Not according to this latest study from Brookings.
Jay P. Greene writes, "The chart shows 1) that it basically makes no difference whether is
certified, alternatively certified, or uncertified. That means that we
shouldn’t expect to improve things by pushing for having more teachers
certified or by pushing for more alt cert. Those reforms are likely to
be dead ends. And 2) there is an enormous range in the effectiveness of
teachers. If we could figure out how to recruit and retain those more
effective teacher while getting rid of the duds, we could make some
Or it might mean that teacher quality is less important than other variables when explaining student outcomes. Income of the student, income of the community, parental involvement, parent education levels, overall funding of the school, and attitude of administration might be more important.
It also shows that the enormous amount of energy that teachers spend getting certified is a waste of time. Some people might have been just fine teachers, before they spent two years in education school. One should push for alternative certification not because it's good for students (it seems to make no difference), but because it's good for teachers.
Disclaimer. I haven't looked very closely at the data myself. It may be that the alternative certified teachers in this study are a very small group of unusual people — highly educated and motivated individuals like the Teach for America people.