Document Type

NEPC Review

Publication Date

3-10-2009

Abstract

Review of An Evaluation of Teachers Trained Through Different Routes to Certification: Final Report: A new Mathematica Policy Research report suggests that alternatively certified teachers are as successful as traditionally certified teachers. However, few if any valid conclusions about certification policy can be drawn from the report because the study:

• Did not fully report and acknowledge in its conclusions the many analyses from the study finding that traditionally trained teachers outperformed alternative route teachers in both math and reading.
• Has a research design that favors finding few significant differences between groups, most notably its small sample size, sampling methods, and failure to distinguish the “treatments” that alternative certification and traditional certification teachers provided.
• Is relevant only to a very limited population of teachers in schools that hire many alternatively certified teachers, and is not generalizable to most states, districts, and schools that do not allow such programs and are more selective in their hiring.

Unfortunately, the Mathematica report is quick to draw broad and unqualified implications from the study, and it neglects to properly emphasize the study’s many limitations. Policy makers would do well to read it with caution.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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