New York’s governor, David Paterson, has taken a lot of heat lately, but he certainly deserves an accolade for having a Board of Regents that appointed David Steiner as the state’s chief educator. Thinking outside the box, Steiner has persuaded the New York Board of Regents to consider giving Teach for America and similar organizations the ability to offer their own master’s degree programs, thereby depriving schools of education of their current monopoly.
The case for changing the certification system is overwhelming. Researchers in New York City, North Carolina, Texas and Florida have all shown that teachers with traditional master’s degrees in education are no more effective in the classroom than those who do not have such a degree. Yet a dozen states, including New York, require teachers to get a master’s degree to be fully certified.