Professionals recruited to teaching doing well, principals say

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Principals say mid-career professionals recruited to teach math, science and foreign languages are more effective than traditional first-year teachers, according to a report to the State Board of Education.

However, there is resistance among traditionally trained teachers and administrators to accept the professionals, some of whom left careers in engineering, research and medicine.

Two years after Gov. Phil Bredesen's streamlined teacher licensing program began supplying schools with teachers for high-need subject areas, a report to the board shows that most professionals have adapted well to their new careers.

Over 140 people have completed the Teach Tennessee training program and met the requirements for an alternative teacher license.

According to a survey of 33 middle and high school principals, the new teachers were rated above average on a variety of performance qualities such as maturity, professionalism and ability to relate content through real life situations.

"In every one of those categories, the fellows rated higher than traditional first-year teachers," said Becky Kent, the program's director.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)