Following a New York Times story on the proliferation of certification requirements in the US over the past few decades, PBS among others has been running this column from a University of Chicago professor about the struggles his wife -- a Dartmouth graduate with a science degree -- had in becoming certified to teach the topics and grade levels she wanted to teach (in Chicago): Why Einstein Was Not Qualified To Teach High-School Physics.
"The real losers are often the customers — in this case the poor kids in Chicago's public schools who could really have used a smart, dedicated math teacher."
Whether you're a fan of traditional training and certification programs or think they're a racist crock of shit, we might still be able to agree that there's an issue embedded in the professor's lament that's all too common for the discussion of education issues: conflating an individual experience with a broad based policy issue.
The vast majority of alternative route teaching candidates aren't Dartmouth grads, or even TFA recruits, much less Einsteins. Let's not make policy decisions as if they were.