Tuesday, October 2, 2007


We are from Washington and we are here to help - that line always gets a chuckle out in the various state leaders I visit. The chuckle comes from a belief that people in Washington couldn't possibly know what is needed in their state.

Yet their I sit confronted by the people who approve certification programs and they are totally disconnected from the reality of what is going on in the classrooms. In Nevada last week, they are trying to uphold the absolute highest standards of teacher certification by keeping things the same. And just a few miles away, Clark County was SHORT 1,163 teachers in June and had to bring over 50 teachers from the Philippines and were still woefully short.

They are keeping out people like Martin Jones, 51, who just completed our program in rural Idaho and is now qualified to teach General Science, Biology and Physics. He is teaching at a public high school that graduated 19 last year - without him, these students don't have a high school science teacher. His knowledge and experience in the sciences have created an amazing classroom experience for his students.

They are keeping out Randolph Messineo of Alabama, 52, an Air Force veteran who is going to retire from the military and teach elementary school. He is going to move to a state that accepts ABCTE because the program worked best for him as he was getting out of the military. Alabama just lost a great male teacher - something very rare in today's elementary schools.

If you don't have enough teachers applying for jobs - the quality you are willing to accept to have a person teaching that class drops significantly.

The rules and regulations designed to raise quality are keeping people like Martin and Randolph out of most classrooms and replace them with teachers from other countries and long term substitutes.

Rome in burning - put down the fiddle and find a plan that works.

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