Alternative Certification Act

Alternative Certification Act

Summary

Teacher quality is crucial to the improvement of instruction and student performance.  However, certification requirements that correspond to state-approved education programs in most states prevent many individuals from entering the teaching profession.  To obtain an education degree, students must often complete requirements in educational methods, theory, and style rather than in-depth study in a chosen subject area.  Comprehensive alternative certification programs improve teacher quality by opening up the profession to well-educated, qualified, and mature individuals.  States should enact alternative teacher certification programs to prepare persons with subject area expertise and life experience to become teachers through a demonstration of competency and a comprehensive mentoring program.

Model Legislation

Section 1. {Short Title.} This act may be cited as the Alternative Certification Act.

Section 2. Be it enacted by the legislature that the Education Code, relating to the authority of the state to certify persons to teach who are not graduates of teacher education programs, is amended by adding [section] to read as follows:

(A) Certificates of license to teach in the public schools of the state shall be granted as follows:

(1) By the state board, under rules and regulations prescribed by it,

(a) Upon the basis of college credit;

(b) Upon the basis of examination;

(2) By the state board, under rules and regulations prescribed by the state board, to any individual who presents to the state board a valid doctoral degree from an accredited institution of higher education accredited by a regional accrediting association. Such certificate shall be limited to the major area of postgraduate study of the holder;

(3) By the state board, under rules and regulations prescribed by it, on the basis of a national level or regional certification which has been validated in the individual’s endorsement area and earned by passing a national or regional examination designed to assess the individual’s skills in the area in which the individual seeks certification.

(4) By the state board, upon an appropriate background check, to any person who possesses a valid teaching certificate from another state or certification as contemplated under subdivision three (3); provided that the certificate holder shall annually complete the state board’s requirements for such level of certification.

(B) The board shall issue a master teacher certificate in the appropriate area of endorsement to an applicant who meets the requirements for education and experience as set forth in [section] and demonstrates quality teaching. Any teacher who holds national level certification shall be deemed to have satisfied the requirements for master teachers.

(C) Upon completion of a comprehensive mentoring program and satisfactory principal recommendations during the initial year of teaching, the individual may progress to the next level of certification.

Section 3. {Severability clause.}

Section 4. {Repealer clause.}

Section 5. {Effective date.}

Approved by the ALEC Legislative Board of Directors January, 2006.

Keyword Tags: Teacher Certification, Teacher Quality

Task Forces