Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that is relevant to the immediate needs of new teachers.
Maine does not ensure that its alternate route candidates will receive streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
Maine does not require new teachers working under the Conditional Certificate or Targeted Need Certificate to complete an alternate route program.
A teacher must complete six hours of approved study in order to renew the Conditional or Targeted Need Certificates for an additional year. The state provides no specific guidelines about the nature of this coursework, nor is there a limit on the amount of coursework that can be required overall.
All new teachers are assigned a mentor.
Rule 05-071, chapter 115, Part I
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.
Provide an induction program to support alternate route teachers.
Maine should offer a highly structured, well-supervised induction program for all alternate route candidates. 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.
Maine disagreed with NCTQ's analysis that Maine does not specify the content of the required six courses, "which implies a candidate may take anything; that is not true." The state explained that each candidate is provided with a written evaluation of coursework that must be completed. "They must complete six credits from their remaining requirements of which they have already been informed through their valuation letter. This letter is updated each year they remain working under a conditional or targeted need certificate or a transitional endorsement."
While Maine does appear to review the transcripts and make determinations about coursework for individual candidates, there does not appear to be any formal policy specific to alternate route candidates that is the basis for these decisions. An approach that holds alternate route candidates to the same coursework requirements as would be expected of traditional candidates is not consistent with the purpose of alternative certification.