Alternative Certification and Retention of Secondary Math and Science Teachers: A Study Based on SASS/TFS

Robert H Tai, Ph.D, Christine Qi Liu, Ph.D., Xiato Fan, Ph.D.


In light of shortages of mathematics and science teachers, alternative certification was introduced in the mid-1980s. This study examined the effect of alternative certification among math and science teachers who moved to a different school or left the profession. This was accomplished using the national SASS and TFS databases. The results indicated that alternatively certified teachers were comparable in their commitment to their current school and the teaching profession when compared with their traditionally certified colleagues. Findings are discussed with respect to their relevance for education policy makers and school administrators.


Alternative Certificate, Teacher Retention, Math and Science Education

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