The state should ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that is relevant to the immediate needs of new teachers.
Kansas does not ensure that its alternate route candidates will receive streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
Kansas 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 does not require practice teaching; however, new regulations passed in June 2011 require each district to provide mentoring support for teachers in the Kansas Restricted License program.
Alternate route coursework must be completed in two years, at which time candidates are eligible for standard licensure.
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. The state should also ensure that the program can be completed within two years.
Ensure that new teachers are supported in the first year of teaching.
Kansas should also provide induction guidelines to ensure that new teachers will receive the support they need to facilitate their success in the classroom. Effective 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.
Kansas was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. The state also asserted that "alternate programs receive the same scrutiny through the accreditation process using the six NCATE standards."