Everyone’s Favorite Alternative Teacher Certification Program
From the debates about the American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE), you’d think that alternative teacher certification is a risky proposition. In fact, an alternative certification program has been in place for several years now — and it’s widely acknowledged as a success. That’s Teach for America, the organization that, through a short training camp and mentoring, trains recent grads to teach in public schools.
They train not-so-recent grads, too:
When it comes to her postretirement career, Karen Evans, 61, says her acquaintances are of two minds. […]
Grant Besser, a Teach for America recruiter, said approximately 15 percent of the 37 men and women training for the program this summer don’t fit the program’s typical path of college straight to classroom.
The article lauds Ms. Evans’ completion of the “rigorous” Teach for America application and five-week training camp. By all reports, Teach for America’s preparation is excellent — but it uses essentially the same methods as other alternative certification programs. It’s interesting that alternative training and mentoring is considered rigorous when you call it TFA, but risky when the acronym is ABCTE.