachers.
Idaho does not ensure that its alternate route candidates will receive streamlined preparation, although there is an effort to meet the needs of new teachers.
Idaho provides no specific guidelines about the nature or quantity of coursework for its alternate route. There is no limit on the amount of coursework that can be required overall, nor on the amount of coursework a candidate can be required to take while also teaching. The state charges the university/college to design a coursework plan that is based on a new teacher's knowledge, experience and disposition.
Prior to entering the classroom, candidates in the Post-Baccalaureate route and the Alternative Authorization-Content Specialist route are required to complete eight to sixteen weeks of accelerated study in pedagogy.
New teachers in all routes, including American Board Certification for Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) candidates, must participate in a mentoring program. Mentors are required to complete a minimum of one classroom observation a month until the new teacher is certified.
Upon successful completion of the program, which cannot exceed three years, Idaho provides candidates with a full professional certificate.
Idaho State Board of Education IDAPA 08, Title 02, Chapter 02
Establish coursework guidelines for alternate route preparation programs.
The state should articulate guidelines regarding the nature and amount of coursework required of candidates. Requirements should be manageable and 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.
Strengthen the induction experience for new teachers.
While Idaho is commended for requiring all new teachers to work with a mentor, there are insufficient guidelines indicating that the mentoring program is structured for new teacher success. Effective induction strategies include practice teaching prior to teaching in the classroom, intensive mentoring with full classroom support in the first few weeks or months of school, a reduced teaching load and release time to allow new teachers to observe experienced teachers during each school day.
Idaho recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis.