Effective teachers are the foundation of education. This proposal addresses chronic issues with alternative routes to teaching: poor induction methods into the profession, difficulty connecting academic certification requirements with real-life classroom challenges, and difficult school placements.
This strategy enables a district to recruit, train, and retain highly capable new teachers. Instead of alternative-certification teachers being assigned to low-performing schools across the district, they are concentrated in a Point of Entry School (POES) conceived to effectively launch their careers.
Like a university teaching hospital, the POES is designed to train teachers as well as educate students. New teachers only have an 80-percent workload for their first semester so they can observe and be coached by veteran teachers one period each day. After two years, the new teachers progress to other low-performing schools.
By integrating the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching in one accelerated method of teacher preparation—including onsite intensive instruction by master teachers and a focus on certification requirements—new teachers are given the resources to succeed, even in tough placements.
This builds on 12 years of Teach Kentucky, an independent nonprofit teacher recruitment program, and pioneering work at TJ Middle School in Louisville. TKY has recruited 176 teachers, retaining 103 in local classrooms, and 148 have earned an MAT degree.