U-S Education Secretary Arne Duncan urged Minnesota lawmakers today (Fri) to pass legislation that would create alternative ways for people to become teachers.
Duncan told a crowd of education and business leaders in Minneapolis that Minnesota has a great track record of education reform, but issues like teacher licensure also show complacency.
"The fact that this state hasn't been more open around alternative certification for teachers doesn't make sense to me," Duncan said. "I think what we want is more great teachers in nation's classrooms wherever they come from. And we should hold everyone accountable - we should hold them to a high bar. Accountable, but being really creative there."
The state's teachers' union opposed alternative licensure last year. Education Minnesota says it does support the effort this year but only under circumstances that don't lessen the rigor needed to become a teacher.
Duncan also told the crowd that the business community hasn't been active enough in education debates.
You can listen to Duncan's full speech here: Listen
Thanks to MPR's Tom Weber for the audio.
Thanks Mr. Duncan, I like this guy’s thoughts but Minnesota is the greatest state in the union! Also housing and the stability of housing is very important to the kids. So, let’s show them in Washington and around the world what we can do here in Minnesota!!! Peace to you and yours.
We so hope that this alternative license passes as it would give many of the un-credentialed teachers from Turkey an opportunity to teach in the USA for the Gulen Charter Schools.
We have 1 opening in the fall of 2011 called Minnesota School of Science.
Alternative teacher licensure is a great way to set the bar down on expectations of a teacher it will also lower the cost of salaries.
The "Credentialed" teachers have done so well so far let’s let China (or Turkey) take over. And besides they just teach from the book not real life. Public speaking is a skill some have it and some do not.
Is there a teacher shortage in key areas or regions in Minnesota? My impression is that there are more credentialed peopled than jobs. Therefore, Duncan strikes me as fixing a problem that doesn't exist. I'd like to see the background facts.
I too, have been under the impression that there are more teachers than jobs (so why do we need alternative licensure?). I don't trust this push by some to have alternative licensure. I think it's about something else -- like undermining the union or something.
Watch out folks, someone with a math/science degree and who has actually used that degree to have a satisfying career may now have the chance to teach with some tailored training that is significantly shorter in length and higher in density than what you would provide someone who just graduated from high school! And all this without having to retake Geometry 1! Then they get a chance to relate their real world leadership experiences to their students as they pursue their original dream of teaching, which maybe got rejected originally due to the low salary, and the fact maybe they didn't want to go straight back to high school after college, lol, and, to further troll you a bit, maybe they didn't want to get hit by that whole "maybe you're not that smart" look many education majors get from their non-greek peers.
Who knows, would we even count their graduate degree in math/science/engineering/business on the career ladder once they are fully licensed? Horrors! It may be bad for some graduating undergrad ed majors - I can't imagine how they could compete if we were lucky enough to find some verteran performers from the business world into the field.