Solving Maryland’s Teacher Staffing Crisis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solving Maryland’s Teacher Staffing Crisis: A Comparative Analysis of Teacher Certification in Maryland and Other States

 

The Calvert Institute for Policy Research

8 West Hamilton Street

Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Christopher P. Ryan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Summary

Maryland’s public schools consistently suffer from shortages of qualified teachers, especially in science, math, technology, foreign language, special education, and English for Speakers of Other Languages. They also suffer from broad geographical teacher shortages and shortages of male and minority teachers. These shortages have been largely caused by Maryland’s particularly burdensome traditional teacher certification policies, which function as barriers and disincentives to entering the teaching profession. These ongoing shortages have been exacerbated by Maryland’s failure to embrace alternative certification pathways, which have played a key role in preventing teacher shortages all over the country.

While more research is needed to gain a complete picture of how Maryland’s traditional and alternative teacher certification requirements compare with requirements in all other states, initial evidence indicates that both traditional and alternative certification in Maryland is more burdensome than in other states, including states whose teaching professions rank higher than Maryland’s.

The educational and training requirements of traditional teacher certification are designed to enhance the quality of the teaching force.  However, as study after study has found, such involved requirements have failed to produce any observable effect on teacher performance.  In fact, many studies have reported that alternatively certified teachers outperform their traditionally certified counterparts.

There is a large and growing body of evidence that shows that alternatively certified teachers benefit school districts in a variety of ways. In addition to performing at least as well in the classroom, and sometimes better than traditionally certified teachers, alternatively certified teachers help increase the diversity of the teaching force by attracting higher percentages of men and racial minorities to the profession, diminish the use of emergency certification, expand the pool of individuals interested in becoming teachers, and help close the gap between the qualifications of teachers in high-income areas and those in low-income areas. Alternative certification in Maryland already has a track record of success in producing badly needed science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers, producing more than half as many new STEM teachers as the traditional programs produced candidates between 2010 and 2012, despite producing six times fewer teachers in all subjects over the same period.

Despite the overwhelming positive evidence about alternative certification, only 12% of Maryland’s new teacher hires over the last 2 years have been alternatively certified, well below the recent 5-year national average of 40% and in spite of Maryland’s critical teacher shortages. A total of 840 of those 902 alternatively certified teachers worked in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County, while Maryland’s remaining 22 jurisdictions hired a combined total of only 62 alternatively certified teachers over the last 2 years.

Alternative certification is often the subject of criticism. Yet a review of the criticisms that are commonly levied against alternative certification shows that they are often based on incomplete information. A more thorough examination of alternative certification largely negates its criticisms by reasonably accounting for alternative certification’s perceived shortcomings.

Without a policy change, Maryland’s public schools will continue to suffer from shortages of qualified teachers in critical subjects, geographical teacher shortages, and shortages of male and minority teachers. Yet Maryland can make substantial progress toward resolving their shortage of public school teachers and strengthening its teaching force by altering and curtailing the state-mandated certification requirements that currently serve as barriers to entering and remaining in the teaching profession. This will allow Maryland to attract greater numbers of candidates interested in teaching and get them into the classrooms more quickly, thereby helping address Maryland’s long-term teacher shortages. Also, Maryland should emulate other states that have had positive results in teacher performance, staffing and diversity by more actively employing alternative certification.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acknowledgements

The Calvert Institute would like to thank the Abell Foundation for their generous support of this project, and Joy Holderness for her essential editorial assistance.

Introduction

In September 1997, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) reported a disturbing trend in Maryland’s public schools—shortages of qualified teachers in crucial subjects. Just as it had the year before, MSDE identified science, computer science, special education, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) as “critical shortage areas.” 1997 marked computer science’s 4th consecutive year as a critical shortage area, general science’s 6th consecutive year as a critical shortage area, and physical science’s 6th consecutive year as a critical shortage area. The 1997 report also added a new critical shortage area—mathematics teachers.1

Over the last 15+ years, these crucial subject teacher shortages have been ongoing. These shortages have been further aggravated by widespread geographic, male and minority teacher shortages.

Teacher Shortages in Maryland’s Public Schools, 1997-2012

? Denotes an area of shortage

2012

2010

2008

2006

2004

2003

2001

2000

1997

Career and Tech.

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

 

Comp. Science

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

Science

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

Math

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

Special Ed.

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

ESOL

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

Foreign Lang.

?

?

?

?

?

 

 

 

% of MD Districts w/ Shortages

83.3%

79.2%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

0%

Male

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

 

Minority

?

?

?

?

?

?

?

 

 

 

Sources: Maryland Teacher Staffing Reports2

As indicated above, the available MSDE Teacher Staffing reports from 1997 to 2012 have all reported shortages of Computer Science, Science, Math and Special Education teachers. Shortages have also been reported in Career and Technology teachers in seven of the nine reports, shortages of ESOL teachers in eight of the nine, and shortages of foreign language teachers in five of the nine. The most recent seven reports also note shortages of male and minority teachers. The most recent eight reports list shortages in at least 19 of Maryland’s 24 school districts, and six of the eight report shortages in every single Maryland school district. Maryland’s public school teaching shortage continues currently. In September 2012, MSDE reported shortages of career and technology teachers as well as teachers of science, computer science, math, special education, foreign language and ESOL. MSDE also reported a general shortage of teachers in 20 of Maryland’s 24 public school systems and shortages of men and minority teachers throughout Maryland.3

Clearly, Maryland’s teacher staffing policies have grossly failed to meet the needs of Maryland’s public school children for well over a decade. Without changes to these policies, Maryland will continue to operate understaffed public schools, continue to fail to meet the needs of our children and, ultimately, fail to meet the future needs of our State.

Maryland Teacher Certification Background and Status Quo

Though a teacher shortage in any content or geographical area is a serious problem, Maryland’s consistent shortage of qualified teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is particularly disturbing, considering that knowledge of science and technology continues to be an increasingly important part of being competitive in the world economy and active in society. Indeed, Governor O’Malley’s 2009 STEM Task Force plainly stated that to prepare Maryland’s children “to excel and compete not only on a global scale, but also as full participants in our society, in our civic culture, and as participants in the growth of our economy,” Maryland needs to “[rethink] how to recruit and retain the most highly qualified, broadly educated teachers into Maryland public schools.”4

There is already strong evidence that American students are lagging behind the rest of the world in their performance in science, math and technology.5 While it is impossible to determine exactly how much of this shortfall results from the teacher shortage, a lack of teachers in STEM subjects is clearly playing a critical role in America’s students’ ongoing difficulties in STEM education.

Without a change in policy, there is no reason to expect improvement. In 2009, the National Association of Alternative Certification projected a “shortfall of 280,000 qualified math and science teachers by 2015.”6 Governor O’Malley’s STEM Task Force reported in 2009 that nationally, “The size and composition of the school-aged population are expected to increase by 10% in the next two decades. All of these students will be required to take more—and more advanced—mathematics and science, compounding the existing teacher shortage problem. Trend data indicate that the percentage of high school mathematics and science teachers age 50 and older is steadily increasing, leading to high retirement rates. Urban and rural schools, often the location of the traditionally underserved, are finding it especially difficult to recruit and retain highly qualified mathematics and science teachers. School districts that are importing mathematics and science teacher from overseas find their off-shore supply threatened by the instability in the number of available visas and by an international shortage of mathematics and science teachers.”7Of the 7285 new hires in Maryland’s public schools between 2010 and 2012, 4220 were from outside of Maryland, demonstrating that all of Maryland’s certification routes together are not producing sufficient teachers to staff its public schools.8

Like most other states, one way that Maryland has sought to fill its teacher shortage, especially in the STEM subjects, has been through alternative teacher certification. Rather than obtaining the Standard Professional Certificate as graduates of university-based traditional teacher certification programs, alternatively certified teachers receive a Resident Teacher Certificate, and have fewer education requirements to complete before beginning their teaching careers. The 2012-2014 Maryland Teacher Staffing Report describes Maryland’s alternative certification status quo as follows: “The Maryland Approved Alternative Preparation Programs (MAAPP) are designed to attract and recruit into teaching liberal arts graduates and career changers who possess academic content backgrounds in the arts and sciences, but did not complete teacher preparation programs.”9 The idea is to bring in content experts, not pedagogical experts.

Both the United States as a whole and various states have managed to avoid acute teacher shortages by embracing alternative certification. The National Center for Alternative Certification notes, “New Jersey reports that about 40 percent of its new hires come through alternate routes. For Texas and California, about one-third of their states’ new hires come through alternate routes. Additional states where alternative routes to teacher certification are growing rapidly in producing more and more of the state’s new teachers are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.”10 These states have clearly managed to avoid more severe teacher shortages by embracing alternative certification. Nationally, the National Center for Education Information reported that as of 2011, 16% of the teaching profession had entered the field through alternative certification, including 40% of new hires between 2005 and 2010.11 The National Center for Education Statistics reports that in 2008 18.3% of public high school teachers had originally entered the profession through alternative certification, including 51.5% of health sciences teachers, 43% of construction, architecture, and engineering teachers, and 37.9% of computer and information sciences teachers.12

Despite long-term teaching shortages, especially in STEM subjects, Maryland’s use of alternatively certified teachers has been sparse and inconsistent, falling well short of states like New Jersey, Texas and California. Maryland’s 24 school districts hired a combined 504 alternatively certified teachers in 2010-2011 and an additional 398 in 2011-2012, for a total of 902 in the last two years. Over that same period, Maryland’s public school systems hired 7285 teachers. Thus only about 12% of Maryland’s new hires over the last 2 years have been alternatively certified, well below the reported national 5-year average of 40% and despite Maryland’s critical teacher shortages. Notably, 201 of these alternatively certified teachers hired in Maryland between 2010 and 2012 were hired to teach science, technology, engineering or math, though they taught in just 5 of Maryland’s 24 public school systems.13

Maryland’s leaders are justifiably proud of the fact that Maryland’s public schools have been ranked first in the country for a 5th straight year by Education Week magazine.14 Yet Education Week also determined that Maryland’s teaching profession earned only a low B, leaving substantial room for improvement.15 A different assessment, conducted in 2011 by the National Council on Teacher Quality, gave Maryland’s teacher policies a grade of D+.16 There is little doubt that the State government must continue working to improve Maryland’s teacher policies and profession.

Maryland’s existing traditional certification regulations require prospective teachers to make a much greater commitment than most other states, particularly regarding the amount and specificity of the coursework, the length of the student teaching period, and long-term continuing education requirements. Traditionally certified teachers in Maryland are required to hold a bachelor’s degree as a result of completing a university-based teacher training program. By law this program must include 27 credit hours of education coursework, and include 6-12 credits of coursework in reading instruction regardless of the subject to be taught. Prospective teachers must also complete a 100-day student teaching stint spread over two semesters. These stringent certification requirements preclude about 90% of the Maryland’s college graduates from entering the State’s teaching force.17 These requirements have remained unchanged despite the fact that the State fails to produce enough teaching candidates to help alleviate the teacher shortage crisis.18 Though suffering ongoing teacher shortages, these traditional certification requirements have remained mostly stagnant for years.

The educational and training requirements of traditional teacher certification in Maryland are designed to ensure that Maryland’s public schools are fully staffed, and to enhance the quality of the teaching force.  Even a cursory assessment of Maryland’s public school teacher profession reveals that the State has failed on both counts.

Maryland’s long-term teacher shortages prove that current policies are not yielding as many teachers as Maryland needs. Maryland’s traditional certification requirements are onerous compared to other states, deterring candidates from entering the teaching profession. Exacerbating this problem is the fact that alternative certification is nonexistent in most of Maryland and underutilized where it is used. As a result, Maryland is failing to tap a reserve of thousands of teaching candidates that have proved vitally important in states like New Jersey, Texas and California.

A large and growing body of evidence indicates that alternative certification offers a solution to teacher shortages by curtailing or removing the onerous traditional certification requirements that prohibit candidates from entering the teaching profession. The National Academy of Education has noted that “streamlining the process of becoming a teacher can increase the applicant pool, especially in such hard-to-staff areas as special education, science, and mathematics.”19 The MSDE’s most recent Teacher Staffing Report provides perhaps the strongest evidence that alternative certification increases applicant pools, especially for STEM subjects: between 2010 and 2012 Maryland’s alternative teacher certification programs produced more than half as many new STEM teachers as traditional programs produced candidates – this despite producing more than 6 times fewer teachers in all subjects (902 vs. 5957).20 As a state with long-term shortages of teachers of technology, math, science, foreign language, and special education, Maryland should embrace that which increases the applicant pool to allow us to better meet our children’s educational needs.

Maryland’s traditional certification requirements are also failing to enhance the quality of the teaching force. Expanding the teacher applicant pool through alternative certification is only worthwhile if alternatively certified teachers perform at least as well in the classroom as traditionally certified teachers. Fortunately, comparing the performance of traditionally certified teachers with the performance of alternately certified teachers allows an easy assessment of the value of traditional certification requirements. Georgia State University Economics Professor Tim R. Sass recently observed, “If teacher licensure serves to promote quality by requiring coursework that makes teachers more effective, then alternatively certified teachers, who are not required to take as many education courses as traditionally prepared teachers, should be less productive.”21 If the extra work that traditional certification requires does not lead to better student outcomes, then there is no reason to continue requiring traditionally certified teachers to complete such rigorous requirements.

As this report will detail, repeated recent studies from governments and academics all over the country have shown no statistically significant difference in student performance between students of alternatively certified teachers and students of traditionally certified teachers. In fact, some alternative certification programs, including Teach for America, which is already active in Maryland and looking to expand further in the state, have repeatedly produced teachers that perform better than their traditionally certified counterparts. A preponderance of research data explains that the use of alternative certification does not harm the overall quality of the teaching force. Maryland’s teacher certification policies thus fail to accomplish the two main objectives of teacher certification policies: ensuring that schools are properly staffed, and enhancing the quality of the teaching force.

Without a policy change, Maryland’s public schools will continue to suffer from shortages of qualified teachers in critical subjects, geographical teacher shortages, and shortages of male and minority teachers. Yet Maryland can make substantial progress toward resolving their shortage of public school teachers by altering and curtailing the state-mandated certification requirements that currently serve as barriers to entering and remaining in the teaching profession. Maryland should emulate other states that have had positive results in teacher performance, staffing and diversity by more actively employing alternative certification pathways, and curtail existing barriers to entering the teaching profession by implementing less onerous traditional certification requirements.

Difficulties Inherent to Discussions of Traditional and Alternative Certification

Analyses of various paths to teacher certification are fraught with difficulties for several reasons. First, the line between traditional and alternative certification is often blurry.22 A 2009 report prepared for the US Department of Education explored the details of randomly selected traditional and alternative certification programs for elementary school teachers and observed that required instruction time in alternative certification programs ranged from 75 hours to 795 hours, while the included traditional certification programs required between 240 and 1380 hours of instruction.23 There is, therefore, some overlap in the amounts of required instruction time between the two groups. However, while some alternatively certified teachers receive more instruction than some traditionally certified teachers, in general traditionally certified teachers receive substantially more instruction than alternatively certified teachers.

Second, the great variation in alternative certification programs makes it difficult to discuss alternative certification programs as a group. Some programs, like Teach for America, aim for elite students while others accept almost anyone with a Bachelor’s degree. Still others seek to increase the demographic diversity of teachers.24 One recent analysis of alternative certification programs explains that different people can have very different experiences within the same certification pathway, that there is substantial overlap in preparation experiences between pathways, and that the differences themselves can vary between grade-level and subject matter preparation.25 Moreover, there is a great variety in the required amount and content of training in various alternative certification programs. A 2009 report prepared for the US Department of Education explored the details of randomly selected traditional and alternative certification programs for elementary school teachers, and observed, “Teachers in high-coursework programs were required to take, on average, 150 hours of instruction before they became teachers of record, an additional 150 hours during their first year of teaching, and 131 more hours after their first year. In contrast, low-coursework AC teachers were required to take an average of 115 hours of instruction before they became teachers of record, an additional 63 hours during their first year of teaching, and 1 more hour after their first year.”26 Alternative certification programs can therefore differ substantially.

A third difficulty is that gauging teacher performance is a complex and imperfect exercise. The value of classroom evaluation, a traditional method of assessing teaching performance, has been largely discredited by the notable 2009 research finding that 98% of teachers from 14 large American school districts were rated as “satisfactory,” leaving little room for subtle observations or constructive criticism about how performance differs between teachers.27 Test results are also a flawed metric, since content from one grade level to the next is not always comparable and because tests do nothing to limit results to only things teachers can affect. Indeed, teachers have little control over students’ personal development, and no control over students’ home lives. Though student testing is a limited method of assessing teacher performance, it remains the best available method.28

Though discussions of traditional and alternative certification are beset by difficulties, there is nonetheless great value in analyzing the effect of teacher certification policies on the teaching force and student outcomes.

Overview and Criticism of the Traditional Model of Teacher Certification

 

Candidates who are interested in pursuing traditional certification in Maryland must first complete a number of requirements in accordance with State laws and regulations. To attain traditional certification as an elementary or secondary school teacher in Maryland, candidates are required to complete a Bachelor’s degree that includes 27 credit hours of education courses, including 12 hours of coursework in reading instruction for elementary school teachers and 6 hours for secondary school teachers. State law also requires candidates to complete a 100-day teaching internship over two semesters, regardless of whether candidates are pursuing certification in an undergraduate or graduate program.29 Applicants must also achieve acceptable standardized test scores.30 Once gaining the initial certification, candidates are then required to complete 6 semester hours of continuing education credit within 5 years, ultimately leading to the required completion of a Master’s degree within 10 years.31

Though Education Week continues to laud Maryland’s public schools, there remains much to criticize about Maryland’s use of the traditional model of teacher certification and about traditional certification in general. Taking note of Maryland’s consistent, long-term teacher shortages in areas like math, computer science, science, special education and foreign language, The Maryland Teacher Shortage Task Force identified a number of traditional certification’s shortcomings in its 2008 report, observing, “Attracting undergraduates majoring in high-demand content areas and attracting career-changers, especially in high-demand areas, are part of building a quality teacher corps. But career-changers need routes to the classroom that cost relatively little in terms of money or time, and graduates in high-demand fields typically have appealing and varied career options, with higher salaries, outside education. Consequently, recruiting well requires skillful marketing but also program flexibility, multiple options, and incentives.[sic]“32 The Task Force went on to suggest that MSDE explore the idea of easing student teaching requirements, and to assess how community colleges might get more involved in developing teaching candidates.33 The Task Force also recommended a general reassessment of Maryland’s teacher education policies, specifically including a review of “the cost and productivity of different pathways to certification and their relative effectiveness, especially how they impact the quality and supply of teachers.”34 A different State task force, reporting in 2009 about STEM in Maryland, stated that to attract enough teachers to solve Maryland’s STEM teacher shortage, “Maryland must … expand access to Maryland’s alternative preparation programs for STEM career-changers and retirees…[and] create new programs for undergraduates to attract Maryland’s STEM college students into STEM teaching.”35 Thus two different State task forces have broached broad changes to Maryland’s traditional certification status quo and acknowledged that alternative certification could help solve the long-term staffing problems the State has had in problem areas.

A comparison of programs at Maryland’s two largest providers of traditionally certified teachers with average program requirements from several other states throughout the country demonstrates that traditional certification in Maryland often requires the completion of far more onerous requirements than traditional certification does elsewhere. A 2009 report prepared for the US Department of Education explored the details of randomly selected traditional and alternative certification programs for elementary school teachers and observed that required instruction time in traditional certification programs required between 240 and 1380 hours of instruction, averaging 642 hours of instruction with a median of 644.5 hours.36 Yet Towson University’s Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education requires students to complete 71 credits of education coursework, for a total of 1065 hours of instruction.37 Similarly, a degree in Elementary Education from Towson University requires 73-74 credits of coursework, for a total of 1095-1110 hours of instruction.38 The University of Maryland’s Bachelor’s degree program in Early Childhood Education likewise requires students to complete 67 credits of education coursework, for a total of 1005 hours of instruction.39 Similarly, a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland requires between 61 and 79 credits of coursework, for a total of between 915 and 1185 hours of instruction.40 Traditional certification for elementary school teachers in Maryland thus routinely requires students to complete hundreds of hours of instruction more than students seeking the same certification in other states.

Another criticism of traditional certification is that traditional certification programs put little effort into recruiting top-tier intellectual talents and insufficiently monitor the caliber of candidates that they admit into their programs. A 2008 article written by two Stanford University faculty members notes that university programs, while focusing on developing teaching skills, have put very little effort into its recruiting and selection processes.41 Conversely, some alternative certification programs that focus heavily on recruitment and selection of quality candidates, including Teach for America (TFA) and the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE), have consistently produced teachers that perform better than traditionally certified teachers.

A small but growing body of recent evidence indicates that candidates with higher intellectual and academic qualifications are more likely to perform well in the classroom than candidates with less impressive intellectual and academic records. A 2011 report written by a Georgia State University Economics Professor Tim R. Sass compared traditional and alternative certification programs in Florida, and observed, “It appears that the low entry requirements [a less onerous workload, as explained below] of [TFA and ABCTE] attract individuals with greater intellectual ability and (at least for math) this trumps any human capital enhancement that may accrue from coursework in education.”42 Another report, written by several Stanford University faculty members, explores the recruitment of math teachers in New York City and concurs with Sass’s conclusion, stating that “programs can influence their outcomes through both the recruitment and selection of promising candidates and strong preparation…TFA has invested heavily in the recruitment and selection of its Corps members and our findings suggest this effort accounts for a substantial portion of the achievement differences between TFA and…College Recommended teachers.”43

There are also good reasons to criticize traditional certification programs’ emphasis on courses on pedagogy. Indeed, since one of the primary general differences between traditional and alternative certification is that alternative certification tends to have less pedagogical coursework, the fact that numerous studies have found no difference between the performance of traditionally and alternatively certified teachers (discussed in detail below) demonstrates the limited overall value of pedagogical coursework on teacher performance. Moreover, a 2009 report written by scholars from Stanford University, The State University of New York, and the University of Virginia notes that their research “results do not support the hypothesis that greater opportunities to learn how students learn influence student achievement among 1st-year or 2nd-year teachers.”44 Traditional certification, both in general and specifically in Maryland, thus suffers from a variety of shortcomings.

The State of Alternative Teacher Certification in Maryland

A 2007 report from the National Council on Teacher Quality expertly explains the theory behind alternative certification, emphasizing that alternative certification aims to streamline a process of allowing talented subject matter experts to teach without imposing tedious requirements on them.45 A recent report written by two professors at the University of Nebraska at Kearney described alternatively certified teachers as a group, noting, “Alternatively certified teachers possess bachelor’s degrees specific to their subject areas of expertise before entering an alternative certification program. Many have amassed several years of employment and thus have real-world experience in careers utilizing their expertise. Nationally, nearly forty percent of alternative teacher certification candidates have a master’s degree or higher, and most are recruited for areas where demand for teachers is the greatest—large cities and now rural areas—and in subject areas in greatest demand, including mathematics, science, and special education.”46 In recent years, alternative teacher certification has become increasingly popular throughout the United States. Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia offer at least one alternative certification pathway.47

In Maryland, a special Resident Teacher Certificate (RTC) is available specifically for alternatively certified teachers. In its most recent Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, the Maryland Department of Education explained that “the Resident Teacher Certificate is designed to attract and recruit into teaching, liberal arts graduates and career changers who possess academic content backgrounds in the arts and sciences, but who did not complete teacher preparation programs.[sic]“48 The Resident Teacher Certificate is valid for 2 years, is non-renewable, and aims to bring in content experts, not pedagogical experts.49

Though the RTC represents a decent first step toward a thoughtful, effective alternative certification policy, alternative certification in Maryland remains flawed in three major ways. First, instead of providing an open path for any aspiring student or career changer to become alternatively certified, Maryland limits alternative certification to programs sponsored by particular school districts. Rather than acquiring a certification that can be used to teach in schools throughout Maryland, teachers involved in alternative certification programs are only eligible for teaching positions in the school system with which their program is partnered. For example, one who pursued alternative certification through the State-approved program with the Urban Teacher Center would be able to teach in Baltimore City but not in any of Maryland’s other 23 school districts.50 A second problem is that Maryland currently does not have any approved online alternative certification programs.51 This could easily be remedied at no cost to the State by approving ABCTE, as discussed in more detail below.

A third major problem is that most of Maryland’s public school systems have completely ignored alternative certification. From 2010-2012, teacher shortages existed in 19 of Maryland’s 24 school districts.52 Despite being understaffed, 15 of these 19 counties did not hire a single alternatively certified teacher, and 14 of these 15 did not even have an alternative certification program.53 Howard County had an alternative certification program but did not hire a single person from it from 2010-2012, despite being understaffed.54

Most of the Maryland school systems that do recognize alternative certification have underutilized it. Only Baltimore City and Prince George’s County have taken serious steps toward hiring alternatively certified teachers. The most recent Maryland Teacher Staffing Report shows that Maryland school systems hired 504 alternatively certified teachers in 2010-2011 and an additional 398 in 2011-2012, for a total of 902 over that 2 year period. The report notes that Maryland public school systems hired a total of 7285 teachers over that same period. Therefore only 12% of Maryland’s new hires over the last 2 years have been alternatively certified, well below the previous 5-year’s national average of 40% and despite Maryland’s critical teacher shortages. A total of 840 of those 902 teachers worked in Baltimore City or Prince George’s County, while Maryland’s remaining 22 jurisdictions hired a combined total of only 62 alternatively certified teachers over the last 2 years.55 Since those 22 jurisdictions hired a total of 5187 teachers over that period, only 1.2% of their new hires were alternatively certified despite their need for teachers.56

Despite the flaws in Maryland’s current alternative certification policies, alternative certification in Maryland has demonstrated that it can attract teachers for STEM subjects far more effectively than traditional certification. MSDE’s most recent Teacher Staffing Report shows that 273 of the 902 alternatively certified teachers hired in Maryland between 2010 and 2012 received certification in science, math, or special education; of these 273, 201 were hired to teach science, technology, engineering, or math. By way of comparison, Maryland’s traditional university-based certification programs produced an estimated 394 candidates to teach math, science, and career/technology/computer science over the same period.57 The actual number of teaching positions that these candidates filled are likely less than 394, unless every single one of them applied for a public school teaching position in Maryland, every single one was offered a job, and every single one accepted that job. In any case, Maryland’s alternative teacher certification programs between 2010 and 2012 produced more than half as many new STEM teachers as the traditional programs produced candidates, despite producing more than 6 times fewer teachers in all subjects over the same period.

Alternative Teacher Certification: A Review of the Evidence

Though research findings are mixed, and research linking teacher certification with student achievement is a relatively new and developing field, an assessment of the research data that exists demonstrates that various alternative certification programs from around the country have successfully filled teaching vacancies by training teachers who perform at least as well as their traditionally certified counterparts.58

Teach for America (TFA)

Teach for America (TFA) is perhaps the best known and most successful alternative certification program in the country. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia have approved TFA alternative certification, including Maryland, which currently employs TFA teachers in just 3 of its 24 school systems: Prince George’s County, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City.59 Since being founded in 1990, TFA has sought to combat “educational inequality,” aiming to close the achievement gap between children from high-income areas and children from low-income areas.60 TFA itself describes its mission as “provid[ing] an excellent education for kids in low-income communities” who “face the extra challenges of poverty” to “achieve at the highest levels.”61 TFA’s leadership believes “that with extra support and high expectations, disadvantaged children can excel academically and gain the kind of education that will give them access to a full range of professional and life options.” TFA teachers thus teach in poor performing schools in low-income areas.62

TFA places considerable emphasis on attracting diverse, top-tier intellectual talent from top universities, and particularly seeks applicants who have leadership skills, a track record of achievement, are adaptable, have good organizational skills, and have a solid work ethic. In 2011, TFA reported that about 48,000 people applied for about 5100 places in the program, including large numbers of applicants from many of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. A total of 18% of Harvard University’s graduating seniors applied to TFA, along with 16% of Duke University’s seniors, 9% of the University of Virginia’s seniors, and 8% of the University of Michigan’s seniors.63 TFA can thus be highly selective about who they admit to the program. TFA’s 2011 corps had an incoming GPA of 3.6, and represented about 700 colleges and universities.64 New TFA teachers are required to make a 2-year commitment to the program.

TFA’s teacher training requirements are quite modest. During the summer before starting to teach, new teachers are required to attend a 1-week induction, 5 weeks of teacher training, and a regional orientation.65 In most locations where TFA teachers work, candidates continue completing training coursework throughout their 2-year commitment.66 The teacher education coursework and student teaching that TFA requires before candidates enter the classroom is therefore just a fraction of the coursework and student teaching that traditional certification programs require. Yet there is a large and growing body of evidence that TFA teachers have performed just as well, and in many places better, than other more traditionally certified teachers, substantially weakening the argument that relatively onerous teacher certification laws are key to producing good teachers.

* A 2009 study of grades 4-9 conducted by two Louisiana State University professors and published on the National Council on Teacher Quality’s (NCTQ) website states, “Results are strikingly consistent across content areas. In all areas except for social studies, TFA corps members were statistically significantly more effective than other new teachers. The magnitude and direction of the result in social studies is consistent with the other content areas, but due to greater variability within the social studies domain and a smaller number of observations, the result was not statistically significant…Overall, the data suggest that TFA corps members may be more comparable to experienced certified teachers than new teachers in their effectiveness.”67 Though lauding the performance of TFA’s teachers, the study also noted “that few of them persist in teaching in Louisiana beyond three years.”68

* A 2009 study by the Urban Institute, CALDER, Stanford University, and Duke University explored the effect of TFA teachers on North Carolina high school students, ultimately determining “that secondary school TFA teachers are more effective than the teachers who would otherwise be in the classroom in their stead… Disadvantaged secondary students would be better off with TFA teachers, especially in math and science, than with fully licensed in-field teachers with three or more years of experience.”69 The authors ultimately estimated that TFA teachers are more effective than traditionally prepared teachers by a degree that is equal to about twice the difference in effectiveness between average first and second-year teachers.70

* The Stand for Children Leadership Center, a non-profit, non-partisan children’s advocacy group, reported similar findings in a 2012 white paper, written by the Director of the Center for Education Data & Research at the University of Washington, Bothell.71 The white paper notes that a review of the research evidence about TFA teachers’ impact on student outcomes “shows pretty consistent evidence that TFA teachers… are, on average, as good as or more effective than other teachers in the same schools.”72

* In 2010, the University of North Carolina published a report comparing the performance of teachers with five or fewer years of experience in North Carolina’s public schools based on the certification “portal” that the teachers completed. Researchers found that “the portal that most consistently outperformed UNC undergraduate prepared teachers was Teach For America… Teach For America corps members outperformed UNC undergraduate prepared teachers in five of nine comparisons and perform no differently in the other four comparisons. Their positive effects were concentrated in high school and middle school subjects. Their positive effects on middle school mathematics…translates into an advantage equivalent to approximately half a year of learning.” Despite TFA teachers’ clear excellence, TFA teachers only made up .3% of NC teachers at the time of the study.73

* Another recent report, written by a group of scholars from Stanford University, the State University of New York, and the University of Virginia, details how TFA teachers have been more effective than regularly certified and other alternatively certified math teachers in New York City. The researchers wrote, “The analysis in this paper suggests that on average TFA teachers produce student achievement gains in middle school mathematics that exceed those of teachers from other pathways with comparable experience.”74 Despite the clear advantage of TFA teachers, the authors also acknowledged that “this advantage is largely eliminated once the much higher attrition of TFA teachers is taken into account.”75

* The Tennessee State Board of Education’s 2010 Teacher Training Report Card revealed that TFA teachers were the most effective new teachers in the state, except for Vanderbilt-educated Math teachers. TFA teachers performed better than even veteran teachers in teaching reading. Researchers based their findings on student test scores.76

* A May 2010 article written by two Stanford University scholars notes that “the accumulated evidence on Teach for America, which is the most studied of all alternative routes, indicates that achievement results for corps members’ students either mirror or exceed the results of students whose teachers entered from university-based programs.”77

* Though assessing test scores is widely regarded as one of the best ways of measuring teacher performance, other measurements of student outcomes can also be useful in assessing teaching performance, including percentages of students who are held back a grade, attend summer school, or are involved in disciplinary incidents or school-reported absenteeism. Though there are only very limited studies that use these measures, a 2008 report written by scholars from Stanford University and the University of California at Riverside explains that the existing information shows no difference between TFA and non-TFA teachers in any of these respects.78

Perhaps the best evidence of TFA’s track record of excellence is the $50 million grant that TFA earned from the US Department of Education (DOE) in 2010 as a part of the DOE’s “Investing in Innovation” grant competition. To receive a grant, the DOE judged applicant programs on a detailed 105 point scoring rubric. Of a total of $650 million that the program distributed, the $50 million that TFA received tied for the biggest single grant that the program distributed. The New York Times (NYT) reported that the DOE invested in TFA as heavily as it did because the DOE “viewed [TFA] as having been proved successful.[sic]“79

Despite facing opposition from various teachers’ unions around the country, TFA has continued to expand and flourish, producing consistently excellent results in the classroom when measured by student outcomes.80 A recent op-ed in The New York Times went so far as to call TFA a “godsend to low-income communities.”81 TFA is currently looking to expand their presence in Maryland, with a goal of attracting 1000 teachers over 4 years in Baltimore alone.82 Yet, since TFA teachers in Maryland are awarded only a two-year certification that requires a bevy of additional coursework to renew, Maryland’s certification policies function as disincentives to keeping TFA teachers in the classroom long-term. Maryland law should help remove these disincentives so that we can attract more of these talented, capable people to continue teaching after their 2-year commitment ends.

American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE)

The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence is another widely used, well-known alternative certification program. ABCTE is, according to a 2007 report prepared by the National Council on Teacher Quality and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, the closest program that remains to alternative certification as it was originally designed. The report notes, “In 1983, New Jersey created the first alternate route to the classroom. It expedited the entry of well-educated individuals into public schools by hiring them as teachers straight-away, reducing or eliminating ‘theory’ courses from their training, and using experienced teachers to mentor them during their first year or two on the job. At the end, the candidate either was awarded a full certificate or sought employment elsewhere.”83

ABCTE aims to “[address] the need for knowledgeable and dedicated teachers in every classroom” by “offer[ing] a flexible and cost-effective certification program designed for career changers.” Their stated mission reads, “The American Board recruits, prepares, certifies and supports dedicated professionals to improve student achievement through quality teaching.” The ABCTE reports that their program boasts an 85% 3-year retention rate, as opposed to a 67% average 3 year retention rate nationwide. A total of 32% of their candidates are pursuing certification in math or science.84

ABCTE certification requires participants simply to pass exams in professional teaching knowledge and content knowledge.85 ABCTE’s certification process makes only modest demands on prospective teachers’ time and money, thereby circumventing some of the burdensome requirements that can dissuade interested candidates from pursuing teacher certification. In general, ABCTE costs about $2000, and test prep takes up 6-8 hours per week for about 11 months.86

Though there is much less data exploring how ABCTE teachers’ performance compares to traditionally certified teachers, there is evidence that ABCTE teachers perform at least as well as traditionally certified teachers, and sometimes better. In a 2011 report, Georgia State University Economics Professor Tim R. Sass assessed the differences between the performances of traditionally and alternatively certified teachers in Florida, observing, “Most stark are the differences in the performance of ABCTE teachers relative to traditionally prepared teachers in math. Across a variety of model specifications and test metrics ABCTE teachers outperform their traditionally prepared colleagues by a wide margin – six to eleven percent of a standard deviation. Like previous findings for TFA teachers, the performance of ABCTE teachers is generally equivalent to that of preparation program graduates in promoting achievement in reading.”87

The excellence of ABCTE’s teachers compared to traditionally certified teachers in Florida’s schools is further evidence that the relatively heavy requirements that characterize traditional certification are an ineffective means of enhancing the teaching profession’s performance. Of the ten states that accept ABCTE’s certification, most impose modest additional requirements on candidates prior to allowing them to assimilate into their teaching profession fully.88 Yet Florida imposes no additional requirements–participants are issued a 3 year, non-renewable temporary certificate simply for possessing a Bachelor’s degree and a certificate verifying their completion of ABCTE’s training. Participants can then attain a renewable, 5-year Florida Professional Certificate simply by demonstrating “competence in the classroom.”89 Another state that accepts ABCTE’s certification is nearby Pennsylvania, which has approved a procedure that partners ABCTE’s coursework with modest additional requirements that the candidate completes after beginning work.90 The requirements include four mentorship meetings, mentorship assignments and workshops, a few thousand dollars of expenses, and the completion of two graduate courses, which can be taken online. Participants complete the program within one year and receive a full Level I Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate, which is valid for six years.91

South Carolina, which boasts a teaching force that was named first in the country in Education Week’s most recent state-by-state rankings, accepts ABCTE certification with even fewer additional requirements than Pennsylvania. Prospective teachers who hold an ABCTE certificate are automatically eligible to teach in South Carolina’s public schools for one year and can continue working for two additional years if the candidate receives positive reviews. Candidates can progress to the full South Carolina Professional certificate simply by completing 3 years of successful teaching and additional testing.92

Mississippi also has a relatively easy process for accepting ABCTE certification. Candidates need only pass ABCTE’s certification tests, possess a Bachelor’s degree, pay fees, get a job, have a mentor for a year, and complete their choice of 2 graduate courses, a 3-week summer training, and an 8-week online course. Candidates are then fully certified.93

Very little evidence exists that seeks to specifically assess how ABCTE teachers compare to teachers who were prepared differently. Yet the evidence that does exist is encouraging for ABCTE. In at least one study, ABCTE teachers performed at least as well and often better than their traditionally certified colleagues. Moreover, with the top-ranking teaching profession in the country, South Carolina’s embrace of ABCTE is especially meaningful. Yet Maryland persists in refusing to accept ABCTE certification in the state, despite the fact that the 2005 Governor’s Commission on Quality Education in Maryland recommended that Maryland embrace ABCTE as a path to certification in Maryland.94

Nebraska’s Transition to Teaching Program

Limited evidence also shows that teachers who gained certification through Nebraska’s Transition to Teaching Program have been more effective teachers than their traditionally certified counterparts. An article in the Fall 2011 issue of the Journal of Applied Learning in Higher Education states, “Comparisons of instructional quality along several dimensions show that the Transition to Teaching participants were evaluated as exhibiting slightly higher than average levels of instructional quality across most dimensions compared to traditionally certified teachers. These findings provide further evidence to support the growing interest in alternative teacher certification as a way to generate highly competent teachers.”95

To qualify for the program, applicants must have a baccalaureate degree that includes at least 75% of the course requirements for a subject endorsement, pass the Praxis exam, secure from the school system a written request for a transitional certificate and a written mentorship and supervision plan, complete a pre-teaching seminar, and complete 3 six-credit hour online courses over the following 3 semesters.96

Since 2003, 242 teachers have become fully certified through the program, and the program boasts an 81% retention rate. The program has been very effective at securing teachers in subjects for which Maryland has teacher shortages, with 24% teaching foreign languages, 19% teaching science, 17% teaching various vocational education, and 10% teaching math.97

Criticisms of Alternative Certification Programs

Despite a wealth of positive evidence, critics regularly accuse alternative certification of a number of faults. The most common criticism is that alternatively certified teachers do not remain in teaching very long. According to critics, the high attrition of alternatively certified teachers leave students unable to benefit from the increased effectiveness that often comes with teaching experience. Other common criticisms of alternative certification include the charge that alternatively certified teachers do not perform as well as traditionally certified teachers, and the claim that the high attrition of alternatively certified teachers imposes burdensome staff turnover expenses on school districts.

Teach for America

As perhaps the highest profile, most widely used, and most successful alternative certification program, critics of alternative certification often choose to specifically criticize Teach for America rather than alternative certification in general.

Perhaps the most common criticism of TFA is that many of their teachers choose to leave the teaching profession at the end of the program’s 2-year commitment. Indeed, the President of the Detroit teacher’s union in 2009 accused TFA teachers of being “’educational mercenaries’ who ‘ride in on their white horses and for two years share the virtue of their knowledge as a pit stop on their way to becoming corporate executives.’”98

Though criticisms of TFA’s attrition rate have some merit, a full assessment of the available data reveals a bevy of relevant information that largely tempers criticisms of TFA’s attrition. An August 2012 op-ed published in The New York Times claims that over 80% of TFA teachers move on within 3 years. Yet TFA’s 2011 annual report claimed that over 7,000 of their almost 24,000 alumni are still teaching, which means about 30% of their people keep teaching.99 A 2009 USA Today article about TFA reported almost identical information, noting that 29% of TFA teachers were still in the classroom.100 USA Today went on to claim that while TFA’s 29% retention rate is “a bit lower than the USA’s overall teaching force,” they noted that “about one-third [of teachers nationwide] quit within the first few years. By the end of five years, recent research shows, nearly half of new teachers leave the profession.” While TFA likely does have a higher attrition rate than traditionally certified teachers, it may not be as much higher as critics imply. Though a comparison of precise attrition figures between teachers who completed different certification pathways is unavailable, it is reasonable to estimate that TFA teachers are 15%-25% less likely to remain in teaching than their average colleagues.101

Yet this higher attrition rate can be highly misleading for a number of reasons. First, there are a number of important jobs in education other than teaching, including leadership and administrative roles, and work in politics and with non-profits. TFA reported in 2011 that, including both teachers and non-teachers, 64% of their alumni are still working in education.102 A 2009 USA Today article again concurred with TFA, noting that “about two-thirds remain in education — mostly in administrative or political jobs or working with policy or charitable groups,” and stated that 72% of TFA Baltimore teachers were still working in education, including 11 principals.103

Second, it may not be fair to compare TFA attrition rates with attrition rates for other teaching paths since TFA generally recruits candidates who, while interested in teaching, were not interested enough in teaching to complete an undergraduate major in education. TFA teachers are thus generally people who would otherwise not be teachers. Indeed, TFA reports that “only about one alumnus in 10 would have considered education” without TFA.104

Third, it is important to consider that TFA’s stated mission of solving the achievement gap by placing teachers specifically in low-income areas with low-performing schools means that TFA’s teachers work in some of the worst schools in the country. Since low-income schools tend to have higher than average attrition rates, TFA’s teachers would be expected to have higher than average attrition when compared to the nationwide teaching force.105 A more effective way of measuring the role of TFA certification on teacher attrition would be to compare the attrition rates of TFA teachers with other teachers in the same schools, or same school districts, as TFA teachers. The TFA’s attrition in those schools may not be worse than the attrition rate of all teachers in TFA schools. Indeed, a 2007 report published by the Educational Research Service assessed TFA retention in Baltimore, concluding, “While most of the TFA teachers tended to leave by the end of year three…Three-year retention rates for TFA were as high as three-year retention rates for certified teachers in the Baltimore City Public School System for three of the four cohorts studied.”106

While the findings of a single study cannot necessary be treated as conclusive, the study’s findings, along with the fact that TFA places its teachers in schools that tend to have higher attrition rates, combine to cast serious doubt on the legitimacy of using TFA’s attrition rate to condemn TFA.

Fourth, the candidates that TFA accepts into the program constitute a group that has generally been much more successful at much more competitive colleges and universities than the general public. People with such particularly strong academic credentials—and with undergraduate majors in something other than education–will naturally have a variety of other employment options in a variety of fields. For example, a graduate of Towson University’s elementary education program is qualified to teach elementary school and would also be qualified for any number of different entry-level jobs that require a Bachelor’s degree. However, a person with a Political Science degree from Harvard could become a TFA history teacher or would be an attractive candidate for work as a policy analyst, researcher, or staffer at the local, state, or federal level, or with a non-profit. The higher attrition rate of TFA teachers could thus be a function of the fact that traditional teacher certification programs require coursework that does not qualify teaching students to do much other than teach, while the strong academic credentials of TFA teachers leave open a number of career paths.

Some critics also question whether TFA teachers actually perform at least as well as traditionally certified teachers, despite the substantial and persuasive body of evidence demonstrating TFA teachers’ high performance level. For example, a 2010 report from the Education and Public Interest Center at the University of Colorado (EPIC) and the Education Policy Research Unit at Arizona State University (EPRU) seeks to refute evidence that TFA cites to demonstrate its effectiveness. The report states that studies in New York and Texas demonstrate TFA’s ineffectiveness. Though the authors’ summary of the evidence they gathered is largely admirable, and the studies they cite that criticize New York and Texas appear legitimate, problems with their critique remain.107

In particular, the EPIC/EPRU report’s criticism of a 2009 study by the Urban Institute, CALDER, Stanford University, and Duke University (CALDER Study) includes either a glaring oversight or outright dishonesty. The CALDER Study, which is quoted at length above, explored the effect of TFA teachers on North Carolina high school students, finding that TFA teachers were generally more effective than their traditionally certified colleagues. The EPIC/EPRU report correctly notes that a US Department of Education (DOE) review of the CALDER Study expresses concern that that the CALDER Study’s method of data collection was “somewhat imprecise” and “could lead to misleading results.”108 However, the EPIC/EPRU report neglected to mention that despite their reservations, the DOE nonetheless declared that the CALDER study met the evidentiary standards they require for the study to be included in the DOE’s “What Works Clearinghouse.”109

The EPIC/EPRU report is not the only report that includes negative evidence about the performance of TFA’s teachers. A 2008 report written by scholars from Stanford University and the University of California at Riverside attempts to summarize evidence from several studies, stating that studies of TFA “have tended to find some positive effects of TFA teachers in math performance and little effect or negative effects in English language arts (ELA).”110

The same 2008 report criticized TFA on less conventional grounds. While metrics like student test scores are more commonly used to assess teacher performance, measurements of classroom control are also useful for assessing teacher performance. Evidence is limited, since few studies use these measures, but the data that does exist reveals that TFA teachers report higher rates of physical conflict between students and greater interruptions during class to deal with student disruptions.111 However, these findings should be considered in light of the fact that TFA teachers work in some of the worst schools in the country. Though data comparing the frequency of physical conflict and classroom disruption between high-performing and low-performing schools is unavailable, it is possible—and perhaps even likely—that poorly performing schools have higher rates of physical conflict and classroom disruption than better schools do, regardless of how any teacher was certified.

Another criticism of TFA is that it is expensive for taxpayers and school districts. The 2010 EPIC/EPRU report aptly outlines the multi-faceted financial argument against TFA. First, critics argue that TFA’s high attrition rate causes districts that use their teachers to incur consistently higher administrative costs due to the constant need to recruit and hire new teachers. In addition, much of TFA’s operating budget comes from governmental grants of taxpayer money. Third, TFA typically charges school districts “finder’s fees” for teachers that can total up to $5000 per teacher.

While there is no denying that constantly hiring new employees will increase a school’s administrative expenses, several observations temper the financial argument against TFA, leaving unanswered questions about the actual financial implications for school districts that employ TFA’s teachers. First, there is very little data about the financial impact that working with TFA has on school systems’ finances. Even the 2010 EPIC/EPRU report, which itself lodged several financial complaints against TFA, acknowledges that much more research must be done before firm conclusions can be drawn.112 Second, these financial arguments largely neglect to mention that, as new teachers, TFA teachers typically earn the smallest salaries in most school districts’ teaching force, in accordance with teacher pay scales around the country. TFA’s moderately higher teacher attrition thus keeps school districts’ teacher salary outlays lower than they would be if prior cohorts of TFA teachers remained to progress along the prescribed pay scale. Third, TFA is funded mostly by private donations—only about 30% of its 2011 revenue came from public sources. Fourth, there is some evidence that TFA is an affordable option for school districts: The New York Times recently published an op-ed written by a New York City assistant principal who, while acknowledging that the school system is trying to cut costs, nonetheless claimed that TFA teachers are “cost effective.”113

The criticisms against TFA are largely unverified. However, TFA’s recruitment and training has been found to be very effective. TFA continues to provide school systems with good teachers by attracting skilled people who may never have considered teaching otherwise.

Attrition Among All Alternatively Certified Teachers

Some critics of alternative certification claim that the retention rate for alternatively certified teachers is high, costing students the opportunity to benefit from having a more experienced teacher. However, a review of the evidence demonstrates that concerns about attrition of alternatively certified teachers are mostly unfounded. Moreover, the subjects that alternatively certified teachers commonly teach may explain the alternatively certified attrition that does exist.

Several studies have found little to no difference in the attrition rates of traditionally and alternatively certified teachers. In a National Center for Education Statistics study of 1,990 public school teachers in their first year in 2007-08, the percentage of teachers who were not teaching after one year was 9.9% regardless of whether the teachers were products of traditional or alternative certification. After 2 years, only 12.2% of alternatively certified teachers were not teaching, while 12.6% of teachers who were traditionally certified were not teaching. In this study, alternatively certified teachers were therefore slightly more likely to stay in the profession than traditionally certified teachers.114

A May 2010 report by two Stanford University scholars also found little difference in attrition rates between alternatively and traditionally certified teachers, noting, “In a national sample of teachers, Grissom (2008) found that although the attrition of alternative route teachers is higher than those of teachers from traditional pathways, the differences are relatively small, with 82.3 percent of alternative route teachers and 85.6 percent of teachers from university-based programs remaining in their schools over a one-year period.”115

A 2007 Educational Research Service study revealed similar information about teacher attrition in Baltimore, stating, “”During the first two years after their hiring date, teachers in alternative certification programs were notably more likely to remain with the system than either certified teachers or conditionally certified teachers not involved in programs. While most of the TFA teachers tended to leave by the end of year three, teachers in other alternative certification programs remained with the system at higher rates than regularly certified teachers through years four and five.”116

To the extent that attrition among alternatively certified teachers is a problem, the report of Governor O’Malley’s 2009 STEM Task Force offers one potential explanation: attrition among math and science teachers, regardless of certification pathway, is higher than for any other subjects. The report claimed, “The retention of mathematics and science teachers is an even greater problem than recruitment. According to national data analysis, annual turnover of mathematics teachers (16.4%) is the highest of all content areas; the rate for science teachers (15.6%) is second highest.”117 Since alternative certification often consists of large numbers of science and math teachers, it may be that attrition of alternatively certified teachers may have more to do with the subjects they teach than the method of their certification.

Advantages of Alternative Certification Programs

There is a large and growing body of evidence that supports the claim that alternatively certified teachers benefit school districts that employ them in a variety of ways. Alternatively certified teachers: 1) perform at least as well in the classroom, and sometimes better, than traditionally certified teachers, especially over the long-term, 2) help increase the diversity of the teaching force by attracting higher percentages of men and racial minorities to the profession, 3) diminish the use of emergency certification, 4) expand the pool of individuals interested in becoming teachers, and 5) help close the gap between the qualifications of teachers in high-income areas and the qualifications of teachers in low-income areas.

Numerous studies have reported at least comparable classroom performance between traditionally certified teachers and teachers who were certified through TFA or ABCTE. Additional studies report similar findings for alternatively certified teachers in general. In 2011, scholars at the University of North Carolina submitted a report to a scholarly journal comparing the performance of teachers with five or fewer years of experience in North Carolina’s public schools based on the certification “portal” the teachers had completed. Classifying six portals as traditional and five as alternative, the report found that alternatively certified teachers performed at least as well, or better than, traditionally certified teachers in 8 of 11 comparisons.118 In his 2011 study of alternatively certified teacher performance in Florida, Georgia State University Economics Professor Tim R. Sass similarly concluded that by removing barriers to entering the teaching profession alternative certification “can produce teachers that are as productive, or even more productive, than traditionally prepared teachers.”119

In addition, a 2009 report written by scholars from Stanford University, The State University of New York, and the University of Virginia supports the positive influence of alternatively certified teachers on student achievement over the long term.120 The report explored the relationship between methods of teacher certification and elementary school student achievement in New York City, ultimately emphasizing, “Learning that is grounded in the practice of teaching—such as that proxied by the capstone project, studying curricula, and oversight of student teaching—is associated positively with student achievement gains in the 1st year, and content learning—as proxied by disciplinary coursework requirements—is associated positively with learning in the 2nd year.”121 While acknowledging that they cannot be sure why pedagogical coursework appears more valuable in the first year and content knowledge appears more valuable in the second year, the authors proposed a very reasonable explanation, noting that “practice in the day-to-day work of teaching may facilitate teachers’ transition into the classroom during their 1st year, a typically challenging time. Content knowledge is likely important for teaching but may not distinguish more and less effective teachers until the 2nd year, when teachers are more comfortable with the basic practices of teaching.”122

Regardless of why pedagogical knowledge is important in the first year and becomes less important than content knowledge by year two, the report makes the crucial observation that “teachers with stronger preparation in day-to-day issues are relatively more effective in their 1st year, whereas those with stronger content knowledge are able to make use of that knowledge by their 2nd year,” and are presumably able to continue making use of their content knowledge.123 The report’s findings thus reveal that after the first year, teachers who have greater content knowledge are in a better position to lead students to better outcomes over remainder of a teaching career. Since alternative certification exists to attract content experts to teaching, and traditional certification generally requires more pedagogical coursework than subject-based coursework, the report effectively concludes that, on the average, alternatively certified teachers will produce better student outcomes than traditionally certified teachers over the long term. The report tempers its own findings by emphasizing that their field of study is still in its infancy and by noting that the relatively demanding alternative certification requirements in New York State mean that the alternatively certified teachers they assessed in their study still completed significant teaching coursework. Yet the authors nonetheless conclude that their findings are “an initial indication that preservice preparation can influence teacher effectiveness, at least the effectiveness of 1st- and 2nd-year teachers,” and emphasize that their “results do not support the hypothesis that greater opportunities to learn how students learn influence student achievement among 1st-year or 2nd-year teachers.”124 The report thus questions the value of the pedagogical coursework that is the focus of most traditional certification programs and provides evidence supporting the value of an emphasis on content knowledge that characterizes most alternative certification programs.

Other research has pointed to alternative certification’s value in special education as well. An article published in a 2011 edition of the peer-reviewed Journal of the National Association for Alternative Certification dealt with first year special education teachers in Ohio. The authors found that both regular and alternatively certified teachers were adequately prepared to deal with special education populations. Though the study was small and relatively limited, measuring just GPA and standardized test scores and including only 33 teachers in one state, the study still represents an important step toward demonstrating that alternative certification can help train effective special education teachers, an area of long-term shortage in Maryland.125

Limited evidence also demonstrates that alternative certification can replace emergency certification. A 2010 article written by two Stanford University scholars explains that, for example, “from 2000 to 2004, the number of teachers in New York City entering from alternative certification grew from essentially zero to more than 2,800, largely replacing the emergency certified teachers, whose numbers dropped from 3,886 to 607.”126 While more research is needed to continue assessing the impact that alternative certification has on the presence of emergency certified teachers in classrooms, the evidence that does exist suggests that alternative certification can help students avoid having a teacher who is only in a classroom because the school district failed to find anyone who was qualified.

Maryland, as well as much of the country, has long suffered shortages of male and minority teachers. Diversity in the teaching force is important because people with different backgrounds bring unique perspectives to teaching that serve to enrich our children’s education. Moreover, as TFA explains in its 2011 annual report, teachers “who share the backgrounds of the kids and families [they are] working with” are “critical to building trust and forging collaboration,” and “can be uniquely influential role models for young people in our communities.”127

A growing body of evidence shows that alternative certification is a highly effective method of increasing diversity in the teaching force. A 2010 article written by Stanford University scholars notes, “In our survey of teacher candidates in New York City, we found that 30 percent of Teach for America candidates and 31 percent of [New York City] Teaching Fellows candidates were male, compared with 22 percent in traditional education graduate programs and 7 percent in traditional undergraduate programs. Similarly, 58 percent of Teach for America candidates and 56 percent of NYC Teaching Fellows were white, compared with 67 and 63 percent of candidates from traditional graduate and undergraduate programs, respectively.”128 In addition, The National Center for Education Information’s 2005 Profile of Alternative Route Teachers reported, “The alternatively certified teacher population has more males, more minorities and more older people than the population of teachers who obtain certification via the traditional route…Nearly one-third (32 percent) of entrants into teaching via alternate routes are nonwhite compared to 11 percent of the current teaching force.”129 A 2006 study of South Carolina’s Program for Alternative Certification for Educators concurred, finding that “’alternative certification in South Carolina is attracting more diverse age populations, males, and minorities and this diverse audience is performing the same as their traditionally trained counterparts.’”130 Similarly, The National Center for Education Information’s 2011 Profile of Teachers in the US, which was compiled using the survey responses of American public school teachers, stated, “While only 18 percent of white teachers entered teaching through alternative routes, more than half (53 percent) of Hispanic teachers, four out of 10 (39 percent) of Black teachers and one-fourth (24 percent) of teachers from all other races entered teaching through alternative routes to college campus-based teacher education programs.” The same report also commented on the important role that alternative certification plays in attracting men to the teaching profession noting, “While men constitute only 16 percent of all public school teachers, one-third of them (32 percent) – compared with 22 percent of women –entered teaching through an alternative route to traditional college campus-based teacher education route.”131 Still another report, prepared in 2009 for the US Department of Education, explored the details of randomly selected traditional and alternative certification programs for elementary school teachers, and observed that alternative certification programs are 25% to 30% less white, 20% to 25% more black, slightly more male, and substantially more likely to have children of their own.132 In sum, there can be no doubt that alternative certification has a proven track record of strengthening teaching forces throughout the country by attracting teaching candidates with more diverse backgrounds.

Ideally, both high and low income areas would have teachers whose knowledge and qualifications to teach were approximately equal. Unfortunately that is not always the case. However, limited evidence supports the claim that alternative certification can help close the qualification gap between teachers in high-income areas and teachers in low-income areas. A 2008 article in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management stated, “The gap between the qualifications of New York City teachers in high-poverty schools and low-poverty schools has narrowed substantially since 2000. For example, in 2000, teachers in the highest-poverty decile of schools had math SAT scores that on average were 43 points lower than their counterparts in the lowest-poverty decile of schools. By 2005 this gap had narrowed to 23 points. The same general pattern held for other teacher qualifications such as the failure rate on the Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAST) teacher certification exam, the percentage of teachers who attended a ‘least competitive’ undergraduate college, and verbal SAT scores. Most of the gap-narrowing resulted from changes in the characteristics of newly hired teachers, rather than from differences in quit and transfer rates between high and low-poverty schools. The gap-narrowing associated with new hires has been driven largely by the elimination of newly hired uncertified teachers coupled with an influx of teachers with strong academic backgrounds from alternative certification programs and, to a lesser extent, traditional teacher preparation programs. Only 5 percent of newly hired Teaching Fellows and TFA teachers in 2003 failed the LAST exam on their first attempt, while 16.2 percent of newly hired traditional teachers failed the LAST exam, and fully 32.5 percent of uncertified teachers failed the LAST exam. In 2005, 43 percent of all new teachers in the quartile of schools with the poorest students were Teaching Fellows or TFA teachers. The improvements in teacher qualifications, especially among the poorest schools, appear to have resulted in improved student achievement.”133 Though more research is required to validate this study’s findings, the results point to the value of alternative certification in increasing the equality of teacher qualifications between richer and poorer areas.

Research findings also demonstrate that the availability of alternative routes to certification increases the number of people who are interested in becoming teachers—a critical finding in a time of widespread teacher shortages. A 2010 article written by two Stanford University researchers observes that removing barriers to entry to the teaching profession has “substantially expanded the pool of individuals interested in becoming teachers.”134 The National Center for Education Information’s concurs, noting in their 2005 Profile of Alternative Route Teachers, “Nearly half (47 percent) of those entering teaching through alternate routes say they would not have become a teacher if an alternate route to certification had not been available.”135 In his 2011 study of alternatively certified teacher performance in Florida, Georgia State University Economics Professor Tim R. Sass found that by removing barriers to entering the teaching profession, alternative certification “would appear to be an efficient mechanism for increasing the supply of teachers.”136

Research findings on alternative certification are not unanimous, particularly as they relate to comparisons with traditional certification. One study comparing traditionally and alternatively certified teachers in New Hampshire found that principals rated traditionally certified teachers better in terms of instructional planning and instructional skill.137 With a greater background in the theory and practice of teaching, traditionally certified teachers predictably show greater ability in instructional planning and skill. There is great value in that. But there is also great value in alternative certification’s ability to produce teachers who perform at least as well as traditionally certified teachers, increase the diversity of the teaching force by attracting higher percentages of men and racial minorities to the profession, diminish the use of emergency certification, expand the pool of individuals who are interested in becoming teachers, and help close the gap between the qualifications of teachers in high-income areas and the qualifications of teachers in low-income areas. Alternative certification is thus more than just a means of addressing Maryland’s ongoing teacher shortages—it is also a positive addition to our State’s public school teaching resources in a variety of ways.

The Belief that Teacher Certification Law is Not Particularly Important

There is also a large body of evidence that argues that differences in types of teacher certification have little or no impact on student outcomes. Since one of the main purposes of traditional certification is to provide training that will enhance the quality of the teaching force, such findings call into question whether traditional certification’s generally more intense requirements are worthwhile.

A 2009 report prepared for the US Department of Education offers perhaps the most persuasive argument that there are few, if any, meaningful differences in teacher performance that can be traced to specific certification paths or requirements. The report explored the details of randomly selected traditional and alternative certification programs for elementary school teachers, concluding, “Students of AC [alternatively certified] teachers did not perform statistically differently from students of TC [traditionally certified] teachers… This study found no benefit, on average, to student achievement from placing an AC teacher in the classroom when the alternative was a TC teacher, but there was no evidence of harm, either. In addition, the experimental and nonexperimental findings together indicate that although individual teachers appear to have an effect on students’ achievement, we could not identify what it is about a teacher that affects student achievement. Variation in student achievement was not strongly linked to the teachers’ chosen preparation route or to other measured teacher characteristics.”138

Not only did the report find that there was no statistically significant difference in the average performance of alternatively certified teachers when compared with traditionally certified teachers, it also concluded that there was no evidence that alternative certification programs that required more hours of instruction trained more effective teachers than programs that required fewer hours of instruction. The difference in required instruction time between various certification pathways is quite vast but unnecessary.139 To render their comparisons more useful, researchers chose to split both the traditional and alternative programs they were assessing into “high coursework” and “low coursework” subgroups.

In comparing the demands of low-coursework traditional and alternative certification programs, the data revealed that “AC [alternatively certified] teachers from low-coursework programs were required to complete, on average, about one-quarter of the total hours of instruction overall as their TC [traditionally certified] counterparts (179 hours versus 671 hours). In addition, they were required to complete less coursework in all subject areas of interest. For example, their programs required about one-fifth the instruction in reading/language arts pedagogy (26 versus 121 hours), less than one-fourth in math pedagogy (9 versus 41 hours), and less than half in classroom management (24 versus 54 hours). All the differences were statistically significant.”140

In comparing the demands of high-coursework traditional and alternative certification programs, the data revealed that “AC teachers from high-coursework programs were required to complete, on average, less instruction than their TC counterparts, 432 hours versus 607 hours, a difference that was statistically significant. They were required to complete less coursework in two topics of interest (student assessment and child development), with the differences statistically significant. However, their programs required more instruction in classroom management (49 versus 39 hours), a difference that was statistically significant. There was no statistically significant difference in the amount of math pedagogy instruction (43 versus 41).”141 Even though the training requirements of some programs thus exceeded the requirements of other programs by up to several hundred hours, the report could not link the additional preparation time to any meaningful differences in teacher performance. The report concluded not just that “there was no statistically significant difference in performance between students of AC teachers and those of TC teachers,” but also that “there is no evidence that AC programs with greater coursework requirements produce more effective teachers.” Moreover, the report concluded that “there was no statistically significant relationship between student test scores and the content of the teacher’s training, including the number of required hours of math pedagogy, reading/language arts pedagogy, or fieldwork. Similarly, there was no evidence of a statistically positive relationship between majoring in education and student achievement.”142 The Department of Education later reviewed the study to determine whether to include it in their “What Works Clearinghouse,” and decided that the study did meet their evidentiary standards.143

Similarly, a 2010 National Research Council report that covered six years of research and included twenty-five scholars and university professors from around the country concluded that there was little evidence that any particular approach to teacher certification was preferable to any another approach in terms of leading to the best student outcomes.144

The Stand for Children Leadership Center, a non-profit, non-partisan children’s advocacy group, reported similar findings in a 2012 white paper, written by the Director of the Center for Education Data & Research at the University of Washington, Bothell.145 The white paper asserts that an assessment of standard and alternative pathways to teaching shows “little relationship between the amount, or content, of teacher training coursework and student achievement.”146 The paper states that since “researchers have found that variations in effectiveness among teachers who followed the same pathway far exceed differences in average effectiveness of teachers from different pathways”, the research data points to the conclusion “that the current system of qualifying teachers is not terribly predictive of effectiveness in the classroom.147 The report concludes that “state-regulated licensure systems do not, in general, appear to be an effective means of screening for teacher quality.”148

A 2006 report prepared for the American Education Finance Association (AEFA) by several scholars from Stanford University and the State University of New York also observes little difference between student outcomes from traditionally prepared teachers and alternatively certified teachers. Though noting that “compared to teachers who completed a university based teacher education program, teachers with reduced coursework prior to entry often provide smaller initial gains in both mathematics and English language arts,” the authors state that “most differences disappear as the cohort matures, and many of the differences are not large in magnitude, typically 2 to 5 percent of a standard deviation.”149 Like the white paper published by the Stand for Children Leadership Center, the AEFA’s report notes that “the variation in effectiveness within pathways is far greater than the average differences between pathways.”150 The finding that that there are only small, temporary differences between the performance of alternatively certified teachers and traditionally certified teachers, coupled with the observation that performance differences within pathways exceed average performance differences between pathways, support the argument that the manner of certification, whether traditional or alternative, is not a meaningful variable in predicting teacher performance.

A May 2010 article written by two Stanford University scholars also notes that “the variation in teacher effectiveness across teachers who went through the same pathways is larger than the average differences in teacher effectiveness between pathways. In other words, both alternative and university based programs have more and less effective teachers. This variation suggests that the existence of alternative routes into teaching alone, even highly selective alternative routes, cannot ensure high quality teaching and learning, particularly in high-poverty schools.”151 Indeed, even selective traditional programs can similarly not ensure positive outcomes. This report’s findings thus also support the argument that the manner of certification, whether traditional or alternative, is not a meaningful variable in predicting teacher performance.

Another recent report, written by a group of scholars from Stanford University, the State University of New York, and the University of Virginia similarly observes that “within pathways programs vary in their effectiveness,” and notes that “this suggests that the policy discussion about teacher preparation should be focused on the features of programs and pathways that contribute most powerfully to successful teachers and not whether one pathway outperforms another. Given variation within pathways, policymakers are well advised to invest in the development of programs that draw on the most promising features of the more successful existing programs”152 This report thus states that there is little meaningful difference between certification pathways, and policymakers would be better served to focus on other characteristics that more strongly correlate with teacher success.

A 2008 report written by scholars from Stanford University and the University of California at Riverside echoes findings that demonstrate little difference in teacher performance between certification pathways. The authors note that some studies have found “little difference in teacher effectiveness across pathways,” generally state that overall differences between pathways are not large, and mentions that other studies have found no difference between traditional and early-entry teachers in student-teacher interaction, or lesson components.153 The authors even note that the evidence is mixed about whether being certified at all—either traditionally or alternatively– has much impact on student outcomes.154

A review of evidence from South Carolina, whose teaching profession was ranked number one in Education Week’s most recent state-by-state rankings, also shows no difference in the performance of traditionally and alternatively certified teachers. A 2006 study comparing second-year teachers from South Carolina’s Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE) with traditionally certified teachers included almost 1000 teachers from 47 of South Carolina’s 85 districts, and found that alternatively certified teachers were “’performing the same as their traditionally trained counterparts,’” with no “’significant difference between any of the mean scores for the individual performance dimensions.’”155

The evidence is overwhelming: there is no meaningful difference in the professional performance of traditionally and alternatively certified teachers. Given our critical teacher shortages, the fast-track nature of alternative certification, and the fact that such teachers perform the same as their traditionally certified counterparts, Maryland owes it to its children to address its policies and practices on the use of alternative teacher certification.

The educational and training requirements of traditional teacher certification are designed to enhance the quality of the teaching force.  However, as study after study has found, such involved requirements have overwhelmingly failed to produce any observable effect on teacher performance.  The evidence leads to the conclusion that to strengthen its teaching force, Maryland should ease certification requirements that serve as barriers and disincentives to entering the teaching force and fully embrace the less intense requirements that characterize alternative certification. This will allow Maryland to attract greater numbers of candidates interested in teaching and get them into the classrooms more quickly, thereby helping address Maryland’s long-term teacher shortages. Less onerous certification requirements will also remove the disincentives that currently exist for smart, talented people who have a variety of career options.

Comparison of Maryland’s Alternative Certification Programs with Some Other States156

Since the Maryland State Department of Education must approve alternative certification programs in Maryland, comparing programs in Maryland with programs in other states allows a useful assessment of the practical outcomes of the Maryland’s alternative certification policies. There is a tremendous variation between alternative certification programs. Indeed, a 2009 report prepared for the US Department of Education observed that required instruction time in randomly selected alternative certification programs ranged from 75 hours to 795 hours, for an average of 296 hours and a median of 252.5 hours.157

Alternatively certified teachers in Maryland begin teaching with a Resident Teacher Certificate (RTC), which is good for 2 years and is non-renewable. To begin teaching, candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree, qualifying standardized test scores, have completed an internship and pre-employment training that includes 90 hours of study and instruction in teaching reading, and be enrolled in a Maryland-approved alternate preparation program. Teachers holding an RTC are eligible for the Standard Professional Certificate upon the completion of their approved alternative program, provided the teacher has received positive evaluations and subject to additional standardized testing.158

Maryland Examples

Just two alternative certification programs comprise over 76% of the alternatively certified teachers hired in Maryland between 2010 and 2012: Teach for America and the Baltimore City Teaching Residency.159 New TFA teachers are required to attend a 1-week induction, 5 weeks of teacher training, and a regional orientation.160 TFA teachers in Maryland also continue completing training coursework during their 2-year commitment to the program.161 TFA-Baltimore teachers’ additional training requirements consist of 13-18 graduate credits completed at Johns Hopkins University.162 TFA-Baltimore teachers are awarded a full certification at the conclusion of the 2-year commitment and training program, provided the teachers have positive evaluations and qualifying standardized test scores.163 While most of Maryland’s TFA teachers teach in Baltimore City or County, a small minority also work in Prince George’s County, which has a similar procedure for leading its TFA teachers to full certification.164

In sum, TFA teachers in Maryland are required to complete 325 hours of pre-service training, followed by additional training over the first two years of teaching that the Maryland State Department of Education has described as “intensive…[including] classroom observations; individualized feedback; targeted, concrete resources; reflective, data-driven consultations with supervisors; and content-specific learning groups designed by Teach For America.”165 TFA teacher training in Maryland therefore substantially exceeds the 296 hour average and the 252.5 hour median that characterized randomly selected alternative certification programs in 2009.

The Baltimore City Teaching Residency describes itself as “a highly selective program that trains accomplished professionals and recent college graduates to become effective teachers in traditionally underserved Baltimore schools.” The program “seek[s] candidates who want to bring their knowledge, experience, and records of achievement to the classrooms where their leadership is needed most.”166 The program is indeed selective, admitting just 11% of applicants in 2012, but requires applicants to have just a 2.75 undergraduate GPA to qualify.167

Accepted candidates complete rigorous training prior to entering the classroom. BCTR’s website explains, “Candidates accepted into the program begin their commitment by completing a concentrated period of independent study prior to participating in an intensive six-week training institute using a curriculum focused on improving outcomes in schools where students lag several grade levels behind. This period is followed by additional independent study to further prepare for teaching in the fall…During the six-week summer program, Residents will participate in training activities five days a week from approximately 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily.”168 Despite the long hours and heavy workload of the summer training, BCTR teachers do not draw an income during the summer training period. Instead, BCTR teachers pay a hefty sum to participate in the training– $6100 for regular teachers, and $7600 for special education teachers.169

Training continues even after candidates begin teaching. BCTR teachers undergo two different courses of study while already teaching.170 One of the courses deals with literacy training, teaching BCTR teachers skills that in many cases are completely unrelated to the subject the candidate is teaching. The literacy training consists of either 13 or 18 2.5-hour long sessions depending on whether the teacher is teaching elementary school students or adolescent students.171 The simultaneously required Teaching for Results training consists of 18 3-hour sessions for all teachers, involving one meeting every other week. Special Education teachers complete an additional year of 18 3-hour sessions.

Since the RTC is only valid for two years and is non-renewable, BCTR teachers must therefore complete a bevy of coursework at great expense just to keep their jobs as teachers in a city that has a teacher shortage. Despite the additional expense of the ongoing training, BCTR teachers are forced to abide by the same salary structure as their colleagues.172 BCTR teachers gain full certification after 2 years, provided they have positive evaluations and are able to satisfy standardized testing requirements.173

In sum, BCTR participants spend an indeterminate amount of time involved in independent study and as a part of an internship, and train for between 300 and 330 unpaid hours over the summer prior to starting work. They spend an additional 32.5 – 45 hours during the school year completing literacy training that is not relevant to the areas of greatest need in the Baltimore school system (math, science, technology, etc.), and dedicate another 54 hours to completing additional training during the school year. Not including independent study time or internship training, BCTR’s training totals between 386.5 and 429 hours of training just during the first year, well in excess of the 296 hour average and the 252.5 hour median that characterized randomly selected alternative certification programs in 2009. Participating in the program comes at a cost of either $6100 or $7600 for new teachers working in difficult and sometimes unsafe areas for modest pay.

In 2007, the National Council on Teacher Quality published a report that summed up the purpose of alternative certification: to streamline a process of allowing talented, subject matter experts to teach without imposing onerous requirements on them.174 BCTR’s intense requirements thus miss the point of alternative certification.

Alternative Certification Programs in Mississippi

A number of alternative certification paths in Mississippi place far more reasonable demands on teaching candidates. Mississippi accepts ABCTE certification with a simple, straightforward procedure that leads to full certification. Prospective teachers need only have a Bachelor’s degree, pass ABCTE’s exams, pay their fees, and acquire a teaching position. Candidates are mentored for a year, and complete their choice of 2 graduate courses, a 3-week summer training course, or a 8-week online course, culminating with full certification.175 The Teach Mississippi Institute uses a similar procedure, requiring candidates to have a Bachelor’s degree and passing scores on standardized tests. Candidates are awarded a full teaching certificate after being mentored for 1 year and completing an 8-week training course, which can be done online.176 The Mississippi Master of Arts in Teaching is another similar program, requiring candidates to hold a Bachelor’s degree and to pass standardized tests. Candidates can begin teaching upon completion of 2 graduate courses, which yields a 3-year non-renewable certificate. The 3-year certification changes to a 5-year full teaching certificate with the completion of 1 year of teaching and six graduate credit hours, at least part of which can be satisfied by the year of teaching.177 Candidates do not have to actually complete the Master’s Degree to gain certification through the Master of Arts in Teaching program. The Mississippi Alternate Path to Quality Teachers is another similar program, requiring a Bachelor’s degree, qualifying scores on standardized tests, and an undergraduate GPA of either 2.0 or 2.75, depending how long ago the candidate completed undergraduate work. Candidates then complete a 90-hour training course at a community college to gain an initial 1-year certificate. This can be turned into a full teaching certificate with 1 year of mentoring on the job and the completion of 1 Saturday per month training session for 9 months. The total cost of the training is about $2000.178 Alternative certification in Mississippi thus places far less intense demands on alternative certification candidates than alternative certification in Maryland generally does.

Florida

Several alternative certification routes in Florida also place very reasonable demands on prospective teachers. These alternative certification options also do not require the completion of traditional university education courses while teaching, leaving new teachers with more time to adjust to the demands of their new careers.179

Throughout Florida, local school districts have the right to run their own alternative certification programs at the district level. To gain certification through this District Alternative Certification option, candidates must hold a Bachelor’s degree, pass a general knowledge exam, a professional education exam, and a subject certification exam, and complete a training program.180 Training programs vary somewhat between districts but are usually web-based and typically include “an initial assessment of skills, an individualized training plan, mentoring, a training curriculum that targets a set of ‘accomplished teacher practices’ and summative assessment that documents mastery of the practices.”181 Candidates complete the training program while already working in a Florida school district.182 Training varies in length for different districts and even different candidates—the threshold for completing training appears to be determined on a case-by-case basis.183 Those who complete the district training program and pass the exams receive a Florida Professional Certificate, which is valid for 5 years and is renewable.184

Another option for alternative certification in Florida is the Educator Preparation Institute (EPI). Open to anyone with a Bachelor’s degree, EPI requirements can typically be met with the completion of seven courses at a community college and limited field experience. Coursework includes in-person meetings and online instruction. Applicants can gain the 5-year, renewable Florida Professional Certificate by completing the program and passing the three Florida certification exams.185

Florida’s ABCTE procedure is even easier—participants are issued a 3-year, non-renewable temporary certificate simply for having possessing a Bachelor’s degree and a certificate verifying their completion of ABCTE’s training. Participants can then attain a renewable, 5-year Florida Professional Certificate simply by demonstrating “competence in the classroom.”186

Florida also offers a full Florida Professional Certificate to anyone who has taught full-time at a community college or university for two semesters, provided that the applicant is able to pass the state’s subject certification exam. These former college professors are exempted from the General and Professional Examinations.187

While none of these options require participants to complete education coursework while working full-time as a teacher, Florida’s policies do still allow for that option. Anyone with a Bachelor’s degree that either majored in a selected content area or can pass a Florida Subject Area Examination can be awarded a temporary, non-renewable teaching certificate that is valid for 3 years. Participants then have 3 years to complete one of the alternative pathways.188 The wide variety of alterative certification programs that Florida has embraced makes it somewhat difficult to compare each state’s alternative certification status quo to the other. The requirements of Florida’s district preparation programs and Educator Preparation Institute are similar to certification requirements of Maryland’s two primary alternative certification programs. Yet the requirements of Florida’s ABCTE procedure and Professional Certificate are far easier than anything Maryland offers. It is therefore fair to conclude that Florida’s alternative certification requirements are generally less intense than Maryland’s.

It is worth noting that limited research into the performance of teachers produced by Florida’s alternative certification programs reveals mixed findings, with some programs producing more successful teachers than traditional certification, and others producing less successful teachers. A 2011 report written by a Georgia State University Economics Professor Tim R. Sass compared traditional and alternative certification programs in Florida, observing, “The value added of district-alternative certification teachers is generally on par with that of recent Florida teacher preparation program graduates. In contrast, the value-added scores of EPI completers are often three to four percent of a standard deviation below those of traditionally prepared teachers. Most stark are the differences in the performance of ABCTE teachers relative to traditionally prepared teachers in math. Across a variety of model specifications and test metrics ABCTE teachers outperform their traditionally prepared colleagues by a wide margin – six to eleven percent of a standard deviation. Like previous findings for TFA teachers, the performance of ABCTE teachers is generally equivalent to that of preparation program graduates in promoting achievement in reading.”189 On the whole, it is fair to say that alternative certification in Florida generally produces teachers who are just as effective as traditional certification.

South Carolina

The most recent Education Week state-by-state rankings placed South Carolina’s teaching profession as the best in the country.

Prospective teachers who hold an ABCTE certificate are automatically eligible to teach in South Carolina’s public schools for one year, and can continue working for two additional years if the candidate receives positive reviews. Candidates can progress to the full Professional certificate simply by completing 3 years of successful teaching and additional testing.190

South Carolina also maintains a Program of Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE). To be eligible for the program, candidates need only have a Bachelor’s degree, a passing score on a subject matter exam, an acceptable background check, and either a Master’s degree or 2 years of full time work experience.191 Candidates begin teaching after completing 10 days of training.192 The PACE certificate is valid for up to three years while candidates complete the requirements to progress to the full Professional Certification, which includes the completion of three years of teaching with successful evaluations, the completion of a mentoring program, the completion of 3 continuing education college courses, passing scores on 2 additional standardized tests, and the completion of an additional 16 days of training during weekends and the summer over two years.193

Like Florida’s alternative certification requirements, South Carolina’s alternative certification requirements render a comparison with Maryland difficult. South Carolina’s PACE program appears similar, or perhaps slightly less intense, than the requirements that most alternatively certified teachers face in Maryland. Yet there is no doubt that South Carolina’s ABCTE program is much less onerous than anything that is available in Maryland. It is therefore fair to conclude that South Carolina’s alternative certification requirements and moderately less intense than Maryland’s.

Arkansas

The most recent Education Week state-by-state rankings named Arkansas’s teaching profession second best in the country.194

The Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure is one of Arkansas’s alternative certification programs. To qualify, candidates must have a Bachelor’s degree with at least a 2.5 GPA, pass background checks, and pass certain standardized tests that vary based on the candidate’s teaching assignment. Certain subjects also require candidates to have completed 3 college credits of Arkansas history, and/or 6 college credits of instruction in teaching reading. Candidates complete 15 days of training during the summer before their first year, and again before their second year. Candidates also have one Saturday training session per month for the first two years. The program also includes mentorship for the new teachers. The program costs $1200 per year, for a total cost of $2400.195 Participants receive a full Arkansas Standard Teaching License at the conclusion of the program, provided that participants also complete the 60 hours of continuing education that is required for all Arkansas teachers to retain their certification.196

Arkansas also offers a Provisional Professional Teaching License, which aims to attract experienced professionals with subject matter expertise to teach in Arkansas’s public schools either full-time or part-time. To qualify, candidates need to possess a Bachelor’s degree, at least 3 years of professional experience in the content area of the class to be taught, pass certain standardized testing requirements, pass a background check, and have 2 letters of recommendation. Participants must complete 30 hours of training in pedagogy within 1 year of receiving their Provisional License. Participants gain the full Arkansas Standard Teaching License after 3 years of teaching with positive evaluations, provided that participants also complete the 60 hours of continuing education that is required for all Arkansas teachers to retain their certification.197 In sum, there is little doubt that Arkansas’s alternative certification requirements are less intense than Maryland’s.

While more research is needed to see how the demands of Maryland’s most commonly used alternative certification programs compare with all other states’ programs, initial evidence strongly indicates that alternative certification in Maryland is significantly more onerous than in most other states–including states whose teaching professions rank higher than Maryland’s. In particular, the initial evidence indicates that Maryland’s coursework demands of teachers who are transitioning into teaching are relatively intense, effectively deterring potential candidates from entering the teaching profession and contributing to Maryland’s long term teacher shortages.

Comparison of Maryland’s Traditional Certification Laws with Some Other States198

Maryland

An overwhelming body of research clearly indicates that certification requirements have little, if any, impact on teacher performance. With that in mind, and with Maryland’s traditional certification laws a demonstrated failure, a comparison of Maryland’s traditional certification laws with those of other states is a useful way of assessing how Maryland can become more competitive in the national market for teachers, with a goal of ending its short and long-term teacher shortages.199

To attain traditional certification as an elementary or secondary school teacher in Maryland, candidates are required to complete a Bachelor’s degree that includes 27 credit hours of education courses, including 12 hours of coursework in reading instruction for elementary school teachers, and 6 hours for secondary school teachers. State law also requires candidates to complete a 100-day teaching internship over the course of two semesters, regardless of whether candidates are pursuing traditional certification in an undergraduate or graduate program.200 Applicants must also achieve acceptable standardized test scores.201 Once gaining the initial certification, candidates are then required to complete 6 semester hours of acceptable continuing education credit within 5 years, ultimately leading to the required completion of a Master’s degree within 10 years.202

Maryland’s traditional certification laws have a number of obvious deficiencies. Maryland law would require even a subject-matter expert who has a bachelor’s degree and is interested in teaching to go back to school and complete the specific extra coursework requirements, unless the expert pursued an alternative certification program, which most of Maryland’s school districts do not hire new teachers from. The required reading instruction coursework forces even someone seeking to teach an STEM subject at the high school level to learn how to teach others to read, despite the fact that the demands of teaching a STEM subject would never require teaching anyone to read. The requirement to complete a Master’s degree within 10 years remains despite the fact that a Maryland Department of Education work group reported in 2011 that “the preponderance of educational research conducted over the last 50 years” demonstrates that advanced degrees do not help teachers to be more effective. MSDE reported that “on the average,” Master’s degrees in education for a teacher bear no direct relation to student achievement.203

Maryland law thus requires a specific number of education credits, specific work in reading instruction, standardized testing, a lengthy student teaching assignment, and the completion of six credits of continuing education within 5 years and a Master’s degree within 10 years.

South Carolina

With the top-ranked teaching profession in the country, according to the most recent Education Week state-by-state rankings, it is useful to compare Maryland’s traditional certification policies with South Carolina’s. To qualify for an Initial Certificate through traditional certification, applicants must complete a State Department of Education approved Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program, pass a background check, and complete standardized testing requirements.204 To gain approval from the State Board of Education, teacher preparation programs must secure accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, which does not impose specific coursework requirements on programs seeking approval.205 The State Board of Education’s regulations require candidates pursuing traditional certification to complete 12 weeks of student teaching.206 Moving from the Initial Certificate to the Professional Certificate is automatic after 3 years, provided the application has had positive evaluations.207 To renew the 5-year Professional Certificate, candidates are required to complete 120 state-approved renewal credits, with every graduate course taken satisfying 60 credits.208

Unlike Maryland, South Carolina does not specifically require candidates seeking traditional certification to complete a specific number of education credits, or training in reading instruction. South Carolina’s required student teaching tenure is 8 weeks shorter than Maryland’s. Like Maryland, candidates in South Carolina are required to complete standardized testing requirements and 6 credits of continuing education coursework every 5 years, but unlike Maryland, teachers in South Carolina are not required to complete a Master’s degree within 10 years. Maryland’s traditional certification policies, as prescribed by state law and regulations, are therefore substantially more demanding than South Carolina’s.

Arkansas

With the second-ranked teaching profession in the country, according to the most recent Education Week state-by-state rankings, it is useful to compare Maryland’s traditional certification policies with Arkansas’s. To qualify for an Initial Teaching License through traditional certification, candidates first need to complete an accredited teacher preparation program and have a Bachelor’s degree. Teacher preparation programs are required to gain accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, which does not require specific coursework for its approval.209 Candidates also need to pass 3 standardized tests, have a favorable background check, and complete 12 weeks of student teaching.210 Candidates for certain subjects must also complete a course in Arkansas history, and are sometimes also required to complete coursework in reading instruction. The Initial License is valid for 1-3 years, is non-renewable, and requires participants to complete an induction program, which involves mentorship and the completion of another standardized test. Upon completion of the induction program, candidates are awarded the full Standard License, which is valid for 5 years and is renewable.211 To renew the Standard License, teachers need to complete 60 clock hours of professional development every year, with teachers receiving 6 hours of credit for every Professional Development day that is built into the school calendar. Professional development credit also includes professional development work during the school day, time spent training to teach Advanced Placement courses, and 15 hours for every relevant 3 credit college course completed.212

Unlike Maryland, Arkansas does not does not specifically require candidates seeking traditional certification to complete a specific number of education credits, or training in reading instruction. The completion of a single course in Arkansas history Is the only specific course Arkansas requires, and it does not require it of all teaching candidates. Arkansas’s required student teaching tenure is 8 weeks shorter than Maryland’s. Though Arkansas’s standardized testing and continuing education requirements are similar to Maryland’s, teachers in Arkansas are not required to complete a Master’s degree within 10 years of entering the profession. Like South Carolina, Arkansas’s procedures for traditionally certifying and retaining teachers are thus substantially less burdensome than Maryland’s. Yet Educating Week ranked both South Carolina’s and Arkansas’s teaching professions higher than Maryland’s in their most recent state-by-state rankings, providing strong evidence that Maryland’s relatively intense requirements are not producing better teaching profession than states with less intense requirements.213

Wyoming

Wyoming provides another interesting example of how some other states structure their traditional certification requirements. Candidates must complete an accredited teacher education program from a college or university. The education program is valid if accredited by any one of eleven different accrediting organizations. The program must include some student teaching, but there is no evidence that the state specifies how much student teaching candidates must complete. Candidates must also secure their education program’s recommendation for licensure, complete a background check, complete standardized testing requirements, and demonstrate knowledge of US and Wyoming constitutions.214 To remain certified, teachers need only complete 5 credits of college or state-approved workshop credits every 5 years.215 It is thus substantially easier to become a teacher in Wyoming, and to remain a teacher in Wyoming, than it is in Maryland.

Maine

To be traditionally certified in Maine candidates must complete a bachelor’s degree and a state-approved teacher education program. To gain state-approval, teacher education programs must be accredited by any one of at least seven accrediting bodies.216 Though all teaching candidates must complete at least one course in “teaching exceptional students in the regular classroom,” Maine does not require any additional specific coursework.217 Candidates must also secure passing scores on standardized tests, and complete 15 weeks of student teaching.218 After 2 years, the Provisional Certificate can become a full Professional Certificate, which is valid for 5 years and is renewable, with the completion of 6 credit hours of approved study and a recommendation.219

Though Maine and Maryland maintain similar standardized testing and basic recertification requirements, Maine requires that traditional certification candidates complete far fewer specific courses than Maryland does. Maine also requires 5 fewer weeks if student teaching than Maryland, and does not require teacher’s to earn a Master’s degree within 10 years of certification. Maine’s traditional certification requirements are therefore substantially less burdensome than Maryland’s.

While much more research is needed to evaluate Maryland’s teacher certification requirements in comparison with other states, initial evidence strongly indicates that Maryland’s traditional certification process is particularly onerous– more onerous than even states whose teaching professions rank higher than Maryland’s. Though Maryland’s requirements for a Bachelor’s degree, passing scores on standardized tests, and recertification appear consistent with what other states require, none of the other four states included in this initial survey require teachers to complete a Master’s degree within 10 years of initial certification. Also, compared to other states, Maryland’s 20-week student teaching requirement is particularly intense. As of 2006, only 3 states required more than 15 full weeks of student teaching before achieving teacher certification in a traditional program. Twenty-one states required between 10 and 15 weeks, 5 required less than 10 weeks, 10 required one semester, and 5 states do not require any student teaching. Maryland’s 20-week requirement therefore exceeds most other states by a substantial margin.220 Since people respond to incentives, and to disincentives, there is little doubt that Maryland’s burdensome certification requirements have made a significant contribution to the state’s long-term teacher shortages.

Conclusion

Maryland’s public schools consistently suffer from shortages of qualified, knowledgeable teachers, especially in science, math, technology, foreign language, special education, and English for Speakers of Other Languages. They also suffer from broad geographical teacher shortages as well as shortages of male and minority teachers. The shortages have been largely caused by Maryland’s particularly burdensome traditional teacher certification policies that are barriers and disincentives to entering the teaching profession. These ongoing shortages have been exacerbated by Maryland’s failure to embrace alternative certification pathways, which have played a key role in preventing teacher shortages all over the country. The argument that alternative certification should be discouraged because the educational and training requirements of traditional certification enhance the quality of the teaching force is clearly false. Study after study has found that such involved requirements have overwhelmingly failed to produce any observable effect on teacher performance.  In fact, many studies have reported that alternatively certified teachers outperform their traditionally certified counterparts.

Without a policy change, Maryland’s public schools will continue to suffer from shortages of qualified teachers in critical subjects, geographical teacher shortages, and shortages of male and minority teachers. Yet Maryland can make substantial progress toward resolving their shortage of public school teachers by altering and curtailing the state-mandated certification. Also, Maryland should emulate other states that have had positive results in teacher performance, staffing and diversity by more actively employing alternative certification pathways.

 

 

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Xu, Zeyu, Jane Hannaway, and Colin Taylor. “Making a Difference? The Effects of Teach for America in High School.” Urban Institute. Published 2009. Accessed March 7, 2013. http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411642_Teach_America.pdf.

1 Maryland State Department of Education, Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 1997-1999 (Baltimore: Maryland State Department of Education, 1997), iii-iv, 13.

2 Ibid.; Howard Libit, “State’s shortage of teachers to worsen, school board says,” The Baltimore Sun

(Baltimore, MD), Sept. 27, 2000, accessed March 7, 2013, http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2000-09-

27/news/0009270104_1_teachers-school-systems-school-year.; Maryland General Assembly, “HB 1031

Fiscal Note,” Department of Legislative Services, published 2002, accessed March 7, 2013,

http://www.docstoc.com/docs/129090881/Fiscal-Note-Document.; Maryland State Department of

Education, “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2003-2005,” Maryland State Department of Education,

published 2003, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.msde.state.md.us/paab/pdf/Staffing2002-04.pdf, iv-

v.; Maryland State Department of Education, “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2004-2006,” Maryland

State Department of Education, published 2004, accessed March 7, 2013,

http://cdm16064.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p266901coll7/id/1812/rec/10, vi-vii.;

Maryland State Department of Education, “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2006-2008,” Maryland State

Department of Education, published 2006, accessed March 7, 2013,

http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/9976F033-036D-49D1-9D13-

A3EA68FADAD9/11225/TeacherStaffing20062008final.pdf, vi-vii.; Maryland State Department of Education,

“Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2008-2010,” Maryland State Department of Education, published

2008, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/F7D49A8D-E9D0-

4C49-9DE6-3A878BC9F1F4/18393/MarylandTeacherStaffingReport20082011.pdf, vi-vii.; Maryland State

Department of Education, “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2010-2012,”Maryland State Publications

Depository & Distribution Program, published 2010, accessed March 6, 2013,

http://mdstatedocs.slrc.info/cdm/singleitem/collection/mdgov/id/82/rec/12, vi-viii.; Maryland State

Department of Education, “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2012-2014,” Maryland State Department of

Education, published 2012, accessed March 5, 2013,

http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/F3F5D904-0F5E-4FC7-87CE-

464FC17DABB5/33624/MarylandTeacherReport20122014.pdf, vi-viii.

The above chart includes information from every available Maryland Teacher Staffing Report dating back

to 1997. While the Maryland State Department of Education has produced the report every 2 years in

recent years, prior to that they published the report annually. The change in the frequency of the report’s

publication, combined with the fact that some of the reports from the late 1990s were not available,

account for the  irregular assemblage of report years. There is no evidence to suggest that the reports

from the missing years within this date range would mention information that would be inconsistent with

this report’s overall findings of long-term, widespread teacher shortages throughout Maryland.

3 Maryland State Department of Education, “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2012-2014,” Maryland State Department of Education, published 2012, accessed March 5, 2013, http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/F3F5D904-0F5E-4FC7-87CE-464FC17DABB5/33624/MarylandTeacherReport20122014.pdf, vi-viii. [Hereafter "Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2012-2014"]

4 Governor’s STEM Task Force, “Investing in STEM to Secure Maryland’s Future,” State of Maryland, published 2009, accessed March 6, 2013, http://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc5300/sc5339/000113/012000/012098/unrestricted/20090986e.pdf#xml=http://127.0.0.1/texis/search/pdfhi.txt?query=%22Maryland+Teacher+Staffing+Report%22&pr=msa_coll&prox=page&rorder=500&rprox=500&rdfreq=500&rwfreq=500&rlead=500&rdepth=0&sufs=0&order=r&mode=&opts=adv&cq=&sr=-1&id=4e2705e22b, 29. [Hereafter Governor’s STEM Task Force, "Investing in STEM to Secure Maryland’s Future," State of Maryland, published 2009, accessed March 6, 2013]

5 Stand for Children Leadership Center, “What We Stand For: STEM,” Stand for Children Leadership Center, accessed March 6, 2013, http://standleadershipcenter.org/what-we-stand-STEM.

6 National Association for Alternative Certification, “Quality Indicators for Non-traditional Teacher Preparation Programs,” National Association for Alternative Certification, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.alt-teachercert.org/QI%20overview.pdf.

7 Governor’s STEM Task Force, “Investing in STEM to Secure Maryland’s Future,” State of Maryland, published 2009, accessed March 6, 2013, 9-10.

8 “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2012-2014,”19.

9 “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2012-2014,”41.

10 National Center for Alternative Certification, “Introduction and Overview,” National Center for Alternative Certification, published 2010, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.teach-now.org/intro.cfm.

11 C. Emily Feistritzer, “Profile of Teachers in the U.S. 2011,” National Center for Education Information, published 2011, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.ncei.com/Profile_Teachers_US_2011.pdf, 21. [Hereafter C. Emily Feistritzer, "Profile of Teachers in the U.S. 2011," National Center for Education Information]

12 National Center for Education Statistics, “Table H120. Percentage of grade 9 through 12 public school teachers who entered teaching through alternative certification, percentage who were ‘highly qualified,’ and percentage distribution of teachers’ type of certification, by school type and main teaching assignment: 2008,” National Center for Education Statistics, accessed March 6, 2013,

http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/ctes/tables/h120.asp.

13 “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2012-2014,” 44; 19; 43.

14 Maryland State Department of Education, “News Release: National Publication Places State’s System at the Head of Class for Fifth Straight Year,” Maryland State Department of Education, published 2013, accessed March 6, 2013, http://marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/pressrelease_details/2013_01_10.htm.

15 Education Week, “State Report Cards,” Education Week, published 2013, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.edweek.org/ew/qc/2013/state_report_cards.html. [Hereafter Education Week 2013 State Report Cards]

16 National Council on Teacher Quality, “2011 State Teacher Policy Yearbook: Maryland,” National Council on Teacher Quality, published 2011, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.nctq.org/stpy11/reports/stpy11_maryland_report.pdf.

17 Calvert Institute for Policy Research, “Maryland’s Protective Tariff Against Teachers,” Calvert Institute for Policy Research, published 2012, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.calvertinstitute.org/?post_type=post&p=1191. [Hereafter Calvert Institute for Policy Research, "Maryland’s Protective Tariff Against Teachers"]

18 “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2012-2014,”19.

19 National Academy of Education, “Improving Teacher Quality and Distribution,” National Academy of Education, published 2009, accessed March 6, 2013, http://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/NAE%20Teacher%20Quality.pdf. [Hereafter National Academy of Education, "Improving Teacher Quality and Distribution"]

20 “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2012-2014,” 43.

21 Tim R. Sass, “Certification Requirements and Teacher Quality: A Comparison of Alternative Routes to Teaching,” Learning Front, published 2011, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.learningfront.com/Media/Alternative_Certification_and_Teacher_Quality_11.pdf, 3-4. [Hereafter Sass, "Certification Requirements and Teacher Quality: A Comparison of Alternative Routes to Teaching"]

22 Pam Grossman and Susanna Loeb, “Learning from Multiple Routes,” Educational Leadership (May 2010): 25, accessed March 6, 2013, http://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/grossman%20loeb_Learning%20From%20Multiple%20Routes.pdf. [Hereafter Grossman and Loeb, "Learning from Multiple Routes"]

23 Jill Constantine, Daniel Player, Tim Silva, Kristin Hallgren, Mary Grider, and John Deke, “An Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification,” Institute of Education Sciences, published 2009, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED504313.pdf, xxiii, 27, 35. [Hereafter Constantine, et. al., "An Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification"]

24 Grossman and Loeb, “Learning from Multiple Routes,” 25.

25 Marsha Ing and Susanna Loeb, “Assessing the Effectiveness of Teachers from Different Pathways: Issues and Results,” Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University, accessed March 6, 2013, http://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/Assessingtheeffectivenessofteachersloebbassok.pdf, 159. [Hereafter Ing and Loeb, "Assessing the Effectiveness of Teachers from Different Pathways: Issues and Results"] The following link makes it clear that this selection was published in 2008: Center for Education and Policy Analysis at Stanford University, “Assessing the Effectiveness of Teachers from Different Pathways: Issues and Results,” Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University, accessed March 7, 2013, http://cepa.stanford.edu/content/assessing-effectiveness-teachers-different-pathways-issues-and-results.

26 Constantine, et. al., “An Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification,” 31-2. The researchers chose to break down AC programs into subgroups that either required a comparatively great amount of coursework, or comparatively less coursework.

27 Thomas J. Kane, Amy L. Wooten, Eric S. Taylor, and John H. Tyler, “Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness,” Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University, published 2011, accessed March 6, 2013, http://cepa.stanford.edu/content/evaluating-teacher-effectiveness.

28 Ing and Loeb, “Assessing the Effectiveness of Teachers from Different Pathways: Issues and Results,”162-3.

29 University of Maryland, Baltimore County, “UMBC Master of Arts in Teaching,” University of Maryland, Baltimore County, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.umbc.edu/education/programs/12_Months_SEC_MAT/index.php; Washington College, “Teacher Certification,” Washington College, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.washcoll.edu/departments/education/teachercertification.php.

30 Elizabeth A. Kaye, ed., Requirements for Certification (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2012), 123-5. [Hereafter Requirements for Certification] COMAR 13A.12.02.06, available at http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/getfile.aspx?file=13a.12.02.06.htm; COMAR 13A.12.02.04, available at http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/getfile.aspx?file=13a.12.02.04.htm; COMAR 13A.12.01.05, available at http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/getfile.aspx?file=13a.12.01.05.htm; COMAR 13A.12.02, available at http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/SubtitleSearch.aspx?search=13A.12.02.*; Maryland State Department of Education, “FAQ,” Maryland State Department of Education, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/divisions/certification/certification_branch/faq.; Calvert Institute for Policy Research, “Maryland’s Protective Tariff Against Teachers.”

31 Bernard J. Sadusky to Members of the State Board of Education, January 24, 2012, “Presentation of the Final Report of the Reconfiguration of the Current Certification Structure and Summary of PSTEB Deliberations,” Maryland Association of Boards of Education, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.mabe.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/PSTEBCertReconfigReport2012.pdf.; Requirements for Certification, 123-5.

32 Maryland Teacher Shortage Task Force, “Maryland Teacher Shortage Task Force Report,” Maryland State Archives, published 2008, accessed March 6, 2013, http://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc5300/sc5339/000113/011000/011024/unrestricted/20080492e.pdf#xml=http://127.0.0.1/texis/search/pdfhi.txt?query=%22Maryland+Teacher+Staffing+Report%22&pr=ecpclio_coll&prox=page&rorder=500&rprox=500&rdfreq=500&rwfreq=500&rlead=500&rdepth=0&sufs=0&order=r&mode=&opts=adv&cq=&sr=-1&id=4a0486b77c, 2-3.

33 Ibid., 7. Florida provides an interesting example of how community colleges can help alternatively certify teaching candidates.

34 Ibid., 8.

35 Governor’s STEM Task Force, “Investing in STEM to Secure Maryland’s Future,” State of Maryland, published 2009, accessed March 6, 2013, 11.

36 Constantine, et. al., “An Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification,” xxiii, 27, 35. Since the Department of Education’s 2009 study dealt with randomly selected elementary school certification programs, a comparison of their findings with the status quo in Maryland also requires a comparison to elementary school teacher certification. Towson University and the University of Maryland produce the most teaching candidates of any of Maryland’s universities (“Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2012-2014,” 35), so exploring their elementary school teacher certification program allows the exploration of the experiences of many of Maryland’s teachers.

37 Towson University, “Undergraduate Catalog, 2012-2013,” Towson University, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.towson.edu/main/academics/ugrad/documents/UGcatalog_2012-13.pdf, 71-2. This figure includes internships. An additional 9 credit hours of prerequisites are required in education courses, but these courses can also be used to satisfy Towson’s general course requirements for all students. It would therefore be inappropriate to include these additional 9 credit hours in the figures above. Even so, it is worth noting that including these 9 credits of required education courses, Early Childhood Education students at Towson University actually complete 1200 hours of coursework.

38 Ibid., 74-5. This figure includes internship coursework. The Professional Program is listed as 61-62 credits, but there are 12 credits of additional prerequisites in education coursework that do not satisfy Towson’s general course requirements for students regardless of their major.

39 This figure includes internship coursework. The program also includes 12 additional credits of required education coursework, for an actual total of 79 credits of coursework and 1185 hours of instruction, but it would not be appropriate to include those 12 credits in the figures above because these 12 credits can also be used to satisfy the general course requirements that apply to all students regardless of their major. University of Maryland, “Human Development/Institute for Child Study (EDHD),” University of Maryland, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.umd.edu/catalog/index.cfm/show/content.section/c/1/ss/2624/s/151.; University of Maryland, “General Education Courses,” University of Maryland, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.sis.umd.edu/bin/soc?crs=gened&term=201301.; University of Maryland, “Undergraduate Catalog,” University of Maryland, accessed March 6, 2013, http://ia701206.us.archive.org/19/items/UndergraduateCatalogUniversityOfMarylandCollegePark2012-2013/2012-2013UndergraduateCatalogForArchives.pdf.

40 These figures include internship coursework. The range in credits and hours of instruction is due to uncertainty about whether or not it is appropriate to include 18 credits of required classwork in a student selected Area of Emphasis. The figures above exclude an additional 26 credits of required coursework that can also be used to satisfy the general educational requirements that all students must complete regardless of their course of study, bringing the actual total number of credits that the program requires to between 87 and 105, for a total number of hours of instruction that falls between 1305 and 1575 hours. To put those figures in perspective, it is worth noting that the DOE’s 2009 report that assessed random elementary school alternative and traditional certification programs stated that the most labor-intensive traditional certification program they surveyed required 1380 hours of instruction (Constantine, et. al., “An Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification,” xxiii). University of Maryland, “Curriculum and Instruction- Elementary Education (EDCI),” University of Maryland, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.umd.edu/catalog/index.cfm/show/content.section/c/1/ss/2622/s/242.; University of Maryland, “General Education Courses,” University of Maryland, accessed March 6, 2013,http://www.sis.umd.edu/bin/soc?crs=gened&term=201301.; University of Maryland, “Undergraduate Catalog,” University of Maryland, accessed March 6, 2013, http://ia701206.us.archive.org/19/items/UndergraduateCatalogUniversityOfMarylandCollegePark2012-2013/2012-2013UndergraduateCatalogForArchives.pdf.

41 Ing and Loeb, “Assessing the Effectiveness of Teachers from Different Pathways: Issues and Results,” 184-5.

42 Sass, “Certification Requirements and Teacher Quality: A Comparison of Alternative Routes to Teaching,” 21.

43 Donald Boyd, Pamela Grossman, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, Matthew Ronfeldt, and James Wyckoff, “Recruiting Effective Math Teachers, Evidence from New York City,” Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University, accessed March 6, 2013, http://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/NYC%20Math%20Teachers%20AERJ%20revision.pdf, 25. [Hereafter Boyd, et.al., "Recruiting Effective Math Teachers, Evidence from New York City"]

44 Donald J. Boyd, Pamela L. Grossman, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, and James Wyckoff, “Teacher

Preparation and Student Achievement,” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis Vol. 31, no. 4 (2009):

436, 435, accessed March 6, 2013,

http://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/Preparation%20and%20Achievement.pdf. [Hereafter Boyd et.

al., "Teacher Preparation and Student Achievement"]

45 Kate Walsh and Sandi Jacobs, “Alternative Certification Isn’t Alternative,” National Council on Teacher Quality, published 2007, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.nctq.org/p/publications/docs/Alternative_Certification_Isnt_Alternative.pdf, 7. [Hereafter Walsh and Jacobs, "Alternative Certification Isn’t Alternative,"]

46 Wendy L. McCarty and Demaris Dietz, “Alternative Teacher Certification: The Case for Transition to Teaching,” Journal of Applied Learning in Higher Education Vol. 3 (2011): 47, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.missouriwestern.edu/appliedlearning/journalvol3/JALHE_Vol_3_McCarty_45-58.pdf. [Hereafter McCarty and Dietz, "Alternative Teacher Certification: The Case for Transition to Teaching"]

47 National Academy of Education, “Improving Teacher Quality and Distribution.”

48 “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2012-2014,” 7.

49 Requirements for Certification, 125.

50 Maryland State Department of Education, “Maryland Approved Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs Directory,” Maryland State Department of Education, published 2012, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/6662E011-70C1-44A0-BD5E-693AE1267EC0/33881/MAAPPDirectoryUpdatedOctober222012.pdf. [Hereafter Maryland State Department of Education, "Maryland Approved Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs Directory"]

51 Maryland State Department of Education, “How to Become a Teacher as a Career Changer or Recent College Graduate,” Maryland State Department of Education, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/6662E011-70C1-44A0-BD5E-693AE1267EC0/33689/HowtoBecomeaTeacher102012.pdf. Both of these problems could be easily remedied if at no cost to taxpayers if the state simply approved ABCTE, a highly-regarded online alternative certification program that has already been approved by 10 states, and was recommended for implementation in Maryland in 2005 by the Steele Commission report.

52 Maryland State Department of Education, “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2010-2012,”Maryland State Publications Depository & Distribution Program, published 2010, accessed March 6, 2013, http://mdstatedocs.slrc.info/cdm/singleitem/collection/mdgov/id/82/rec/12, vii.

53 “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2012-2014,” 44.

54 Maryland State Department of Education, “Maryland Approved Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs Directory.” From 2010-2012, teacher shortages existed in 19 of Maryland’s 24 school districts: Allegany County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Carroll County, Cecil County, Charles County, Dorchester County, Frederick County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Calvert County, Queen Anne’s County, St. Mary’s County, Talbot County, Washington County, Wicomico County, and Worcester County. Fifteen of these nineteen counties did not hire a single AC teacher from 2010-2012, despite being understaffed: Allegany County, Calvert County, Carroll County, Cecil County, Charles County, Dorchester County, Frederick County, Harford County, Howard County, Queen Anne’s County, St. Mary’s County, Talbot County, Washington County, Wicomico County, and Worcester County. Of these 15 counties, 14 did not even have an AC program: Allegany County, Calvert County, Carroll County, Cecil County, Charles County, Dorchester County, Frederick County, Harford County, Queen Anne’s County, St. Mary’s County, Talbot County, Washington County, Wicomico County, and Worcester County. Howard County had an AC program, but did not hire a single person from it from 2010-2012.

55 “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report,” 44.

56 Ibid., 19, 21, 23.

57 Ibid., 43, 36, 37. The numbers are estimates because the report included estimated figures for the 2011-2012 year. Also, the figures noted here compare the number of teaching candidates to the number of those actually holding teaching positions because for some reason that is how MSDE decided to display their data.

58 For one account of dissenting evidence, see: Julian Vasquez Heilig and Su Jin Jez, “Teach for America: A Review of the Evidence,” National Education Policy Center, published 2010, accessed March 6, 2013, http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/teach-for-america. [Hereafter Heilig and Jez, "Teach for America: A Review of the Evidence"] As this paper will discuss, however, at least one of this paper’s criticisms include either a glaring oversight or outright dishonesty. See also: Ing and Loeb, “Assessing the Effectiveness of Teachers from Different Pathways: Issues and Results,” 170-9.

59 Teach for America, “Where We Work,” Teach for America, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.teachforamerica.org/where-we-work.; Maryland State Department of Education, “Maryland Approved Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs Directory.” TFA teachers work in Colorado, Hawaii, California, Washington, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia.

60 Teach for America, “Teach for America 2011 Annual Letter,” Teach for America, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.teachforamerica.org/sites/default/files/Annual.Report.FINAL_.pdf, 5. [Hereafter "Teach for America 2011 Annual Letter"]

61 Teach for America, “A Solvable Problem,” Teach for America, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.teachforamerica.org/our-mission/a-solvable-problem.

62 “Teach for America 2011 Annual Letter,” 5.

63 Teach for America, “Enlisting Committed Individuals,” Teach for America, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.teachforamerica.org/our-mission/enlisting-committed-individuals.

64 Teach for America, “Who We Look For,” Teach for America, accessed March 7, 2013, https://www.teachforamerica.org/why-teach-for-america/who-we-look-for.; “Teach for America 2011 Annual Letter,” 17.

65 Teach for America, “Summer Training,” Teach for America, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.teachforamerica.org/why-teach-for-america/training-and-support/summer-training. [Hereafter TFA "Summer Training"]

66 Teach for America, “Teacher Certification,” Teach for America, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.teachforamerica.org/why-teach-for-america/training-and-support/teacher-certification. [Hereafter TFA "Teacher Certification]

67 George H. Noell and Kristin A. Gansle, “Teach for America Teachers’ Contribution to Student Achievement in Louisiana in Grades 4-9: 2004-2005 and 2006-2007,” National Council on Teacher Quality, published 2009, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.nctq.org/docs/TFA_Louisiana_study.PDF, 14-5.

68 Ibid., 15-6.

69 Zeyu Xu, Jane Hannaway, and Colin Taylor, “Making a Difference? The Effects of Teach for America in High School,” Urban Institute, published 2009, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411642_Teach_America.pdf, 25.

70 Ing and Loeb, “Assessing the Effectiveness of Teachers from Different Pathways: Issues and Results,” 172-3.

71 Stand for Children Leadership Center, “What We Stand For: Teachers,” Stand for Children Leadership Center, accessed March 7, 2013, http://standleadershipcenter.org/what-we-stand-teachers. [Hereafter Stand for Children Leadership Center, "What We Stand For: Teachers"]

72 Dan Goldhaber, “Education Policies and Practices and the Quality of the Teacher Workforce,” Stand for Children Leadership Center, published 2012, accessed March 7, 2013, http://standleadershipcenter.org/sites/standleadershipcenter.org/files/media/WWSF-Teachers.pdf, 5. [Hereafter Goldhaber, "Education Policies and Practices and the Quality of the Teacher Workforce"]

73 Gary T. Henry, Charles L. Thompson, Kevin C. Bastian, C. Kevin Fortner, David C. Kershaw, Kelly M. Purtell, and Rebecca A. Zulli, “Portal Report: Teacher Preparation and Student Test Scores in North Carolina,” Carolina Institute for Public Policy, published 2010, accessed March 7, 2013, http://publicpolicy.unc.edu/research/Teacher_Portals_Teacher_Preparation_and_Student_Test_Scores_in_North_Carolina_2.pdf, 11. The document’s first appendix explained that this was a massive study, including over 1.6 million test scores, over 900,000 students and 20,000 teachers compiled over the 4-year period between 2004 and 2008.

74 Boyd, et.al., “Recruiting Effective Math Teachers, Evidence from New York City,” 25. Curiously, the copy of the report listed at the above URL does not appear to include a date of publication. This is probably because this report is still in the editorial stages. Nevertheless, it is clear that the report was written within no earlier than 2009, as the report references other work that was published as recently as 2009.

75 Ibid.

76 Tennessee State Board of Education and Tennessee Higher Education Commission, “Report Card of the Effectiveness of Teacher Training Programs,” State of Tennessee, published 2010, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.tn.gov/thec/Divisions/fttt/report_card_teacher_train/2010%20Report%20Card%20on%20the%20Effectiveness%20of%20Teacher%20Training%20Programs.pdf, 5-6.; Jane Roberts, “Teach for America recruits produce higher test scores, get better results,” The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), Dec. 3, 2010, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/dec/03/teaching-program-beating-colleges/.; Teach for America, “What the Research Says,” Teach for America, published 2012, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.teachforamerica.org/sites/default/files/Research_on_Teach_For_America_2012_1.pdf.

77 Grossman and Loeb, “Learning from Multiple Routes,” 26.

78 Ing and Loeb, “Assessing the Effectiveness of Teachers from Different Pathways: Issues and Results,”179-80.

79 Sam Dillon, “Education Department Deals Out Big Awards,” The New York Times (New York, NY), Aug. 5, 2010, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/education/05grants.html?_r=2&.

80 Ben Wieder, “Teach for America Alumni Take Aim At State Office, Face Union Opposition,” The Huffington Post, Aug. 27, 2012, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/27/teach-for-america-alumni-_n_1631962.html.; Washington Policy Center, “Seattle teachers’ union seeks ban on teachers—sees Teach for America as threat to its position in the system,” Washington Policy Center, published March 8,2012, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.washingtonpolicy.org/blog/post/seattle-teachers-union-seeks-ban-teachers%E2%80%94sees-teach-america-threat-its-position-system. For even more information demonstrating TFA’s effectiveness, visit the following URL: http://www.teachforamerica.org/sites/default/files/Research_on_Teach_For_America_2012_1.pdf.

81 Jessica Amos, “A Godsend to Low-Income Communities,” The New York Times (New York, NY), August 31, 2012, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/08/30/is-teach-for-america-working/a-godsend-to-low-income-communities.

82 Teach for America, “Baltimore,” Teach for America, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.teachforamerica.org/where-we-work/baltimore.

83 Walsh and Jacobs, “Alternative Certification Isn’t Alternative,” 8.

84 American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, “About ABCTE,” American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, accessed March 7, 2013, http://abcte.org/about-us/.

85 Sass, “Certification Requirements and Teacher Quality: A Comparison of Alternative Routes to Teaching,” 10.

86 American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, “Financial Aid,” American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, accessed March 7, 2013, http://abcte.org/teach/pricing/financial-aid/.; American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, “ABCTE Program Checklist,” American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.abcte.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Program-Checklist-print.pdf.

87 Sass, “Certification Requirements and Teacher Quality: A Comparison of Alternative Routes to Teaching,” 20-1.

88 The ten states are: Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Utah.

89 Florida Department of Education, “Pathways to Full State Certification in Florida,” State of Florida, published 2006, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/pdf/Pathways.pdf.

90 American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, “How It Works,” American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, accessed March 7, 2013, http://abcte.org/certification/how-it-works/.

91 Point Park University, “ABCTE Information,” Point Park University, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.pointpark.edu/Academics/Schools/SchoolofArtsandSciences/Departments/Education/ABCTE.; Pennsylvania Department of Education, “American Board (ABCTE),” State of Pennsylvania, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/other_routes_to_certification/8818/american_board_(abcte)/506779.; American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, “How It Works in Pennsylvania,” American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, accessed March 7, 2013, http://abcte.org/certification/how-it-works/how-it-works-in-pennsylvania/.; Requirements for Certification, 229-230.

92 Requirements for Certification, 238.; Education Week 2013 State Report Cards.

93 American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, “How It Works in Mississippi,” American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, accessed March 7, 2013, http://abcte.org/certification/how-it-works/how-it-works-in-mississippi/.; Requirements for Certification, 150-1.

94 The Governor’s Commission on Quality Education in Maryland, “September 2005 Report,” State of Maryland, published 2005, accessed March 7, 2013, http://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc5300/sc5339/000113/000000/000600/unrestricted/20050867e.pdf, 14.

95 McCarty and Dietz, “Alternative Teacher Certification: The Case for Transition to Teaching,” 45.

96 McCarty and Dietz, “Alternative Teacher Certification: The Case for Transition to Teaching,” 49-50. Page 50 makes it clear that the three six-credit hour courses can be completed while the applicant is already teaching, a detail that the Nebraska Department of Education’s (NDOE) website is somewhat unclear about. While the NDOE’s is website (http://www.unk.edu/coe.aspx?id=463) clearly notes that a track is available for applicants who wish to teach while completing the program, the website also notes that some applicants can choose to complete some of the coursework requirements prior to the start of their teaching careers. The confusing part is that another NDOE page (http://www.unk.edu/coe.aspx?id=59267) notes that the program includes a student teaching component. Considered together, the information in the article and on the NDOE’s website points to the conclusion that the applicant’s execution of his or her daily teaching duties while completing the online coursework is itself the student teaching component.

97 McCarty and Dietz, “Alternative Teacher Certification: The Case for Transition to Teaching,” 51.

98 Greg Toppo, “Teach for America: Elite corps or costing older teachers jobs?,” USA Today, July 29, 2009, accessed March 7, 2013, http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-07-29-teach-for-america_N.htm. [Hereafter Toppo, USA Today]

99 Julian Vasquez Heilig, “A Glorified Temp Agency,” The New York Times (New York, NY), August 31, 2012, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/08/30/is-teach-for-america-working/teach-for-america-is-a-glorified-temp-agency.; “Teach for America 2011 Annual Letter,” 17.

100 Toppo, USA Today.

101 Nearly half of new teachers (50%) leave the profession within the first five years. Also, TFA boasts a 29% retention rate for all teachers, even teachers who completed TFA more than three years ago, giving them more than five years of experience. Though comparing these retention rates slants the data unfairly against TFA, comparing them still has some value, and the difference between the two figures is 21%. It is therefore reasonable to estimate that TFA teachers are 15%-25% less likely to remain in the profession.

102 “Teach for America 2011 Annual Letter,” 17.

103 Toppo, USA Today.

104 Ibid.

105 Kacey Guin, “Chronic Teacher Turnover in Urban Elementary Schools,” Education Policy Analysis

Archives Vol. 12 no. 42 (2004): 1, accessed March 7, 2013, http://epaa.asu.edu/ojs/article/view/197/323.

106 Martha Abele Mac Iver and E. Sidney Vaughn III, “’But How Long Will They Stay?’ Alternative Certification and New Teacher Retention in an Urban District,” Educational Research Service, published 2007, accessed March 7, 2013, http://gw.summon.serialssolutions.com/document/show?id=FETCHMERGED-eric_primary_EJ7956621&s.fvf%5B%5D=ContentType%2CNewspaper+Article%2Ct&s.q=But+How+Long+Will+They+Stay%3F%22+Alternative+Certification+and+New+Teacher+Retention+in+an+Urban+District. [Hereafter Mac Iver and Vaughn III, "’But How Long Will They Stay?’ Alternative Certification and New Teacher Retention in an Urban District"]

107 Heilig and Jez, “Teach for America: A Review of the Evidence,” 5-8.

108 U.S. Department of Education, “WWC Quick Review of the Report ‘Making a Difference? The Effects of Teach for America in High School,’” U.S. Department of Education, published 2008, accessed March 7, 2013, http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/WWC/pdf/quick_reviews/tfa_071508.pdf. [Hereafter U.S. Department of Education, "WWC Quick Review of the Report ‘Making a Difference? The Effects of Teach for America in High School’"]; Heilig and Jez, “Teach for America: A Review of the Evidence,” 7n23-5.

109 U.S. Department of Education, “WWC Quick Review of the Report ‘Making a Difference? The Effects of Teach for America in High School.’” The EPIC/EPRU’s failure to mention that the DOE validated and endorsed the CALDER Study is particularly glaring considering that the DOE’s published review of the CALDER Study announces its endorsement in oversize, bold lettering, reading, “The research described in this report is consistent with WWC evidence standards with reservations.” The DOE’s published review of the CALDER Study is available for public viewing at the URL referenced in this note.

110 Ing and Loeb, “Assessing the Effectiveness of Teachers from Different Pathways: Issues and Results,”170.

111 Ibid., 179-80.

112 Heilig and Jez, “Teach for America: A Review of the Evidence,” 10-2.

113 Malissa Yung-Grubb Mootoo, “If Anything, They Work Too Hard,” The New York Times (New York, NY), Aug. 30, 2012, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/08/30/is-teach-for-america-working/teach-for-america-teachers-work-too-hard.

114 National Center for Education Statistics, “Beginning Teacher Attrition and Mobility: Results From the First Through Third Waves of the 2007-08 Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study,” National Center for Education Statistics, accessed March 7, 2013, http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2011/2011318/findings.asp.; National Center for Education Statistics, “Table 2.  Percentage distribution of 2007–08 beginning public school teachers, by teacher status and selected 2007–08 teacher and school characteristics: 2008–09 and 2009–10,” National Center for Education Statistics, accessed March 7, 2013, http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2011/2011318/tables/table_02.asp?referrer=report.

115 Grossman and Loeb, “Learning from Multiple Routes,” 26.

116 Mac Iver and Vaughn III, “’But How Long Will They Stay?’ Alternative Certification and New Teacher Retention in an Urban District.”

117 Governor’s STEM Task Force, “”Investing in STEM to Secure Maryland’s Future,” State of Maryland, published 2009, accessed March 6, 2013, 9-10.

118 Gary T. Henry, Charles L. Thompson, Kevin C. Bastian, C. Kevin Fortner, David C. Kershaw, Kelly M. Purtell, and Rebecca A. Zulli, “Does teacher preparation affect student achievement?,” Syracuse University, published 2011, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.maxwell.syr.edu/uploadedFiles/cpr/events/cpr_seminar_series/Henry_paper.pdf, 2, 27. Appendix Table 1 of this study reveals that this was a massive study, involving 1.6 million test scores, 939K students, and almost 20K teachers. The manuscript that the authors submitted to the journal appears to be an edited version of a report they released the previous summer, which is cited above and can be found at the following URL: http://publicpolicy.unc.edu/research/Teacher_Portals_Teacher_Preparation_and_Student_Test_Scores_in_North_Carolina_2.pdf.

119 Sass, “Certification Requirements and Teacher Quality: A Comparison of Alternative Routes to Teaching,” 21.

120 Boyd et. al., “Teacher Preparation and Student Achievement,” 416. The authors explain on page 433 that they have, in their calculations, tried to control for differences in candidates, to eliminate distortions that might be caused by some programs being better at attracting better candidates.

121 Ibid., 434.

122 Ibid.

123 Ibid., 435.

124 Ibid., 436; 435.

125 Judy Carol Alhamisi, “Comparison of Alternative and Traditional Teacher Preparation Programs for First Year Special Education Teachers in Northwest Ohio,” Journal of the National Association for Alternative Certification Vol. 6 no.1 (2011): 13, http://jnaac.com/index.php/test/article/view/4/3.

126 Grossman and Loeb, “Learning from Multiple Routes,” 22

127 “Teach for America 2011 Annual Letter,” 9-10.

128 Grossman and Loeb, “Learning from Multiple Routes,” 25.

129 National Center for Education Information, “Profile of Alternate Route Teachers,” National Center for Education Information, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.ncei.com/part.html. [Hereafter National Center for Education Information, "Profile of Alternate Route Teachers"]

130 C. Emily Feistritzer and Charlene K. Haar, “Research on Alternate Routes,” National Center for Education Information, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.teach-now.org/RESEARCH%20ABOUT%20ALTERNATE%20ROUTES.pdf, 35. [Hereafter Feistritzer and Haar, "Research on Alternate Routes"]

131 C. Emily Feistritzer, “Profile of Teachers in the U.S. 2011,” National Center for Education Information, 23.

132 Constantine, et. al., “An Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification,” xxvii.

133 Donald Boyd, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, Jonah Rockoff, and James Wyckoff, “The Narrowing Gap in New York City Teacher Qualifications and Its Implications for Student Achievement in High-Poverty Schools,” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management Vol. 27 no. 4 (2008): 815, accessed March 7, 2013, http://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/Narrowing.pdf.

134 S. Loeb and J. Myung, “Economic Approaches to Teacher Recruitment and Retention,” Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University, published 2010, accessed March 7, 2013, http://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/loeb%2Cmyung_Economic%20Approaches%20to%20Teacher%20Recruitment%20and%20Retention.pdf, 475.

135 National Center for Education Information, “Profile of Alternate Route Teachers.”

136 Sass, “Certification Requirements and Teacher Quality: A Comparison of Alternative Routes to Teaching,” 21.

137 Ing and Loeb, “Assessing the Effectiveness of Teachers from Different Pathways: Issues and Results,”180.

138 Constantine, et. al., “An Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification,” xxviii-xxx. This result is particularly noteworthy considering that the study purposely excluded alternative certification programs that have highly selective entrance requirements, like TFA, as they explained on pages xix and xx.

139 Ibid., 50-2. Page 27 of the report also explains that the total numbers of hours of instruction are hours of real time, not credit hours. The authors assume 3 hours of instruction every week for 15 weeks, for a total of 45 hours of instruction for one 3-credit college course. The authors of the report are frustratingly vague on the specific method they used to determine which TC coursework counted toward their calculations of total instruction hours and which did not, saying only that their figures were reported to them by TC program directors (37). Most universities require students to complete a series of introductory courses regardless of the student’s chosen path of study. Though these courses are required of TC students, it would be misleading to include these courses in an assessment of teacher certification requirements. Fortunately, there is evidence that the program directors did not include the hours of instruction required by general course requirements in their study. Most bachelor’s degrees require a total of 120 credits, which translates to 1,800 hours of instruction. Since not even the study’s most labor-intensive examples approach this figure, it is clear that the hours of instruction that the report mentions do not include general introductory courses which most colleges require.

140 Ibid., 41.

141 Ibid.

142 Ibid., xviii-xix.

143 U.S. Department of Education, “WWC Quick Review of the Report ‘An Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification,” U.S. Department of Education, published 2009, accessed March 7, 2013, http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/WWC/pdf/quick_reviews/altcert_072809.pdf.

144 Committee on the Study of Teacher Preparation Programs in the United States, “Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy,” National Academy of Sciences, published 2010, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12882&page=62, 62-3.; Debra Viadero, “Panel Finds No Favorite in Teacher Prep Pathways,” Education Week, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/04/29/31teachered.h29.html.

145 Stand for Children Leadership Center, “What We Stand For: Teachers.”

146 Goldhaber, “Education Policies and Practices and the Quality of the Teacher Workforce,” 4-5.

147 Ibid., 5.

148 Ibid., 15.

149 Donald Boyd, Pamela Grossman, Hamilton Lankford, Susanna Loeb, James Wyckoff, “How Changes in Entry Requirements Alter the Teacher Workforce and Affect Student Achievement,” Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University, published 2006, accessed March 7, 2013, http://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/Reducing%20Entry%20Requirements%20EPF%202006.pdf, 176.

150 Ibid.

151 Grossman and Loeb, “Learning from Multiple Routes,” 26.

152 Boyd, et.al., “Recruiting Effective Math Teachers, Evidence from New York City,” 25.

153 Ing and Loeb, “Assessing the Effectiveness of Teachers from Different Pathways: Issues and Results,”160, 176, 177, 180.

154 Ibid., 177.

155 Feistritzer and Haar, “Research on Alternate Routes,” 35.; Education Week 2013 State Report Cards.

156Arkansas and South Carolina were selected as comparison states due to the fact that those two states

held Education Week’s top two teacher profession rankings in their most recent state-by-state analysis. A

group of remaining comparison states were selected at random. Of these randomly selected states, the

states that had requirements that were relatively easy to determine and understand were included, while

states with requirements that were particularly difficult to determine or understand were left out. The

author thought it important to include states whose requirements were relatively straightforward since

this report is intended for a general audience. It is possible that aiming to include information that was

easy to determine could result in a selection bias towards states that have less onerous requirements, as it

may be true that less onerous requirements are easier to understand and determine that more onerous

requirements, which may be more detailed. Whether a methodological bias actually exists, however, is

unclear since it is certainly possible for onerous certifications to be simple—indeed, it is not difficult to

understand that Maryland’s student teaching requirement is 8 weeks longer than South Carolina’s.

Regardless of whether the bias exists, the main point remains true, namely that the initial evidence

presented here demonstrates that alternative certified teachers in Maryland generally endure more

burdensome requirements than alternatively certified teachers do in a variety of other states.

157 Constantine, et. al., “An Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification,” xxiii, 27, 35. Page 27 of the report also explains that the total numbers of hours of instruction are hours of real time, not credit hours. The authors assume 3 hours of instruction every week for 15 weeks, for a total of 45 hours of instruction for one 3-credit college course. Footnote 39 on page 27 of the report explains that the number of hours reported above includes all of the coursework that AC teachers are required to complete to finish their AC programs, including coursework that the teachers must complete after becoming the teacher of record for their classes.

158 Requirements for Certification, 125-6.; Maryland State Department of Education, “Divisions,” Maryland State Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/divisions/certification/certification_branch/testing_information/testing_info_general.

159 “Maryland Teacher Staffing Report, 2012-2014,” 44.

160 TFA “Summer Training.”

161 TFA “Teacher Certifcation.”

162 Johns Hopkins University School of Education, “Teach for America Partnership Program,” Johns Hopkins University School of Education, accessed March 7, 2013,

https://squirrel.adobeconnect.com/_a751959191/p11yj1ykovh/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal. See 6:30 into the presentation. Though this is not a Johns Hopkins URL, a link at the bottom of a Johns Hopkins webpage leads to this presentation. The URL for that Hopkins webpage is: http://education.jhu.edu/Academics/masters/MSES/. About 70% of TFA-Baltimore teachers choose to use the required training coursework towards the completion of a Master’s degree in the two-year period, as explained at this website: Teach for America, “Regional Cost Calculator,” Teach for America, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.teachforamerica.org/where-we-work/baltimore/expenses-and-certification.

163 Requirements for Certification, 126.

164 While it is clear that training for TFA teachers in Prince George’s County is similar to the training in Baltimore—each goes through the same introductory training, and then completes additional training over 2 years leading to full certification—discovering precise details about Prince George’s County’s TFA teachers was very difficult. TFA teachers in Prince George’s County reportedly complete in monthly professional development training, but information about additional requirements remains unclear. Laura E. Lee, “Teach for America teachers get cutting-edge training,” The Sentinel (Montgomery County, MD), Aug. 18, 2010, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.thesentinel.com/pgs/news/Teach-for-America-workshops.; Teach for America, “Regional Cost Calculator,” Teach for America, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.teachforamerica.org/where-we-work/dc-region/expenses-and-certification. The Maryland State Department of Education’s overview of the TFA-Prince George’s Country program reads,” Once they become teachers of record, the teachers receive intensive and ongoing support and professional development throughout their two-year employment while on the Resident Teacher Certificate. This support includes classroom observations; individualized feedback; targeted, concrete resources; reflective, data-driven consultations with supervisors; and content-specific learning groups designed by Teach For America.” Maryland State Department of Education, “Maryland Approved Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs Directory.”

165 Maryland State Department of Education, “Maryland Approved Alternative Teacher Preparation Programs Directory,” Maryland State Department of Education, published 2011, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.tttmaryland.org/pdf/MAAPPDirectoryUpdatedMay2011.pdf.

166 Baltimore City Teaching Residency, “Program Overview,” Baltimore City Teaching Residency, accessed March 7, 2013, http://bcteachingresidency.ttrack.org/AboutUs/ProgramOverview.aspx.

167 Baltimore City Teaching Residency, “Who We Want,” Baltimore City Teaching Residency, accessed March 7, 2013, http://bcteachingresidency.ttrack.org/AboutUs/WhoWeWant.aspx.

168 Baltimore City Teaching Residency, “Pre-Service Training,” Baltimore City Teaching Residency, accessed March 7, 2013, http://bcteachingresidency.ttrack.org/YourTeachingCareer/TrainingInstitute.aspx.

169 Baltimore City Teaching Residency, “FAQ,” Baltimore City Teaching Residency, accessed March 7, 2013, http://bcteachingresidency.ttrack.org/FAQ.aspx. These sums cover the candidate for the pre-service training and the training that continues during the school year. http://bcteachingresidency.ttrack.org/YourTeachingCareer/TNTPAcademy.aspx

170 Baltimore City Teaching Residency, “TNTP Academy,” Baltimore City Teaching Residency, accessed March 7, 2013, http://bcteachingresidency.ttrack.org/YourTeachingCareer/TNTPAcademy.aspx.; Baltimore City Teaching Residency, “A Focus on Literacy Instruction,” Baltimore City Teaching Residency, accessed March 7, 2013, http://bcteachingresidency.ttrack.org/YourTeachingCareer/LiteracyCoursework.aspx.

171 Baltimore City Teaching Residency, “A Focus on Literacy Instruction,” Baltimore City Teaching Residency, accessed March 7, 2013, http://bcteachingresidency.ttrack.org/YourTeachingCareer/LiteracyCoursework.aspx.

172 Baltimore City Teaching Residency, “Your Teaching Position,” Baltimore City Teaching Residency, accessed March 7, 2013, http://bcteachingresidency.ttrack.org/YourTeachingCareer/YourTeachingPosition.aspx.

173 Requirements for Certification, 126.

174 Walsh and Jacobs, “Alternative Certification Isn’t Alternative,” 7.

175 American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, “How It Works in Mississippi,” American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence, accessed March 7, 2013, http://abcte.org/certification/how-it-works/how-it-works-in-mississippi/.; Requirements for Certification, 150-1.

176 Mississippi Department of Education, “Teach Mississippi Institute,” Mississippi Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/docs/educator-licensure/teach-mississippi-institute-(tmi).pdf?sfvrsn=0.; Requirements for Certification, 150.

177 Mississippi Department of Education, “Master of Arts in Teaching,” Mississippi Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/docs/school-improvement-library/master-of-art-in-teaching.pdf?sfvrsn=0.; Mississippi Department of Education, “Educator Licensure,” Mississippi Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/educator-licensure/alternate-route-programs.

178 Mississippi Community College Foundation, “Mississippi Alternate Path to Quality Teachers Training Institute Application,” Northwest Mississippi Community College, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.northwestms.edu/careercenter/pdfs/Alt_Path_to_Quality_Teachers_Trng_Inst_Appln.pdf.; Mississippi Department of Education, “Mississippi Alternate Path to Quality Teachers,” Mississippi Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/docs/school-improvement-library/ms-alternate-path-to-quality-teachers-(mapqt).pdf?sfvrsn=0.; Mississippi Community College Foundation, “MAPQT,” Mississippi Community College Foundation, accessed March 7, 2013, http://mccfms.org/mapqt.

179 Sass, “Certification Requirements and Teacher Quality: A Comparison of Alternative Routes to Teaching,” 20.

180 Florida Department of Education, “Pathways to a Professional Certificate in Florida,” Florida Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/pdf/Profoptions.pdf.; Florida Department of Education, “Certificate Types and Requirements,” Florida Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/cert_types.asp.

181 Sass, “Certification Requirements and Teacher Quality: A Comparison of Alternative Routes to

Teaching,” 9-10.

182 Florida Department of Education, “Program Overview,” Florida Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, https://www.altcertflorida.org/programoverview.htm.

183 TeachingCertification.com, “Alternative teaching Certification in Florida,” TeachingCertification.com, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.teaching-certification.com/teaching/florida-alternative-teaching-certification.html.

184 Florida Department of Education, “Pathways to a Professional Certificate in Florida,” Florida Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/pdf/Profoptions.pdf.; Florida Department of Education, “Certificate Types and Requirements,” Florida Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/cert_types.asp.

185 Sass, “Certification Requirements and Teacher Quality: A Comparison of Alternative Routes to Teaching,” 10; Florida Department of Education, “Pathways to a Professional Certificate in Florida,” Florida Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/pdf/Profoptions.pdf.

186 Florida Department of Education, “Pathways to Full State Certification in Florida,” Florida Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/pdf/Pathways.pdf.

187 Florida Department of Education, “Pathways to a Professional Certificate in Florida,” Florida Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/pdf/Profoptions.pdf; Sass, “Certification Requirements and Teacher Quality: A Comparison of Alternative Routes to Teaching,” 10.

188 Florida Department of Education, “Pathways to Full State Certification in Florida,” Florida Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013,

http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/pdf/Pathways.pdf.; Florida Department of Education, “Certificate Types and Requirements,” Florida Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/cert_types.asp.

189 Sass, “Certification Requirements and Teacher Quality: A Comparison of Alternative Routes to Teaching,” 20-1.

190 Requirements for Certification, 238.

191 South Carolina Department of Education, “South Carolina Educator Certification Manual,” South Carolina Department of Education, published 2012, accessed March 7, 2013, http://ed.sc.gov/agency/act/se/ec/cert/certpdf/teachercertificationmanual.pdf, 83-4. [Hereafter South Carolina Department of Education, "South Carolina Educator Certification Manual"]

192 South Carolina Department of Education, “PACE Training,” South Carolina Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.ed.sc.gov/agency/programs-services/193/PACETraining.cfm.

193 Ibid.; South Carolina Department of Education, “South Carolina Educator Certification Manual,” 79-85.

194 Education Week 2013 State Report Cards.

195 Arkansas Department of Education, “Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure,” Arkansas Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.teacharkansas.org/non-trad-lic-program%202010.html#Program_Description.

196 Arkansas Department of Education, “Routes to Educator Licensure,” Arkansas Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.arkansased.org/divisions/human-resources-educator-effectiveness-and-licensure/educator-licensure-unit/routes-to-educator-licensure. [Hereafter Arkansas Department of Education, "Routes to Educator Licensure"]; Arkansas Department of Education, “Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing Educator Licensure,” Arkansas Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.arkansased.org/public/userfiles/HR_and_Educator_Effectiveness/HR_Educator_Licensure/Rules_for_Ed_Licensure_with_Emergency_Licensure_Rules.pdf, 34-5.

197 Arkansas Department of Education, “Routes to Educator Licensure.”; Arkansas Department of Education, “Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing Educator Licensure,” Arkansas Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.arkansased.org/public/userfiles/HR_and_Educator_Effectiveness/HR_Educator_Licensure/Rules_for_Ed_Licensure_with_Emergency_Licensure_Rules.pdf, 34-5.

198 Arkansas and South Carolina were selected as comparison states due to the fact that those two

states held Education Week’s top two teacher profession rankings in their most recent state-by-state

analysis. A group of remaining comparison states were selected at random. Of these randomly selected

states, the states that had requirements that were relatively easy to determine and understand were

included, while states with requirements that were particularly difficult to determine or understand were

left out. The author thought it important to include states whose requirements were relatively

straightforward since this report is intended for a general audience. It is possible that aiming to include

information that was easy to determine could result in a selection bias towards states that have less

onerous requirements as it may be true that less onerous requirements are easier to understand and

determine that more onerous requirements, which may be more detailed. Whether a methodological bias

actually exists, however, is unclear since it is certainly possible for onerous certifications to be simple—

indeed, it is not difficult to understand that Maryland’s student teaching requirement is 8 weeks longer

than South Carolina’s. Regardless of whether the bias exists, the main point remains true, namely that the

initial evidence presented here demonstrates that Maryland’s traditional certification requirements are

more burdensome than a number of other states’.

199 For the purposes of this section, “traditional certification” refers to each state’s existing protocol for teaching candidates to complete a state-approved teacher education program with a Bachelor’s degree at an in-state college or university. It is important to make this distinction because some states, including Maryland and Maine, offer what might be called “Alternative Traditional Certification,” whereby teaching candidates can gain certification not by completing a teacher preparation program, but by having completing certain prescribed coursework on an ad hoc basis independently.

200 University of Maryland, Baltimore County, “UMBC Master of Arts in Teaching,” University of Maryland, Baltimore County, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.umbc.edu/education/programs/12_Months_SEC_MAT/index.php; Washington College, “Teacher Certification,” Washington College, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.washcoll.edu/departments/education/teachercertification.php.

201 Requirements for Certification, 123-5.; COMAR 13A.12.02.06, available at http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/getfile.aspx?file=13a.12.02.06.htm; COMAR 13A.12.02.04, available at http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/getfile.aspx?file=13a.12.02.04.htm; COMAR 13A.12.01.05, available at http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/getfile.aspx?file=13a.12.01.05.htm; COMAR 13A.12.02, available at http://www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/SubtitleSearch.aspx?search=13A.12.02.*; Maryland State Department of Education, “FAQ,” Maryland State Department of Education, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/divisions/certification/certification_branch/faq.; Calvert Institute for Policy Research, “Maryland’s Protective Tariff Against Teachers.”

202 Bernard J. Sadusky to Members of the State Board of Education, January 24, 2012, “Presentation of the Final Report of the Reconfiguration of the Current Certification Structure and Summary of PSTEB Deliberations,” Maryland Association of Boards of Education, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.mabe.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/PSTEBCertReconfigReport2012.pdf.; Requirements for Certification, 123-5.

203 Bernard J. Sadusky to Members of the State Board of Education, January 24, 2012, “Presentation of the Final Report of the Reconfiguration of the Current Certification Structure and Summary of PSTEB Deliberations,” Maryland Association of Boards of Education, accessed March 6, 2013, http://www.mabe.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/PSTEBCertReconfigReport2012.pdf.

204 South Carolina Department of Education, “South Carolina Educator Certification Manual,” 13-15.

205 South Carolina Department of Education, “Policy Guidelines for South Carolina Educator Preparation Units,” South Carolina Department of Education, published 2006, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.scteachers.org/educate/edpdf/boardpolicy.pdf, iii. [Hereafter South Carolina Department of Education, "Policy Guidelines for South Carolina Educator Preparation Units"]; http://www.ncate.org/Standards/NCATEUnitStandards/FAQAboutStandards/tabid/406/Default.aspx#faq2

206 South Carolina Department of Education, “Policy Guidelines for South Carolina Educator Preparation Units,” 2.

207 South Carolina Department of Education, “Initial to Professional Procedure,” South Carolina Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://ed.sc.gov/agency/se/Educator-Certification-Recruitment-and-Preparation/Certification/Initialtoprofess.cfm.

208 South Carolina Department of Education, “Recertification,” South Carolina Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://ed.sc.gov/agency/se/Educator-Certification-Recruitment-and-Preparation/Certification/Recertification.cfm. There are also several credential classifications for the Professional Certificate: Bachelor’s degree, Bachelor’s degree plus 18 hours, Master’s degree, and Master’s degree plus 30 hours. Though this clear progression of teacher qualification exists, there is no evidence that the state requires teachers to progress along this path. On this point, see also: South Carolina Department of Education, “South Carolina Educator Certification Manual,” 18-9.

209 Arkansas Department of Education, “Routes to Educator Licensure.”; Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, “CAEP Standards for Accreditation or Educator Preparation,” Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, accessed March 7, 2013, http://caepnet.org/accreditation-options/standards/.

210 Arkansas Department of Education, “Protocol for the Review and Approval of Programs of Study Leading to Educator Licensure or Endorsement in Arkansas,” Arkansas Department of Education, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.arkansased.org/public/userfiles/HR_and_Educator_Effectiveness/Educator_Prep/Protocol_for_Approving_Ed_Prep_Programs_Revised_4-1-101.pdf, 8.

211 Arkansas Department of Education, “Rules Covering Initial, Standard/Advanced Level and Provisional Teacher Licensure,” Arkansas Department of Education, published 2010, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.arkansased.org/public/userfiles/Legal/Legal-Current%20Rules/ade_261_teacher_licensure_0710_current.pdf, 3-9.

212 Arkansas Department of Education, “Rules Governing Professional Development,” Arkansas Department of Education, published 2012, accessed March 7, 2013,

http://www.arkansased.org/public/userfiles/HR_and_Educator_Effectiveness/HR_Educator_Licensure/ADE_Professional_Development_Rules_-_April_2012.pdf, 2-5.

213 To be sure, Education Week’s state-by-state rankings are an imperfect metric for assessing teaching performance. Yet the rankings are meaningful nonetheless, both because Education Week is a respected publication, and because Maryland’s leadership frequently cites the rankings when attempting to demonstrate the State’s excellence in education. This study continually cites the Education Week rankings in an effort to address Maryland’s teaching force on Maryland’s leadership’s own terms.

214 Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board, “Wyoming Licensure Requirements,” Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board, accessed March 7, 2013, http://ptsb.state.wy.us/Licensure/BecomingLicensed/tabid/65/Default.aspx.; Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board, “How do I know for sure if the program I completed or want to take is accredited?,” Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board, accessed March 7, 2013, http://ptsb.state.wy.us/EducationResources/ApprovedUniversityPrograms/RegionalAccreditingBodies/tabid/120/Default.aspx.

215 Requirements for Certification, 288-91.; Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board, “Wyoming Educator Renewal,” Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board, accessed March 7, 2013, http://ptsb.state.wy.us/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=mXYduE8FLk8%3d&tabid=94.

216 State of Maine, “Rule Chapters for the Department of Education,” State of Maine, accessed March 7, 2013, http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/rules/05/chaps05.htm. [Hereafter State of Maine, "Rule Chapters for the Department of Education"] See Chapter 115, Part 1, Page 14.

217 Ibid. See Chapter 115, Part 2, Page 8.

218 Requirements for Certification, 119 – 120.; State of Maine, “Rule Chapters for the Department of Education.” See Chapter 13, Page 1.; Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, Part 6, Chapter 502, available at the following URL: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/20-a/title20-Asec13012.html.

219 Requirements for Certification, 120.; State of Maine, “Rule Chapters for the Department of Education.” See Chapter 115, Part 1, Page 16-7.

220 Susanna Loeb, Luke C. Miller, and Katherine O. Strunk, “The State Role in Teacher Professional Development and Education Throughout Teachers’ Careers,” Center for Education Policy Analysis at Stanford University, published 2009, accessed March 7, 2013, http://cepa.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/the%20state%20role%20in%20teacher%20professional%20development.pdf, 217, 217n4.; Calvert Institute for Policy Research, “Maryland’s Protective Tariff Against Teachers.”

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