Alternative Certification Interns

As you know, the Dallas ISD Alternative Certification Program only allows their interns to work in a DISD school. So what does this mean for those that getted RIF'd? Does it mean that they will have to WAIT until Dallas ISD is hiring again to complete their certification? Will they have to transfer to another program or what? Does anyone know about this?


All... ALL teachers, including the MOST experienced ones, had a FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL and started with NO experience.

If DISD is hiring teachers is because they NEED them! If people are coming to the teaching profession is because they like it!


Shouldn't the certified teachers getting RIFD be able to have the opportunity to bump the AC interns and return back to college to get certified to teach those classes. At least they are certified in something, and have experience in the classroom. Seniority and a state certification should account for something. I want everyone to be able to keep their job, but it has come down to the bottom of the barrell now. There is no guarantee the AC interns will ever pass their tests or even stay in teaching. At least the certified teacher holds a certification and has teaching experience. To me its only fair the certified teacher is able to bump the uncertified teacher and be given the same opportunity to complete the necessary courses to get certified in that area.

Seriously, just get over it.

I would have no problem giving up my job as an AC to a teacher getting cut from another campus if that teacher has a proven record of success. But I will fight tooth and nail to protect my students from being educated by a dinosaur with no real ability in science education since the 1960s and that can't manage to get a student to pass the TAKS test even with the cheating help. Just stop assuming that every teacher with a certificate is better than every teacher corking on one. It just doesn't work that way.

Be Careful ACs

One day (if you last long enough) you'll become "Dinosaurs" too.

And on that day...

And on that day, I will accept the retirement package.


I don't think AC's are all bad, however, if teachers have to be let go, why would you let go of a certified, experienced teacher instead of an intern. I think DISD should get out the the AC business, they don't do such a good job.

Just because they are certified, doesn't mean they are useful...

The problem with blindly eliminating the ACs and not looking at other teachers is that ACs have done nothing to earn dismissal except enter into a contract with the district to work where others wouldn't. Given the option of an AC with extensive content knowledge and a fully certified teacher with 3 or 4 years of less than acceptable performance, I would choose the AC. So I don't have a proven track-record of success, but I don't have a proven record of failure either. Get rid of teachers that aren't worth the value of the paper their certificate is printed on.

About AC's

I am not an AC but I am friends with several. Just so you know, some people cannot afford to take off work for a whole semester to be able to do student teaching. So instead, they get their degree in something (most likely something that is pertinent to the subject they want to teach) and then they go through the AC program. The AC program is much more flexible for people with jobs.

No Joke?

You mean taking off a whole semester to student teach is inconvenient? I'll be darned.

You mean it's more convenient to the adults involved to use uncertified interns to staff core academic areas in low-performing schools?

Well, why don't we try the same thing for Parkland's emergency room? Let's take people who might be interested in being nurses or surgeons and let them try it out on patients. We'll go ahead and give them a bonus to do so, so that they are making more than those people actually certified.

Or when a corporation accused of major malfeasance needs to be audited, let's send people interested in being CPAs. Why bother with the real deal? It'll be a great experience for them.

Then, if people decide teaching is not their cup of tea, they can simply walk off. They won't lose their certifications, because they don't have them. The we can put permanent substitutes in their places for the rest of the semester.

And the Alternative Certification program falls under the direction of Kim Olson. She sure knows a lot about teaching, doesn't she? And she is really comfortable with this idea, but her kids don't go to DISD schools, do they? And when campuses are loaded up with these uncertified folks, it doesn't cause her to lose sleep, does it? Heck no.

In fact, why certify attorneys? You just look up what you need in those old law books, don't you? Maybe this wonderful idea could spread to all professions. We can watch what professionals do on tv, and just mimic their behavior. We could all be doctors and lawyers and Indian chiefs.

Have you noticed that districts not in the shabby shape of Dallas don't use uncertified teachers? Have you noticed that?

Who Cares About ACs?

Out of fairness 1 out of every 10 ACs stay longer than ten years in the classroom. These individuals truly enjoy their new professions. Some are good teachers. Those who survive three years apply for other positions. Strange but true, they become campus administrators. After three years...that's equivalent to 2 years & an internship in the schools of education.
Then they are responsible for "leading" teachers. Their backgrounds in criminal justice, accounting, sociology, and psychology were short lived so our children must wait until they get the skills for teaching. Meanwhile scores of children move to the next grade level having had little more than a baby sitter.

Besides, shouldn't the AC program only recruit teachers in math, science & special education/high need areas.

This is another department that DISD can do without! more waste.


No offense, keepingitreal, but have you stepped up to the plate and "led" any teachers? It really is sad that you are so insecure in your life that you have to throw ACs under the bus. We are all in the same boat. I would, as an AC, put my teaching skills up against yours any day. I am surrounded by excellent teachers, both non-AC and AC. So, look at yourself and your skills before pointing the finger!


No offense taken...stay on the subject. You might be the 10% who actually had a change of heart, after cooperate America experience. We are talking about waste in the district. How many of your AC colleagues are in the profession now? I am a concerned parent and a skilled physician. I would not allow a "trainee" who seeks employment in my office stand by and watch me work, then hand over that reponsibility for my clients. Our school district does not hire ACs...I'm curious to know how much of this incompetence is bred in a program that takes "uneducated" (months v. years of training) individuals and put allow them to teach or lead teachers that's all.

I have a friend who is researching this and it makes interesting conversation for parents seeking the best for our children & tax dollars. I am also an advocate for the public school.


well first of all, i have never worked in a corporate america... i worked 10 years in the non-profit world helping others... and it is spelled corporate, not cooperate... which is ironically, what we need more of, cooperation... and first of all, why are you so concerned when your school district does not hire any of "us."

in terms of "uneducated," i am not and i would guess that since all acs must have at least a bachelors degree, we are all at least as educated as every traditional teacher.

and to answer your question, out of the 5 teachers i was with in my ac program, all 5 are still teaching. all new teachers have drop outs, be it traditional vs. ac...

you know, it takes heart to become a teacher... acs work in schools where many traditional teachers do not want to work... we go in with a totally different workd view and we do a great job... again, i would pit most acs up against any traditional teacher every day...

ACs are not "undeducated"

As an AC in a critical needs area, I take great offense to your comments. Alternative Certification interns are not "uneducated" as you might assume. Most of us went to school to be something other than a teacher, that is true. But what many people tend to overlook is that many of us left or turned down very lucrative careers because our heart was in education. More specifically, our hearts were in DISD. I did not grow up in DISD, but I grew up with a parent employed by DISD. She is one of the best educators in the state (and not just by my opinion: TEA and collegeboard data). And when I turned down a prestigious medical school to be a teacher, it wasn't so that I could baby-sit. I became a teacher in DISD because I came from a world where education came first and "passing" was not an option. As my students sit in front of me and take their district benchmarks, they know that their teacher cares about how well they do on this test, not because of my evaluations (benchmark doesn't weigh into it) but because I care about their success. I care enough about them to educate them to best of my ability, and push them to go further. So to you oh glorious "skilled physician," go heal a kid's sickness, I am going to go save 125 students' lives.

Passing Tests

I guess that's what has always bothered me about ACs. Not the people, but the philosophy they are getting through DISD's training. Pass the Test! Your whole second part of your paragraph shows this mindset: Pass the Test! Benchmarks, "their teacher cares about how well they do on this test". People who spent 4 or more years in educational theory know that passing a test does not equal "education".
If your heart was in education, why did you major in something else? I'm sure you are fine; most are, but it amazes me the number of ACs who "always wanted to teach". Then why didn't you do it in the first place?

It's not the test I care about, it's the success...

Wanting my students to pass the test is not my goal nor my mindset. The problem is that when you teach in a low-performing school, passing the test is all that matters to the higher-ups. My students know that just barely passing is not acceptable in my classroom. My students strive for the best because they know that that is what I expect of them and that I am doing everything in my power to get them to perform at their best. They have been taught all along that the TAKS test is the only measure of success that we care about. But in my classroom, they know that success comes from learning something, from understanding what I say, from making it through the year without getting pregnant (depending on the student).
I didn't alway want to teach, I won't even pretend that I did. But my heart is truly in these students, not the god-forsaken TAKS test.
And on the major issue...I was a junior in college before I really started feeling the desire and call to teach. I was paying almost $40,000 a year to go to school and could not afford to back up another year to become an education major. The AC program gives me an opportunity to put my world-class education in the sciences to good use. So I haven't had years of educational theory, I can learn that (and have) from the AC program. What the AC program and truly no program on Earth can do, is replace the knowledge I have of my content area. Your education program in college prepared you to know enough to teach your subject, my education gave me the knowledge to truly know my subject. My students benefit from my content knowledge more than they benefit from the knowledge of educational theory possessed by a first year teacher out of an educational program.
I am not trying to attack anyone, I am only trying to defend those of us that deserve our jobs just as much as you do. Don't let the letters AC stand in the way of your judgment of my classroom or my educational theory.

Content Area

So ...

What can we say about those whom DISD has hired for critical math and science positions without that critical knowledge of his or her content area? Do we really believe that a business or accounting (or athletic) background really a math teacher makes?

The most common justification that I have heard of DISD's AC program is that it allows a "fresh" input of ideas from outside the established areas (presumably content areas). There are other AC programs of national reknown ... which Dallas does NOT utilize. Why?

AC does not make an idiot make...

I won't dispute that there are ACs out there that may not know their content area as well as they should. But you must also concede that there are many fully certified, education majors out there that also do not know their content. The point is not that ACs do or do not know what they need to, the problem is the people that think just because I am an AC, I must not know my content. I ask you (and the district) to judge teachers by their classrooms, not how they got into them.


"... many fully certified, education majors out there that also do not know their content."

... At the secondary level? If so, this is the fault of the district leadership ... NOT those who are fully certified.


Of course, I am not blaming the certified teachers that know their content. Just like I ask not to be blamed for ACs that don't know theirs. I'm looking for fairness in how you talk about teachers.

AC's and content knowledge

You tell me, "Miss Physician", would you rather have someone that is "DEGREED" in a subject area or someone who is "QUALIFIED" to teach your child? Just like youngteach, while attending college I had plans to pursue another career. As I did futher studies and evaluated my options, I decided that I would be beneficial in the classroom. I enrolled in the AC program and started teaching. Also, just to let you know, and I am not trying to brag, but I work at a school that was skeptical about hiring first year teachers, being that over half the staff were veterans. At the end of the year, what teacher had the "HIGHEST" test scores? What teacher got state recognition for his/her heart being in the classroom? What teacher had the best rapport with his/her students because their other teachers always told them how "BAD" they were? What teacher had the best classroom management? Most important, WHAT TEACHER KNEW HOW TO ACCESS AND APPLY THE CURRICULUM in the classroom? You tell me what would you rather have? So you and your friend need to make sure that your research on AC's has a good experimental and control group. Make sure that you TEST your hypothesis accurately, before you make a judgement on AC's girl.

Some of the best teachers I've worked with have been AC

Used to work in DISD

There are some very fine AC educators. I have worked with and observed many in my job as an educational diagnostician. If their heart is there, it's beautiful to see. Teaching is an art, and I'm so incredibly excited when I get to see true artists in the classroom!

do you mean corporate America?

cooperate america sounds like a food store co-op

I teach and have kids, but I do not teach public school. I think the heart will teach the ones ready to learn. I personally knew old, experience certified and certifiable teachers in school who were long past the prime and it did not do me well. My children have had certified teachers who falsify the records to get "away" without service as required. Give me an honest and inspiring hard working teacher with alternative creditials, anyday over a mean old out of line has been.

"temporary workers" trump US born AC interns?

It's clear that most of the laid off workers are uncertified teachers. I wonder though. Many of these are US citizens. They were trumped by certified interns, many of whom became certified through the AC program. Doesn't the temporary visa status stipulate that they are hired to fill jobs that cannot be filled by qualified US citizens? My point is that this post has explored the value of being qualified as contrasted with being certified. Why has the DISD not looked at the visa factor? I believe US immigration law frowns upon an employer giving a job to an immigrant that can be handled by a qualified US citizen. DISD itself makes it clear that AC interns are qualified to teach, even though they are not yet fully certified. Therefore, isn't the DISD allowing the temporary visa workers to keep their jobs when there is an ample supply of US born teachers ready and willing to do those jobs? Well, I suppose those fired interns can work at other jobs that Americans aren't willing to do, like serve as school administrators.

US born AC Interns

I agree with kommonr. Dallas is not special in the fact that their are other parts of the country were a teachers who are not bilingual are teaching students that come from other countries. Why is it that a first year AC who was born and raised in the U.S is Rif"d and another first year AC teacher from another country who was the last one hired at our school remains employed. Both teachers teach regular classes with english speaking students. By the way this AC teacher that got Rif'd is being replaced(bumped) by a teacher from another school. She was not dismissed due to leveling. I am curios to know the nationality and how many DISD employees that are here on a work visa got Rif'd.
It is not right what happen at our school. Their are plenty of teachers in the US to fill teaching positions. If we get away from the mind set that if we do not teach the child in their native language they will not learn .Hog wash. I was born in Mexico and came to the US and became an American Citzen 43 years ago. I was raised in the Texas valley, I did not speak English when I first went to school. My teachers did not speak to us in spanish. My brother and sister and I all graduated with honors from our respective universities. What made the difference was what my parents instilled in us. (YOU ARE HERE IN THE U.S. TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR YOURSELF AND OTHERS,BECAUSE IF IT WAS NOT FOR OTHERS WE WOULD NOT BE U.S CITZENS.) That is why I became a teacher to make a difference in other peoples lives.