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Alternative Certification Programs Are Booming. But Candidates Aren’t Finishing

Michael Darmas, a Teach For America instructor, gives his student a high five in this 2011 photo taken at Holmes Elementary School in Miami.
J Pat Carter/AP

This article originally appeared in Ed Week

Alternative-certification programs have long been thought of as one solution to teacher shortages, but a new analysis shows that the number of candidates completing those programs has declined over the past decade, despite a boom in enrollments and new offerings.

The findings underscore the complex and changing nature of the teacher hiring pipeline: Alternative programs are typically cheaper and faster than traditional teacher-preparation programs based at colleges and universities. They are bringing in new and more diverse talent to the teaching workforce. But as the authors of the new report warn, their candidates don’t always finish, and quality control remains an issue.

The Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank, and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, which represents traditional teacher-preparation programs, partnered to conduct an analysis of alternative-certification programs that are based outside colleges and universities. The researchers analyzed nearly 10 years of federal data, from the 2010-11 to 2018-19 academic years.

Read the full article.


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