Severalpolicies and opportunities have been made available in thetwenty-first century for the purpose of fulfilling the teachingrequirements for obtaining teaching credentials in California, boththrough the traditional and the alternative routes. However, thispaper explores the policies for fulfilling such requirements, throughthe alternative routes and making a comparison with the traditionalroutes.
Thecurrent policy of increasing alternative routes for teaching inCalifornia provides numerous alternative routes or pathways tobecoming a certified or qualified teacher in California. However,irrespective of the pathway, all candidates must meet theCalifornia’s primary requirements for skills relating toMathematics, writing, reading, and take either a course on theConstitution of the United States or pass an examination or test toprove the possession of adequate knowledge (Cleveland, 2003).Additionally, the current policy requires all the candidates tocomplete an application for a teaching certificate or credential andavail various forms for criminal background scrutiny. The CaliforniaCommission on Teacher Credentialing has the responsibility and theauthority of overseeing all the teachers’ requirements forcertification, both through the alternative and the traditionalroutes (Sorensen & Mandzuk, 2005).
Thetraditional routes or pathways to obtaining teaching certificate havevarious requirements which may take an individual about five yearsearning a clear certificate or credential (Talley-Jones, 2005).According to the State of California Commission on TeacherCredentialing, the traditional routes require one to have completedhigher or baccalaureate degree from regionally-accredited universityor college. Additionally, the teachers have to meet the primary skillrequirements, which include passing the California Basic EducationSkills Test in math, writing, and reading. The teachers must alsoscore at least forty-one marks in all the three sections(Talley-Jones, 2005). An individual may score low in one section, butthe overall score has to be at least 123 marks. After meeting thepreliminary credentials, the teachers have to complete the GeneralEducation Induction Program provided by the commission before theycan earn clear credentials. The program ensures that the teachers areknowledgeable, qualified, and skilled in their multiple or singlesubjects so as to have higher achievements by students (Talley-Jones,2005).
Thealternative routes, on the other hand, include various programs suchas ‘Teach for America`, in which the upcoming teachers are takenthrough a five-weeks intense training program that usually runsduring the summer (Cleveland, 2003). After completing the five weekstraining, the upcoming teachers get taken to an urban environmentwhere they lead their individual classrooms while enrolled in varioustraining programs for teachers (Cleveland, 2003). The ‘Teach forAmerica` program gives the upcoming teachers the opportunity of beingregular teachers in high-poverty rural and urban public schools fortwo years. Additionally, the program focuses on various areas wherethe teachers are mostly needed. Another requirement for thealternative routes is the ‘CalTeach’ program which highlights thesignificance and value of pursuing a teaching career (Sorensen &Mandzuk, 2005).
Thealternative routes` programs get funded through various waysincluding the signing of bonuses (Cleveland, 2003). Additionally, theU.S Department of Education provides both forgivable loans andscholarships towards clearing individuals of any debt accumulatedover the training years. Such incentives are helpful in ensuring thatmore teachers get posted in high-poverty rural areas, which are ingreat need of qualified teachers (Cleveland, 2003). In fact,according to recent statistics, the more money gets spent on teachertraining, the higher the achievement of the students. In conclusion,both the current alternative routes and the traditional routes ofteacher credentialing in California focus on gathering more teachersto meet the educational needs of all the students in the State ofCalifornia.
Cleveland,D. (2003). A Semester in the Life of Alternatively CertifiedTeachers: Implications for Alternative Routes to Teaching. TheHigh School Journal, 86(3),17-34. http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/hsj.2003.0002
Sorensen,P., Young, J., & Mandzuk, D. (2005). Alternative Routes into theTeaching Profession. Interchange, 36(4),371-403. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10780-005-8165-3
Talley-Jones,K. (2005). Teaching California: Landmarks. CaliforniaHistory, 82(4),8-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/25161763