Utah State School Board and Licensing: from Education Week.

I certainly have mixed feelings about this new ruling. I can see it as a way to help Utah School Districts find teachers for hard to find areas. On the other hand, what does this do for the pedological training so important to teachers. Shouldn’t teachers know why they are doing what they are doing? What is the learning theory that underpins the actions of each teacher’s actions? It is not a bright future for college and university schools’ of education.

Despite Public Outcry, Utah Schools Can Now Hire Teachers With No Training
By Madeline Will on August 12, 2016 4:07 PM
teacher-classroom-GETTY_560x292.jpgDespite overwhelming outrage from teachers, Utah public schools can now officially hire people to teach without a teaching license or teaching experience.

In June, the Utah State Board of Education voted to create an alternative pathway to obtaining a teaching license, under which school districts and charter schools can hire individuals with relevant professional experience, particularly in hard-to-staff areas like computer science or mathematics. To be hired as a teacher through this pathway, applicants need a bachelor’s degree, must pass the state test required for teacher certification, and must complete an educators’ ethics review and pass a background check.

The new pathway, which is intended to curb the state’s teacher shortage, drops a previous requirement that these prospective teachers take college teacher-training courses. Instead, after being hired, the new teachers go through three years of supervision and mentoring from a veteran educator before receiving licensure.

The policy became effective today, after the state board made no changes, despite last month’s heated public hearing on the issue. According to news reports, a beyond-capacity crowd strongly criticized the new rule, saying that it would harm student learning and that it devalues teachers.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, an elementary school teacher said the policy was “absolutely demoralizing and insulting,” saying: “Just because you comprehend third-grade math doesn’t mean that you can teach third-grade math.”

Representatives from the Utah teacher unions, local subject-area associations, and the Utah Democratic Caucus also opposed the rule. Supporters contend that it will give schools access to a bigger pool of talent.

Forty-two percent of teachers in Utah quit within the five years of starting, and more than one-third of those who quit teaching do so at the end of their first year, according to the Utah State Office of Education. Meanwhile, Utah’s student population is increasing every year—schools in the state gained nearly 12,000 new students last year.

Stock image via Getty

Related Reading:

You No Longer Need a Teaching Degree to Teach in Utah
Districts Facing Teacher Shortages Look for Lifelines
Teaching in Wisconsin Might Not Even Require a College Degree Soon
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Dr. Conde
2:31 PM on August 15, 2016
Truly pathetic, Utah and Wisconsin! Why should any teacher be licensed and educated? College is expensive, and teachers are just babysitters, right? Or only some teachers have to be licensed, and others get paid less than the already paltry wages? How about nurses and firefighters? Is it OK if they just learn on the job? No training necessary! As long as you’re practicing on someone else’s family members, who cares? What if the new hires don’t stay for three years? What if the mentor teacher is too busy teaching herself to also fulfill the role of college teacher? And even though it’s obvious, it bears stating. Teachers don’t just teach subjects, they teach students. Managing individual students and groups and providing meaningful, connected educational/curricular experiences isn’t a script one follows. Moreover, teaching is not a “passion”; it requires education, observation, practice, and reflection, and on-going professional development and collaboration. This Republican dream of disruption until the middle class are all minimum wage slaves is apparently working. One way to address the shortage would be to raise taxes and attract candidates willing to invest in education. The next time someone invokes Finland, I think I’ll just say “Utah”.
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