Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why does alternative certification work?

Great post from Matt Ladner over on Jay Greene's Blog  - ABCTE Teachers Outgain Competition - about the recent Sass study showing that ABCTE math teachers are really getting it done.  Their students are outscoring students taught be teachers from any other route! 

A teacher asked why and I posted the following:
We took significant grief at ABCTE for having a very high cut score on math and a pass rate that barely broke 35% back when these teachers were coming through which is one factor. They had to study very hard to get a passing score (and they only had three chances or they could not get in the classroom unlike other tests you take until you pass). Selectivity works.

A second factor which is fodder for the journal of anecdotal evidence is that the people coming through the program really had a calling to teach and were extremely motivated to get into the classroom. Because they had been in industries where it is common to receive more on the job training, they sought input from principals and other teachers once in they were classroom on how to improve their craft. One teacher who became a board member challenged a principal who came to observe because he only spent a few minutes in his classroom at the end of the day. He told the principal he had to come back in the morning and really observe him and give him feedback on how to improve. Maturity helps.

It is extremely gratifying to see these results and know that we provided a pathway for these talented individuals to get into the classroom. At every turn teacher unions tried to stop this – but in the end, the kids won!

When I first showed Ladner the study, his email back to was :BOOOOOOOOOOOM!
Oh Yeah!