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Jesse Gordon on Education

Editor-in-chief, OnTheIssues.org


More requirements for teachers means fewer teachers

I did a “teaching internship” in a public school during college & discovered that I didn’t like teaching in the field in which I had majored, biology. I did, however, enjoy immensely teaching mathematics. But I was not “qualified” to teach that, because I hadn’t taken enough college coursework. It didn’t matter that I was extremely good at teaching everything from algebra to calculus - as my employers at private schools often told me - unless I got another degree, I could never teach in the public schools. After a couple years of trying to work around the system, I gave up.

It’s not surprising when potential teachers are put off by onerous requirements. What is surprising is that politicians say in one sentence that they want both “more qualified teachers” and “strict teacher certification.” Stricter rules will always mean fewer teachers. There should be only one rule: Is this person a good teacher in this subject? Implement that, and the ‘teacher shortage“ would be greatly diminished.

Source: America Asks About Politics, issues2001.org/AskMe , Feb 25, 2001

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