Minn. teachers' union upset over alternative licensure billby Rupa Shenoy, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota teachers' union officials say they're disappointed Gov. Mark Dayton plans to sign a bill Monday allowing alternative teacher certification programs.
Under the legislation, the Minnesota Board of Teaching will approve programs that will train mid-career professionals and college graduates of other subject areas. The board can revoke a program's approval if it isn't satisfactory.
Education Minnesota President Tom Dooher rejects the argument that schools can simply choose not to hire alternatively certified teachers who they don't feel are qualified.
"We don't lower the standards for anyone who becomes a doctor or lawyer and say 'Well you just don't get hired if you come out of a crappy program.' You keep the standards high," Dooher said. "That's the way you keep the profession growing and you keep students' achievement on an upward trajectory."
Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius disagrees.
"We are feeling confident after talking to folks at the Board of Teaching about the rigorous standards that they'll have for ... new certification programs," she said.
Dooher said the union's disagreement with the governor on this legislation won't keep them from working with Dayton in the future.
The law takes effect for the 2011-2012 school year.