Los Angeles Unified School District Intern Program
Alternative routes into teaching have been widely criticized by the teacher education community as "quick fix" solutions to teacher shortages, an approach which recruits substandard teachers, provides inadequate professional education, and results in a decline in the quality of instruction in the public schools. Paradoxically, such programs often represent an attempt on behalf of states and school districts to upgrade teaching standards already downgraded by teaching shortages that resulted in the use of emergency credentialed and misassigned teachers. For at least 20 years, traditional approaches to teacher recruitment have not provided sufficient numbers of teachers to meet the needs of urban areas or high demand subject areas, such as mathematics, science, bilingual education, and special education. A whole generation of children, particularly those from inner city and minority families, is already being educated by marginally qualified teachers. Supporters of alternative routes to teacher certification argue that these programs are an effective way to recruit academically competent individuals to teach in hard-to-staff schools and to allow school districts to replace the emergency credential system with a rigorous program of field-based professional training.
This article was originally published in the Peabody Journal of Education by Taylor & Francis Global.