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Unread 01-22-2009, 11:03 AM
 
4 posts, read 14,135 times
Reputation: 11
Default Alternative Certification Programs in DFW

Hi all, I'm hoping there are some out there who can help me. I've been looking at the alt-cert programs around Dallas and was wondering if any of you have been in them and could advise if one is better than another? I know districts have to say that they are all equal (I've asked) but do districts look at some more favorably than others?

Also I'm moving there from Chicago (weather and cost of living) and with all the programs I've seen you have to find a job on your own in order to complete the program. I know there were a ton of layoffs last year so I'm hoping that with Obama in office there might be some new money to hire new teachers this year and was wondering if anyone knew anything.
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Unread 01-22-2009, 07:44 PM
 
3,474 posts, read 6,768,159 times
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The Dallas district just announced they are looking for 200 teachers. Less 4 months ago the laid off nearly 300. I did the alternative teaching thing way back in the early nineties when there was a teacher shortage. I am not sure what it is like now.
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Unread 01-23-2009, 05:22 AM
 
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there are big differences in the programs I am sure but can't tell you which is which

I know that most of them give almost no feedback or hiring help with the people who are in their programs--the districts are more likely to have mentors for new teachers with on-site insight

the only people who have any chance of really getting a job teaching would be someone with math/science credentials or another field in short supply--maybe something like Latin or a language like Mandarin or field like computer technology...

ask each one for the numbers of people who actually got a teaching job after leaving their program--if any did, it probably was for a situation in a less-desireable location where that person wa working before--since basically you do a year long internship to get your teaching hours...
ask for references for people currently in their programs and call each one
ask them how many times they actually have face time with anyone in the supervising programs, ask if they come to observe them teaching, ask if they have any peer-related type of sessions or if it is all done on-line...
teaching can't be done in a vacuum and these alt cert programs are basically money shills for the people who own the companies--the legislature did not do the public any good by installing this option--
the two teachers I know personally who came through the alt-cert program and just horrible teachers...lazy, demand little from their students or themselves, just want to sit around and bs with the kids...and their students don't learn anything more than when they came in--and these guys are teaching in honors-type classes...but the admin thinks one of them is great and the other has been there long enough that getting rid of him would be difficult and he is Muslim so he would probably try to pull the discrimination because of my religion scam...
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Unread 02-21-2009, 12:28 PM
 
8 posts, read 20,837 times
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Hi,

I'm looking at possibly entering into the Dallas ISD program or the Texas Teaching fellows. It seems they are the two main ways to get certified. Programs are similiar in cost, $3k vs. $3.5k although one advertises some scholarships for those in Math, Science, and bilingual capasities.

~ Are the jobs really out there for this $45k starting range??

~ Does anyone know if you do this Dallas ISD Alt. Certification...can you teach in other districts like Plano, Lewisville, etc or in essence does the Dallas ISD in essence claim 'rights' to you if you go through that program??


My background is...

Education:
B.A. Chemistry, Southwest Minnesota State University – 2007; Accredited by American Chemical Society
Minor – Mathematics Emphasis – Physics (3.95 GPA)

[SIZE=3]Physics Teaching Assistant [/SIZE]– Physics Department – Southwest MN State Univ. (Jan 2005 – May 2007)
[SIZE=3]Lab Assistant & Tutor for College Physics, Intro to College Astronomy, & Minnesota Night Skies. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Prepared PowerPoint presentations and delivered in class demonstrations of scientific concepts.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Teaching Assistant [/SIZE]State of Minnesota – Minnesota River Valley Education District (June 2006 – Aug 2006)
[SIZE=3]Assisted Dr. Ken Murphy (Physics) and Dr. Lee Sanow (Chemistry) in teaching K-12th teachers in Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy related continuing education seminars. [/SIZE]
Publications, awards & positions of Distinction:
Published in the internationally respected Journal of Electroanalytical Chemistry (December 2008)
Society of Physics Students President (2005 – 2007)
SMSU Physics Scholarship (2005 – 2007)
NASA Space Grant Scholarship (2005 – 2007)
Dean’s List (Spring 2004, Spring 2006, Spring 2007)
ACS Chemistry Club Member – Commendable Award – (2005-2006)
[SIZE=3]SMSU Concert Choir & Vocal Ensemble – Toured Norway & Sweden (Spring 2005) [/SIZE]
Relevant Coursework:
Human Anatomy, Mammalian Physiology, Microbiology, Cell Biology, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Human Nutrition, Health Promotions, Health Assessment Intervention, Calculus, Differential Equations, Math Statistics, University Physics, Interpersonal Communication, Accounting I
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Unread 02-21-2009, 01:39 PM
 
13,922 posts, read 24,224,997 times
Reputation: 4648
I would say that you stand a very good shot at getting a job to work that intern year
I would think you might even have a decent shot at getting a job NOT in DISD--
I think Dallas ISD does this as feeder program to get their hard-to-find job placements but have no first hand evidence

check out the Region XI and X sites for their alt cert programs
Education Service Center Region XI | Certification (http://www.esc11.net/82310010259314/blank/browse.asp?a=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&c=52044&8231001 0259314Nav=|&NodeID=118 - broken link)
region XI has meeting March 5 and I think it might have fairly decent contacts within the districts it services to help you get hired

TPC Information Meetings (http://www.region10.org/TPC/Applicants/Info_Meetings.html - broken link)
they have meetings later in Feb and end of March

I think either one is probably better qualified than a commercial prep company---but that is just my opinion---

check out these articles

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/062708dnmetaltcertaudit.3949a00.html (broken link)

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/062208dnmetaltcertbattle.40f41b5.html (broken link)

Last edited by loves2read; 02-21-2009 at 01:48 PM..
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Unread 03-23-2010, 01:34 PM
 
1 posts, read 7,484 times
Reputation: 10
I have to admit that I am biased. I worked for an alt cert program. But I can tell you that if you call enough districts you will get an opinion about preferred programs.

Schools are more likely to hire a middle school or high school teacher from alt cert than an elementary teacher. Math and Science are hot subjects, so they are the most welcome. English and Social Studies have a better chance if you are able and willing to coach.

What to look for in an alt cert program? Primarily, has the person you are dealing with (the consultant) ever taught? You want to be lead through this process by someone who has actually done it themselves. It's kind of like getting that college professor that works in the industry and can give you the inside scoop. The problem is not alt cert as a concept, it's that business people have moved into the market and are affecting the industry negatively through poor training and lack of support. Some are just here to make money. There are a lot of good programs out there though.

Another question to ask... Do they have seperate/differintiated training or does everyone k-12 train in the same room?

But getting back to calling districts for an opinion(I think this is the best way to pick a program) A few districts that I think might tell you the truth ... Arlington ISD, Birdville ISD and Fort Worth ISD. Give these a call and see what they say.

Last edited by FarNorthDallas; 03-23-2010 at 01:58 PM.. Reason: deleted name of your program/advertising not allowed
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Unread 03-24-2010, 08:02 AM
 
13,922 posts, read 24,224,997 times
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from what I understand the Regions like X and XI run their own alt cert programs, some local (larger) ISDs like Dallas and FTW also sponsor an alt-cert program and while they USED to guaranteee people who completed with good scores a first-year job to complete their certification I don't think that is now part of their program...because they get enough job applicants who ARE certified that they don't need the ones coming from their private alt-cert programs...

evern program that does alt-cert is different--some people are NEVER in a classroom setting after the first day or so because they do all work web-based...which is no way to train someone to teach...
some programs allow you to actually do some student teaching but that takes longer and I would guess is more expensive and most people do not choose that one...

frankly I don't think anyone in a personnel office at an ISD is going to give an opinion about an alt-cert program---it would be a liability issue--
and principals are the ones who do 90%+ of the hiring within a district--some principals might have had better luck with alt-cert people in past and might be more willing to hire them in future--so it could be very individualistic situations

BUT just remember that ANY person who completes the first round of alt-cert process MUST complete a year of teaching before becoming completely certified--any school using alt-cert novice teachers cannot claim that they are the "highly qualified" teacher that TAKS standards require so that hurts a school's TAKS evaluation...
that is a real hurdle/problem that any alt-cert teacher faces when applying for a job...
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Unread 12-07-2010, 08:45 PM
 
1 posts, read 6,111 times
Reputation: 10
Default Don't judge a book by the ones you read yesterday

"any school using alt-cert novice teachers cannot claim that they are the "highly qualified" teacher that TAKS standards require so that hurts a school's TAKS evaluation..."

I'm pretty sure this is wrong. If this were the case no one would hire any alt certified teachers. You become highly qualified by taking and passing the content exam for whatever you are teaching or having enough college credit hours in the area you are teaching. My knowledge for this is a little blurry but you can research it yourself by going to the sbec website or going to Texas Education Agency - Welcome Plus you have to have 80 hours of training and 30 hours of observation along with your year internship. During that internship you have to be observed and get a written recommendation from your principal. Just like anyone going through student teaching at a university. So really the only difference I see is that you get paid to do your internship rather than doing it a student teaching program.

Also I'm sure there are some crummy teachers out there regardless of how they were certified. Please don't let a couple of bad teachers ruin your opinion for the whole lot.

I'm trying to find the most respected alternative teaching program in Fort Worth. After ten years in a career that I realized is helping no one, I decided I want to use my career to help others by teaching. Its something I have always wanted to do and didn't have the resources until now. I'm glad that there is a way for me to be able to teach without having to go back to school for another degree. Alternative certification may not be perfect but it allows teacher candidates to be found in varying and unexpected places.
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Unread 12-07-2010, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Dallas
4,121 posts, read 3,707,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amenefee View Post
"any school using alt-cert novice teachers cannot claim that they are the "highly qualified" teacher that TAKS standards require so that hurts a school's TAKS evaluation..."

I'm pretty sure this is wrong. If this were the case no one would hire any alt certified teachers. You become highly qualified by taking and passing the content exam for whatever you are teaching or having enough college credit hours in the area you are teaching. My knowledge for this is a little blurry but you can research it yourself by going to the sbec website or going to Texas Education Agency - Welcome Plus you have to have 80 hours of training and 30 hours of observation along with your year internship. During that internship you have to be observed and get a written recommendation from your principal. Just like anyone going through student teaching at a university. So really the only difference I see is that you get paid to do your internship rather than doing it a student teaching program.

Also I'm sure there are some crummy teachers out there regardless of how they were certified. Please don't let a couple of bad teachers ruin your opinion for the whole lot.

I'm trying to find the most respected alternative teaching program in Fort Worth. After ten years in a career that I realized is helping no one, I decided I want to use my career to help others by teaching. Its something I have always wanted to do and didn't have the resources until now. I'm glad that there is a way for me to be able to teach without having to go back to school for another degree. Alternative certification may not be perfect but it allows teacher candidates to be found in varying and unexpected places.
Whatever, but what people have been saying over and over again here on these boards is there is a major glut of teachers and a major budget deficit everywhere now, so think what you want, but the fact is teaching jobs are simply hard to get right now.

On the upside however, I saw an ad on TV saying the Border Patrol is hiring! There's no money for teachers, but if you feel like shooting Mexicans, there's plenty of opportunities. And you did say you wanted to do something that would "help", right?


CBP - Career Descriptions
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