Alternative Teacher Certification "An Overview.
A sad and daunting reality became apparent to our society in the early 1980s. A reality that our founding fathers would have probably never dreamed of "a dangerous shortage of teachers. Our predecessors may very well have thought that their new American Nation would be a land of high intelligence in both children and adults alike and that there would always be an ample supply of educators. To be a teacher in the early days of this great nation was to hold a position of prestige and importance for the future was in the hands of the teachers. Now, over 200 years later, we are faced with the burden of educating our future. Except for this time, the burden is extremely heavy because of tougher standards, lower pay, and disrespect from students and parents.
To offset the decline of new teachers entering the profession, a new type of certification was devised. If successful, this new concept would help more people become teachers in less time. Unfortunately, this certification was extremely controversial because it was simply shortcutting, which would later give it a bad name. To be proactive, many states devised other routes of teacher certification so that people in specialized fields, in the military, people with a certain skill, and former teachers wanting to get back in the game would be able to do so with relative ease.
This new trend proved to be fast growing. By 1997, 41 states, plus the District of Columbia, report having at least some type of alternative certification program. These states have made up 117 programs (collectively) and some 75,000 new teachers have been birthed as a result to these programs. However, 17 of the states have reported a mild decrease in participation, while 25 states report an increase.
This increase is very promising; especially since the National Center of Education Statistics, as well as many others, states that we will need 2 million more teachers in the next 10 years.