Federal attention to teacher certification and licensure: two policy case studies

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Virginia Tech

Policy case studies are presented on two congressional proposals that, if implemented, may result in implicit or explicit federal government endorsement of particular standards for the licensure or certification of teachers. They are, (a) authorization for the United States Department of Education to award design and implementation grants for programs of alternative teacher credentialing, and (b) appropriation of federal funds to support the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

A discussion of the genesis of each proposal, a review of the legislative history of these two measures, and analysis of supporting rationale for each is included.

Using an analytic framework based on the works of Deborah Stone and Thomas Green, it was determined that unresolved policy conflicts over teacher education governance and content led to federal attention to matters of teacher certification and licensure.