TeachME Professional Development

Responding to Teacher Shortages in Disadvantaged Schools

1. Each of the following is an accurate statement about the establishment of alternative routes to certification for teachers EXCEPT:

A. In response to these teacher staffing difficulties, particularly in schools serving low income students, states have tried to lower the barriers to becoming a teacher by establishing alternative routes to certification that enable professionals to begin teaching before completing all the requirements for certification

B. Currently, approximately 25% of new teachers enter the profession through alternative routes, which in many cases, require less education coursework than traditional teacher preparation routes in the same states

C. Despite their growing prevalence, alternative routes to teacher certification remain controversial, although proponents argue that alternative routes increase the number of effective teachers by reducing the time and expense required to become a teacher and eliminating burdensome education coursework requirements

D. Critics have raised concerns that teachers from alternative routes are not as well prepared for the classroom as teachers who followed the traditional route, completing university-based education course-work and supervised student teaching before beginning their first teaching jobs

Key Lessons Learned

2. Studies from the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES) indicated that elementary school teachers from less selective alternative routes were neither more nor less effective than similarly experienced teachers from traditional routes and that secondary math teachers from highly selective routes were at least as effective as, or more effective than, teachers from traditional routes.

A. True

B. False

Background on Alternative Routes to Certification

3. The two largest and best known alternative route programs are Teach for America and the Teaching Fellows programs which are similar in their mission of providing high quality teachers for disadvantaged schools, _________________________, and their selection procedures and training.

A. The requirement to commit to three years of teaching

B. Mandatory math and science background

C. The prerequisite coursework requirements

D. Their degree of selectivity

Two Random Assignment Studies

4. Although studies provide an important opportunity to learn about the effectiveness of teachers from alternative routes to certification and their preparation experiences, they do not examine the effect of the backgrounds of the individuals, which may be very different from those who enter via traditional routes.

A. True

B. False

Coursework Taken While Teaching Was Associated with Decreased Teacher Effectiveness

5. While research indicated that teachers who took coursework required for initial certification while actively teaching were less effective than teachers who did not take coursework at that time, those who took the coursework later in their established career tended to use the information to improve their overall skills.

A. True

B. False

It Is Difficult to Predict Effective Teaching at the Time of Hiring

6. Which of the following is NOT one of the findings from studies evaluating characteristics of teacher effectiveness?

A. Among the secondary math teachers studied, effectiveness generally increased with years of teaching experience

B. Specifically, teacher effectiveness increased from the second to third year and beyond the seventh year

C. Studies that reviewed college selectivity, hours of math pedagogy training, and days of student teaching showed that none of these characteristics were related to teacher effectiveness

D. At the time of hiring, a teacher's potential effectiveness in the classroom is not easily predicted based on characteristics such as college major and coursework completed

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