New Teachers Take Alternative Routes; One-Third Started in Other Jobs
Byline: George Archibald, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Nearly a third of newly certified schoolteachers who taught for the first time this year did not graduate from education colleges but were licensed through alternate routes that are gaining momentum in many states, according to a report issued yesterday by the National Center for Education Information.
About 35,000 new teachers this year are former professionals or military personnel, mostly older than 30, who made a midcareer change to go into the classroom, said the report by C. Emily Feistritzer, president and chief executive officer of the federally funded National Center for Alternative Certification.
About 80,000 first-year teachers were graduates of 600 accredited teacher colleges, but just 40 percent of all graduates were teaching a year later, according to the report titled "Profile of Alternate Route Teachers."
Alternate preparation and licensing of teachers has been implemented by 47 states and the District because of a nationwide teacher shortage and the need to recruit an estimated 2.2 million new teachers in the next decade as the current work force retires, Mrs. Feistritzer said yesterday.
Alternate licensing is helping solve shortages, said Michael Melo, who runs Virginia Troops to Teachers, an alternate teacher licensing program for troops leaving the military.
"Virginia needs 5,000 [new] teachers a year. The traditional route produces 2,000, so there's still a 3,000 deficit," Mr. Melo said.
Programs range in duration from two to four years. …