Passport to better teaching

Check out the Edspresso debate on alternative certification for teachers. Kevin Carey of Education Sector writes that certification is expensive and cumbersome and screens out potentially good teachers with little evidence that conventionally certified teachers are better in the classroom.

States could maintain certification processes but simply remove the legal prohibition against hiring teachers without those credentials. If schools of education provide the benefits they say they do, then schools hiring teachers will still require most new teachers to have that training, and most people wanting to be new teachers will seek out those credentials to enhance their prospects in the job market. But if the balance of other qualities makes a particular non-certified candidate the right person for the job, schools should be able to hire them.

One alternative program is the rigorous Passport to Teaching, developed by the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE). The goal is to “develop portable teacher credentials that would identify qualified beginning teachers and recognize accomplished veterans,” notes Mathematica. Passport teachers are rated by their principals as equally or more qualified than conventionally certified teachers, Mathematica researchers found. Most Passport teachers are working in Idaho.

About Joanne


  1. outback71 says:

    Newt Gingrich notes that many small towns have a pharmacist who has greater knowledge of Chemistry than the chemistry teacher in high school. The only thing preventing that pharmacist from going in 3-4 hours per week to teach is cumbersome certification processes and rigid union rules.


  2. Don’t forget the pay…

  3. That’s a valid point, but the pharmacist might volunteer his time if school policies didn’t make it difficult to do so. Only a few special people can find teaching enjoyable when it includes 30 hours per week in class, 30 hours work after class, and continually rubbing up against idiot administrators, but many would enjoy a few hours of teaching a subject they are particularly well-qualified in.