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Alternative Teaching Programs Produce 40% of New Teachers

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POSTED: Thursday, December 1, 2011 - 7:22pm

UPDATED: Friday, December 2, 2011 - 8:34pm

EL PASO-  The Texas Education Agency says that more than 40% of all new teachers in Texas, go through alternative certification programs.

Most alternative teaching programs are available online and can be as short as three months. The programs are helpful to people who have real world experience and want to teach a specific subject, but cannot go back to school for four years. Now the market is full of teachers with traditional training and alternative training, all competing for fewer jobs.

"Many of these programs have failed, are not meeting the current standards anymore and also many of these programs have produced teachers that are lost in the classroom, " said Doctor Arlene Brown, Director of the Alternative Teaching Program at UTEP.

Doctor Brown says UTEP stresses the importance of the students' education from teachers who care. The program places teachers throughout the county and all over the country. "We recommend a master's degree and that's the key, someone who's gonna invest the time and money and be the master teacher, is going to stay with the district."

The Ysleta Teacher's Association President Arlinda Valencia says alternative programs can produce great teachers, but at the moment there is no longer a demand. She says the children are the ones who suffer in the classroom. "With so many teachers being laid off I think the state needs to revisit that and make sure that qualified teachers that have gone through a four year college to become a teacher, should definitely be the one to be hired."

The U.S. Department of Education has given UTEP $3.2 million to produce 250 new teachers.

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It's Dr. Darlene Brown.

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