NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Alternative Certification For Teachers On Rise

February 3, 2000

Last year, three times as many teachers received alternative certifications as were so certified 10 years ago, according to a report from the National Center for Education Information. Generally, candidates for alternative certification transfer from other careers or come out of retirement, then they are given special training before being certified.

  • More than 24,000 teachers in 28 states were certified through such programs last year.
  • At least 125,000 teachers have been certified through alternative routes since the mid-1980s.
  • Forty states and the District of Columbia had alternative programs operating last year -- compared to just eight in 1983.
  • The numbers do not include those getting emergency teaching certificates -- which critics deplore for allowing ill-prepared people to teach.

Experts report that those participating come from all walks of life -- but are often former military personnel and college graduates who had not taken any teaching courses.

Source: Tamara Henry, "Many More Take Alternative Paths to Teaching," USA Today, February 3, 2000.


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