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.
Wisconsin does not ensure that its alternate route candidates will receive streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
Wisconsin provides no specific guidelines about the nature or quantity of coursework for either of its alternate routes. 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.
All new teachers receive a mentor.
Alternative Route candidates earn standard certification upon program completion.
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.
Ensure program completion in less than two years.
Wisconsin should consider the length of time for an alternate route teacher to earn standard certification. The route should allow candidates to earn full certification no later than the end of the second year of teaching.
Ensure that new teachers are supported in the first year of teaching.
Wisconsin should provide more detailed 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.
Wisconsin explained that the state superintendent sets requirements for the approval of teacher preparation programs and asserted that the Alternative Route to Licensure program requirements are spelled out in a program approval handbook. The state contended that this handbook "clearly show the need to have a standards and performance based instructional design and assessment system, and a clinical/residency component. During the residency a mentoring support system must be in place."
Further, Wisconsin stated that all districts are required to have an induction program for initial educators. The state pointed to guidance for school districts and "multiple examples of promising programs."
NCTQ was unable to locate the documents referenced in Wisconsin's response, and the state did not respond to requests for further clarification.