Here's one example that answers Vicky's question with a resounding "No!" Ridgeview Classical School is continually ranked in the US News & World Report as a top charter school in the country. One year, they were #15 overall. Their previous principal, Dr. Terrence Moore, (currently an Assistant Professor of History at Hillsdale College in Michigan) wrote frequently about teacher certification and the value of ed. schools. (And classical education, and phonics, and Core Knowledge...) He recommends two books for people seeking information on schools of education: Rita Kramer’s Ed School Follies and, even better, George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
From his article, Association of Teacher Qualification and Certification is a False One:
When I taught history at the university level, I noticed an extreme division in my classes. The history majors reveled in the subject, did all the reading, and had significant things to say in class. The ed-school students sat at the back of the class, had little to say, showed little sign of enjoying or mastering the material, and usually skimmed by with a C minus. Which group is more qualified to teach history to the nation’s children?His thesis from A Monopoly on ’Relating to Children’?: Teacher Certification Further Refuted:
Certified teachers do not have a monopoly on being able to relate to kids but are very often the people least able to do so.Ouch! The Ridgeview Classical School is well-known locally for seeking out non-certified teachers in the school. In fact, anyone seeking a teaching position in Fort Collins should consider the current open positions at Ridgeview:
(All emphases are mine)
Special Education Teacher
...The candidate does not need to have a degree in special education to be considered for this position. Any interested candidate who has a strong background in liberal arts, science, or brain-based fields will be considered, as long as there is a commitment to obtain appropriate CDE licensure. It is necessary that the candidate maintains high academic standards for all students regardless of background or learning differences. The special education teacher must demonstrate the ability to teach students (K – 12), who need additional supports and services beyond the scope of the classroom setting, and is also expected to participate in the identification process for students who struggle academically or behaviorally. Candidates should have experience in different kinds of classroom settings.
Ridgeview is looking for a versatile teacher who can teach literature, Latin, and history (especially American) to students from upper elementary to high school. Applicants should have degrees in at least two of those subjects or be able to demonstrate their versatility in other ways. A teaching certificate is not a requirement. Teachers are expected to be content experts in their field. Applicants should be able to demonstrate excellent classroom control and considerable experience in teaching students of different ages.
Ridgeview seeks a math teacher for the middle and high school. Applicants should be expert mathematicians with a degree in their field and the ability to communicate their expertise to their students. Teaching certification is not required for this position. Applicants should be able to teach a wide variety of math classes from pre-algebra to high-level math electives.