The Education Innovator #10
Volume II
Archived Information

The Education Innovator
 March 15, 2004 • Number 10
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  Past issues
What's inside...
National Center for Alternative Certification
What's New
Secretary Paige addressed the annual meeting of BAEO; Secretary Paige urges teachers to emphasize history during Women's History Month; Washington state has new charter school legislation; the Virginia Senate approved a new charter school act; the Charter School Leadership Council offers a toolkit to help celebrate National Charter Schools Week; Charleston plans "university" to teach teachers how to teach business concepts.
Innovations in the News
Both houses have passed Washington state's charter school legislation, and it is expected that 45 charter schools will be launched in the state over the next six years; plus information on teacher quality, supplemental educational services, Advanced Placement, and technology.

National Center for Alternative Certification: Building a One-Stop Clearinghouse for Routes to the Classroom
Jon has worked for 25 years for the Federal Aviation Administration. He has coordinated activities involving local, state, and regional offices and has ushered program initiatives through the federal budget process to get them funded. Who better to teach U.S. government as a second career? Where does he go to find out how to become certified to teach?

Unfortunately, the traditional paths that many would-be educators must take to achieve their teacher certification have kept them, and their talents, away from where they are most needed: our nation's classrooms. These traditional paths simply take too long or don't fit in with a working person's schedule. Alternative certification programs can be a perfect solution--but only if potential teachers know about them. Until now, there's been no one place for such individuals to go for information.

Enter the National Center for Alternative Certification (NCAC), a one-stop clearinghouse of information for people like Jon. The clearinghouse, launched in February, can be accessed through, an interactive website that provides prospective teachers with the information they need to find an alternative certification program that's a good fit for them.

For example, if Jon wants to teach in Maryland, he can go to the Teach Now! website and select Maryland in the State Program Profiles search bar. He will then click on Alternative Teacher Certification Routes in the State, and then on Resident Teacher Certificate. He will find out, that to enter a program in a school system, he will need: a liberal arts bachelor's degree in the subject to be taught at the secondary level; a 3.0 grade point average in the major to be taught; and qualifying scores on the Praxis I and II tests. He will also need 135 clock hours of study in teaching skill areas such as models of teaching, planning, and classroom management.

Eventually there will be a search engine, similar to what you might find on, to match a person's interests and background with alternative certification programs that meet his or her criteria. There will be descriptions of all alternative certification programs in the country on the searchable database. For example, every district in Florida has been mandated to develop its own alternative certification program, and these individual programs will be part of the database.

In addition to the website, NCAC will have a toll-free call center to walk potential teachers through the stages of alternative certification. The content on the NCAC website is based on the National Center for Education Information's comprehensive guide, Alternative Teacher Certification: A State-by-State Analysis. The publication is currently available at the NCAC website, free of charge.

Starting in Fall 2004, NCAC will provide technical assistance and outreach to states, localities, and others interested in creating alternative route programs. In addition to organizing workshops and conferences, teams of individuals with experience in research-based implementation of alternative routes will be available to provide technical assistance.

Another feature of NCAC is the annual conference to foster face-to-face communication with colleagues and explore the latest research and policy issues around alternative teacher certification. The first annual conference was February 1-3, and presenters included a diverse panel of federal education officials, researchers, state policy makers, and local project leaders.

The National Center for Alternative Certification is supported by a $2.25 million grant from the Office of Innovation and Improvement.

Please visit:

OII supports other programs to support alternative teacher certification:


What's New
Remarks by Secretary Paige at the Black Alliance for Educational Options Second Annual Meeting
Secretary of Education Rod Paige explained that "choice is one important, profound tool for improving American education, to make it more inclusive, fair, and just," when addressing the annual meeting of the Black Alliance for Educational Options in Milwaukee. (March 5)

Paige Urges Teachers to Emphasize American History and the Many Contributions of Women
Secretary Paige has urged teachers to emphasize American History and the many contributions of women during Women's History Month. (March 10)

Presentation by Nina S. Rees, Deputy Under Secretary for the Office of Innovation and Improvement
Deputy Under Secretary Nina Rees illustrated the business-like aspects of American education at the Stanford Business of Education Conference. (March 6)

Washington State Charter School Actions
Washington state has a charter school law that is expected to be signed by Governor Locke. (March 11)

Virginia Charter School Excellence and Accountability Act Changes in the Provisions
The Virginia Senate approved the Charter School Excellence and Accountability Act. Governor Warner has indicated his support for the legislation. (March 10)

Charter School Leadership Council
The Charter School Leadership Council. has developed a toolkit to help schools and communities celebrate the fifth annual National Charter Schools Week, May 3-7. (March 9)

The National Foundation For Teaching Entrepreneurship Teaching Youth to Build Businesses
Leaders from Charleston's (SC) educational and entrepreneurial community are planning a local "university" to teach teachers such business concepts as venture capital and supply and demand. This initiative, in partnership with the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, aims to empower low-income youth to become economically productive members of society by instilling in them the fundamentals of starting up and running a business of their own. (March 8)


Innovations in the News

Charter Schools
Both houses have passed Washington state's charter school legislation, and Governor Locke has pledged to sign it. Forty-five charter schools are expected to be developed in the state over the next six years. [More-KOMO1000 News and KXLY] (March 12)

Idaho's governor Dirk Kempthorne provided new specifics on his plan to help charter schools. The charter school bill would give more money to Internet-based charter schools and allow authorized charter schools to operate indefinitely, unless they violate provisions of their charter, among other things. [More-Idaho Statesman] (March 4)

Charter school activity is gearing up in the Granite State. The recently approved North Country Alternative Charter School is a collaboration of nine public school districts. Also three other districts in New Hampshire have applied to the state department of education for pre-planning grants to start up their own charters. [More-Union Leader] (March 1)

California's Oakland School for the Arts, a charter school, is helping students prepare for arts careers. The opportunities are numerous: dance students from the school recently performed with members of the professional group Savage Jazz Dance Company, while visual arts students have exhibited their work in the Oakland Museum. [More-Mercury News] (Feb. 29)

Teacher Quality
A dozen mid-career adults are participating in the teacher apprenticeship program in Essex Junction, Vermont. This program involves six months of intensive classroom training and has received support from the local teachers' union. Deputy Under Secretary Nina Rees visited Essex High School to hear how these teachers are being trained in half the time and at a fraction of the usual cost. [More-Champlain Channel] (March 9)

Supplemental Educational Services
In Palmdale, CA, a weekend school program provides needed help to students who are performing below grade level in math and reading. Principal Mary Wright created the program after meeting with parents of students who were struggling in school. [More-Daily News] (March 7)

Advanced Placement
The percentage of Florida students taking Advanced Placement classes was double that of the national rate in the last year, according to the College Board. [More-Palm Beach Post] (March 1)

The education company, Harcourt Assessment, Inc., will underwrite programs for children on KLRN, San Antonio's public television station. Two of the programs-- Between the Lions and Clifford, the Big Red Dog --are also funded by OII. [More-Yahoo!Finance] (March 8)


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Last Modified: 06/28/2011