New Teachers Outdo Peers of Last Decade on Academic Scales
A new study concludes that teachers entering the profession today have higher academic qualifications than their counterparts a decade ago. Those who used alternative routes and those in traditional programs show equally strong gains over the earlier test-takers. The improvements held equally for men and women, for different racial and ethnic groups, and across those aiming for careers in elementary and secondary teaching, the report says. Less positively, though, the profiles of those seeking a license to teach in elementary school, special education, or physical education remained “markedly” lower, it says, than the profiles of those seeking to teach an academic subject in high school. And takers of the tests for middle school teaching—including experienced teachers seeking federal “highly qualified” status—“much more” strongly resembled elementary school teachers in their weaker academic qualifications.
Gitomer, D. (2007). Teacher quality in a changing policy landscape. Princeton, NJ: ETS.
Reports Renew Debate Over Alternative Preparation
Only half the teachers in high-needs schools trained via alternative routes said they were prepared for the first year of teaching, according to survey findings. Only half the teachers in high-needs schools trained via such routes said they were prepared for the first year of teaching, compared with 80 % of teachers prepared in traditional programs, according to survey findings in the report released last week.
In addition, 54 % of teachers prepared in alternative programs said they could have used more time working with a classroom teacher during the preservice period, and 16 % say they spent no time with a teacher before their first jobs.
Public Agenda and the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality. (2007). Lessons Learned: New Teachers Talk About Their Jobs, Challenges and Long-Range Plans. New York: Author.
Two organizations slammed a majority of the 49 programs surveyed as providing “woefully inadequate training and support” to their candidates.
Walsh, K., & Jacobs, S. (2007). Alternative certification isn't alternative. Washington, DC: National Council on Teacher Quality and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. (2007).