Published Online: November 15, 2005

Report Roundup

Advice Offered on Designing Alternative-Certification Plans

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The very incentives that make “fast track” alternative-certification programs attractive to teaching candidates can get in the way of program quality, a group of Harvard University researchers has concluded in a study.

Since 2002, researchers from the university’s Project on the Next Generation of Teachers have been tracking an array of alternative-route programs for certifying teachers in four states—California, Connecticut, Louisiana, and Massachusetts. While the brief training and easy entrance requirements offered by the programs succeeded in bringing new candidates to the classroom, those routes into the profession rarely offered recruits “more than a running start,” according to the report.

Still, the researchers maintain that it’s possible to reconcile the twin demands for convenience and quality and they recommend ways that policymakers and program designers can do it.

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