Printer Friendly
The Free Library
23,403,340 articles and books


Certified Success.

Despite the ongoing frenzy over how to improve public education, an important new study on teaching slipped out with little notice. Perhaps that's because the findings do not mesh with the prescriptions of the professional teaching lobby.

The study found that teachers with "emergency" credentials seem to teach kids just fine. To fill personnel shortages, especially in math and science instruction, most states allow some teachers to enter the classroom without conventional certification. The Department of Education estimates there are about 50,000 teachers nationwide with emergency certification.

"Contrary to conventional wisdom, mathematics and science students who have teachers with emergency credentials do no worse than students whose teachers have standard teaching credentials, all else being equal," conclude Dan D. Goldhaber and Dominic J. Brewer in their contribution to "Better Teachers, Better Schools," a report released by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, a private research group advocating education reform.

After looking at the performance of 24,000 eighth-graders nationwide and subsets of the students in later years, Brewer, an economist and director of the RAND Corporation's education program, and Goldhaber, a labor economist with the Urban Institute's Education Policy Center and a member of the Alexandria (Virginia) City School Board, found that what's important is having teachers with a strong background in the subject they teach. This radical idea - that math teachers, say, should have math backgrounds - is what passes for unconventional wisdom in the bizarro world of the educational establishment.

Indeed, President Clinton called for a ban on emergency certification in his State of the Union address this year, a reward for teachers unions which have backed Democrats so strongly. And in May, the administration proposed a plan to eliminate emergency certification over the next four years.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Reason Foundation
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:teachers with "emergency" credentials seem to teach kids just fine
Author:Taylor, Jeff A.
Publication:Reason
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Oct 1, 1999
Words:288
Previous Article:Letters.
Next Article:Funeral Flowers.
Topics:



Related Articles
Teachers in Post-Proposition-227 Southern California: Implications for Teacher Education.
A tenuous hold: education schools have lost the confidence of the public and policy makers alike. They'll need to relinquish their monopoly on...
Tortuous routes: in California, alternative certification has become a crucial source of new teachers. It would be even more crucial if its...
Can districts meet the new federal teacher goal? (Notebook: usable education information from schools, business, research and professional...
College faculty and the MTNA Professional Certification Program.
To teach or not to teach?
Alternative certification program analysis.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters