More — mixed — data on alternative routes to teaching

I recently posted a Louisiana state report on teacher education programs, which suggested that alternatively certified teachers perform as well, or better, than those who go through more traditional programs.. Here’s another such state-mandated report, this time from Tennessee. (The results were published in today’s Education Week.) The two big winners among teaching programs were Vanderbilt University and Teach for America. Several state university programs scored very, very low. So did some alternative certification programs, by the way.

Okay, I know I’ve made this point several times before. But surely what Vanderbilt and Teach for America have in common is that they attract strong students in the first place. I have argued that many education courses do little to prepare teachers for real life classrooms, but I am entirely persuaded that academically-talented teachers figure out what works and doesn’t work faster than, well, the alternative.

Here’s the Education Week article.

And here’s a link to the actual state report.

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