How Chicago Compares

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Chicago
Total number of teachers: 26,000
Provisionally certified: 3,000 (1.5%)
Pursuing alternative certification: 335
Details: Teachers seeking alternative certification first obtain a one-year provisional certificate by completing a course of study and practice teaching. Then they must complete a one-year internship, working full time as a teacher, and meet the performance standards of their alternative certification program.

New York City
Total number of teachers: 80,000
Provisionally certified: 12,000 (15%)
Pursuing alternative certification: 620
Details: The New York City Teaching Fellows, launched this year, requires 200 hours of pre- service training, teaching with mentors and completion of master’s degree course work. Teach for America, a two-year program that results in a standard certificate after the first year and an optional master’s degree in education after the second year, has 220 corps members in the district. In 2001, 1,500 teachers will join the Fellows program, about 15 percent of an estimated 10,000 positions the district fills annually.

Los Angeles
Total number of teachers: 36,500
Provisionally certified: 9,726 (27%)
Pursuing alternative certification: 0
Details: The district has a 16-year-old internship program that involves mentoring and cohort support, but it results in a standard teaching certificate. This year, 1,000 are enrolled.

Houston
Total number of teachers: 13,000
Emergency certified: 1,100 (8.5%)
Pursuing alternative certification: 424
Details: The one-year alternative program combines teaching, district training and university course work to meet state and district standards for certification at year’s end.

Note: Provisionally certified teachers must be enrolled in university courses leading to teaching certificates.

Compiled by Mandy Burrell

Sources: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and New York public school district officials