The state should ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that is relevant to the immediate needs of new teachers.
Maryland offers an alternate route with streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
Maryland Approved Alternative Preparation Program (MAAPP) candidates must complete a minimum of 90 hours of study that may consist of a combination of semester hours and clock hours and includes elementary reading processes and acquisition or secondary teaching reading in the content areas. The training must include a focus on the teaching and learning skills necessary for immediate success as a teacher of record, including classroom management, lesson planning, and state and local school system priorities.
Candidates complete a four-to-eight-week pre-service training program that includes a supervised internship. The state requires teachers to receive intensive coaching or mentoring throughout the two-year program.
Upon completion of the program, teachers are eligible for a Standard Professional Certificate.
Ensure that new teachers are not burdened by excessive requirements.
Alternate route programs should not be permitted to overburden the new teacher by requiring multiple courses to be taken simultaneously during the school year. Setting minimum requirements, without established maximums, does not ensure that the new teacher will be able to complete the program in an appropriate amount of time without being overburdened by coursework.
Maryland was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis. Further, the state noted that in addition to the 90 preservice instructional hours, the supervised internship is at least 128 hours. The state asserted that this streamlined approach balances both focused instruction and practicum hours. Therefore, candidates engage in at least 218 hours of preparation and clinical experience, which the state contended "assure[s] classroom success."
Maryland explained that both supervisors and mentors are trained to function in the context of the individual preparation programs. The state is working to design a framework for coaching and mentoring to be used by all alternate route programs by the fall 2012; the framework is currently being piloted.
In terms of outlining specific coursework requirements, the state asserted that the current documents outline outcomes showing that standards have been met, not coursework. "Performance-based training and assessment in most assessment systems, both traditional and alternative, have moved well away from suggesting certain courses and toward assessing outcomes. That accountability to meeting standards is part of the State Program Approval process, and is functional in current practice; however, that fact should be made clearer in public documents."