A new internet-based program that allows underqualified teachers, career changers, and other professionals to bypass teacher colleges to become "highly qualified" certified teachers made its debut Aug. 22 amid some controversy.

This alternative to traditional teacher-education programs, called Passport to Teaching, was funded in part by a $5 million U.S. Department of Education grant in 2001 to create a cheaper, faster way for schools to meet the Improving Teacher Quality requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act and place a highly qualified teacher in every classroom by 2005.

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