We would like to use the newsletter this month to update you on a few critical happenings related to our programs, both nationally and in California.
Nationally, we continue to watch for developments out of Washington, D.C. on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or more commonly known as No Child Left Behind. A heated part of the discussion surrounded the ongoing debate as to whether teachers going through an alternative route to certification program (or intern program here in California) should be designated as 'highly qualified.'
The California Teacher Corps weighed in on this in several blog entries, including one in the national publication, Education Week. Founding President Catherine Kearney offered these words to the blog's readers:
In California, alternative route to certification programs are placing talented, skilled teachers into hard-to-staff, high-need public schools across the state. Our teachers are second-career professionals, and other content experts, who bring with them a wealth of life and career experience, and have the tools necessary to meet the diverse, and often challenging, needs of all students. ... They are highly-qualified, committed and have proven themselves to be an invaluable asset to our public schools. Let's not take an archaic interpretation as to who is "highly qualified" ...
Read the full blog entry and the Teacher Corps' response.
Equally as important, this month new Commissioners have joined the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC). As we shift Commission leadership, it is very important that we ensure that each Commissioner is informed of the valuable work of alternative route to certification programs across the state.
This became very clear at the most recent Commission meeting, in which the alternative pathway (intern programs) was an agenda item for discussion. Teacher Corps Board Members Belinda Karge, Catherine Kearney and Corinne Muelrath provided public comment in support of the great work of our programs. Watch the video of the CCTC meeting here.
Additionally, Commission staff presented 2010-11 employer data that provided a statewide snapshot on how our teachers are doing in the classroom, including:
- Nearly 90 percent of principals across California ranked teachers placed from alternative route to certification programs as good or better than other beginning teachers.
- When compared to other beginning teachers, principals also reported that they found our teachers were as good or better in implementing instruction (91.1%), providing effective teaching strategies (90.1%) and classroom management (90.1%).
- Of hiring school districts, nearly 84 percent believe that our programs help to meet their district and school improvement goals, and 85 percent believe we help meet their need for teachers in critical shortage subject areas.
We could not be more pleased with these findings. In fact, the California Teacher Corps recently shared these positive findings with the media , including an insightful op-ed by Kearney demonstrating the importance of the alternative pathway to California.
We encourage all of you to share the op-ed and press release with anyone that you feel would benefit from it, most importantly human resource directors, principals, superintendents and our own teachers.
This is a great opportunity to spread the word and highlight the effectiveness of our programs to recruit and place talented teachers in high-need public schools statewide.
You can find our press release on the 2011 Commission survey data here, as well as Kearney's op-ed in Thoughts on Public Education here.
Thank you all for your hard work and we wish you an early Happy Thanksgiving!
The California Teacher Corps Board of Directors