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Kansas Explores Rigid Teacher Licensure Regulations
posted by: Ruthie | March 04, 2014, 09:28 PM   

With an increasing number of schools hiring professionals with previous careers in a variety of industries, requirements for teacher licensure are constantly evolving. In an effort to welcome degreed-professionals into the classroom, many states are considering new alternative certification policies to serve better serve students, particularly in hard-to-staff positions.

In Kansas, the state Board of Education (KDE) is currently working on new regulations that would allow private-sector professionals to teach on a full or part time basis through industry certification or career expertise benchmarks. The KDE’s proposed change would allow a three-year, renewable part-time teaching permit to be issued, accompanied by industry-recognized certification or experience in specialized industries. These teachers would be highly qualified in their field but would lack a traditional teaching college background.

The demand for technical education has increased tremendously since Kansas created an incentive program for high schools students to accelerate their education to fill technical industry needs in 2011. Many high schools receive a $1,000 bonus for every student who completes manufacturing or industry training programs and earns industry certification.

As a result of the 2011 programs, a common theme among recent legislation in Kansas has been the need for flexibility in relaxing teacher licensure regulations, especially in technical fields.

Gov. Sam Brownback stated,
“That’s the way to move forward some of the education policy needs as driven by the local school districts.” He continued, “There isn’t a policy agenda here. What there is, is a very practical agenda of what do we need to teach our students better.”

The new Kansas initiatives are in line with AAE member positions per our National Membership Surveys. AAE members support incentives for hard to staff positions, and easier paths to the classroom for experienced professionals.

How do you feel about alternative certification programs?
Comment below.



Comments (1)Add Comment
written by Melinda-Montana/Kansas , March 05, 2014

Having graduated from a Kansas University, and most recently worked in a school where a provisional licensed teacher was hired, I felt I could comment on this. I spent 5 years getting a teaching degree with an additional endorsement in Social Sciences. From what I have witnessed, many specialized professionals wish to become teachers, but have little to no knowledge of teaching, age appropriate teaching skills or pedagogy as related to anything other than the specific skill they have. What does any teacher need to go to college for if this is going to become the way to hire teachers. How about paying the teachers who do graduate with BS in education a salary worthy of our profession instead of short changing students in another "education experiment".

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