The Public Interest

The case against teacher certification

Dale Ballou & Michael Podgursky

Summer 1998

THE system by which the nation trains and licenses its public school teachers recently came under sharp attack from an organization called the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF). In its 1996 report, What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future, the commission charged that public schools employ large numbers of “unqualified” teachers, largely as a result of inadequate and poorly enforced standards for teacher training and licensing. The report was greeted as a “scathing indictment” of the current system and was widely publicized by the media.

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