Upper Saddle River, NJ ? March 27, 2007 ? Experts estimate that as many as one third of the new teachers in the United States last year came into teaching through an alternate route teacher certification program.*

The proliferation of these programs is changing the shape of the education landscape, affecting who enters teaching, what individuals have to do in order to qualify to become teachers, when they enter teaching, and where they teach.

Almost all states in the nation now have at least one alternate route to teacher certification, providing opportunities for school districts to hire talented individuals to teach who have subject matter competency. Schools provide these teachers with on-the-job training, mentoring and support leading to certification.

To examine this increasingly significant trend, Merrill/Pearson Prentice Hall is launching Pathways to Teaching, a new series of seven books and the first specifically directed at this growing teacher preparation market. The editor of these books is Emily Feistritzer, the CEO and founder of the National Center for Education Information and the National Center for Alternative Certification (NCAC). The target audience includes alternate certification teachers, administrators, students, principals, superintendents, and other school district leaders.

The first book in the series, Alternate Routes to Teaching, by Feistritzer and Charlene Haar, offers a broad picture of these varied pathways, and discusses in detail the history and evolution of alternate routes; what they are and how they are being implemented throughout the country; who participates in them and why; and the future of this movement.

Alternate Routes to Teaching will launch at the first annual joint conference of the NCAC and the National Association for Alternative Certification, "Alternate Routes: Building a Highly Qualified Teaching Force," to be held at Washington, D.C.´s Hyatt Regency, April 3-6, 2007.

"This text is well-written and contains an outstanding presentation of the history and nature of alternate routes to certification, as well as the best data available on the results those programs have generated," said Leo Klagholz, former New Jersey Commissioner of Education. "The book will appeal to public school and college educators, government policy makers, persons considering teaching careers, and anyone who is concerned about and interested in public schools."

Book two of the series, Building a Quality Teaching Force: Lessons Learned from Alternate Routes, edited by Feistritzer, is designed to assist people who are creating and/or implementing programs for the preparation of teachers primarily in field-based settings. It will be published in June 2007. Future titles will focus on classroom management, teaching methods, teaching English Language Learners, Inclusion, and Assessment.

"Since the mid-1980s, alternate routes to teaching have not only grown and developed, they have dramatically affected almost every aspect of teaching in the United States," said Feistritzer. "Our new Pathways to Teaching series will take an in-depth and much needed look at this field from its controversial beginnings to its current acceptance as a vital method for filling high need, underserved teaching positions in our nation."

About Pearson Prentice Hall

As the world´s leading publisher of academic and reference textbooks, Prentice Hall is committed to providing the most innovative, flexible, and powerful educational materials available today.

About the National Center for Alternative Certification

NCAC is a one-stop, comprehensive clearinghouse for information about alternative routes to certification in the United States. The Center, through a major interactive web site, www.teach-now.org, provides immediate answers to questions and guidance for individuals interested in becoming teachers, as well as for policymakers, legislators, educators, researchers and members of the public.

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