From website summary:
Every year, thousands of new teachers pass through hundreds of different teacher preparation programs and are hired to teach in the nation's schools. In recent years, "alternative teacher certification" programs have expanded rapidly, offering an increasingly popular route into teaching that differs from that offered by traditional certification programs. Despite the expansion of these new routes into teaching, there exists little research to provide guidance as to the effectiveness of these diverse teacher training strategies.
Mathematica's evaluation of teacher preparation models examined the efficacy of different teacher preparation methods in contributing to students' academic achievement. The study focused on the performance of teachers from two alternative models of teacher preparation—one model with less selective recruiting and substantial coursework requirements, and the other with less selective recruiting and minimal coursework requirements—compared with traditionally prepared teachers teaching in the same schools and grades. Students were randomly assigned to teachers prior to the start of the school year. Nonexperimental methods were used to separate the effects of different preparation strategies from the effects of other teacher characteristics.
The study, conducted for the Institute of Education Sciences, was implemented in 68 schools throughout the country during the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 school years. We administered standardized tests to all students in the sample, collected school records data and teacher test scores, conducted classroom observations, and administered a teacher survey. We also conducted interviews with teacher preparation program directors and school principals.
Source: Mathematica Policy Research Inc.
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