Monday, November 17, 2008

Building a GREAT teaching work force

A new report on alternative teacher certification released in Education Next called "What Happens When States Have Genuine Alternative Certification?” is absolutely HUGE!! I could not love this report more if I tried. If state policy makers use this report, it will get them to fully understand the issues they create when they do not have alternative teacher certification.

First - it separates the real from the false. There are 47 states that claim to have alternative teacher certification programs but there are really on 21 states that can make this claim. The other 26 states that have the false programs require just as many college credits as regular university based teacher certification programs.

Newsflash #1 – if you have the fake programs, you only get about 5% of your teachers through alternative certification. If you have a real program, you increase the numbers of teachers applying and see 28% of your new teachers coming from your alternative certification program. From the report: “Hardly anyone bothers with an alternative certificate if the requirements are essentially the same as for the traditional one.”

Newsflash #2 – minority representation is much higher in states with real alternative certification than in states without it. Huh. Having artificial barriers to the classroom is keeping minorities out of teaching.

Newsflash #3 – I have to quote direct from the report: “In states that had genuine alternative certification, test-score gains on the NAEP exceeded those in the other states by 4.8 points and 7.6 points in 4th- and 8th-grade math, respectively. In reading, the additional gains in the states with genuine alternative certification were 10.6 points and 3.9 points for the two grade levels, respectively. Among African Americans, test-score gains were also larger in the states with genuine alternative certification.”

WAKE UP STATES!! If you have true alternative teacher certification, like ABCTE, you get more teachers to replace all those retirees, you get a truly diversified teaching workforce and you get higher student learning gains.

Call me……seriously call me……..we will get you on the road to alternative certification asap so you can realize the benefits of a great teaching workforce.

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