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The state board of education in Kansas voted to drop teacher certification requirements for six districts, including two of the state’s largest.
Kansas is preparing for the 19th century, when teachers needed no professional preparation.
“Cynthia Lane, superintendent of Kansas City USD 500, one of the affected districts, called the compromise “a reasonable outcome.”
“The bottom line,” Lane said, “is we want every possible tool in order to put the right staff in front of our kids.”
Who dreamed up this scheme to lower standards? ALEC.
“Earlier in the day, more than a dozen educators and parents gave impassioned statements to the board in hopes of persuading the 10-member body not to exempt the districts from licensure regulations.
“James Neff, a chemistry teacher from Manhattan USD 383, said Kansas’ current rules, which stipulate that teachers need formal, academic training in pedagogy, not just subject matter, are critical to the “integrity” of the profession.
“A subject matter specialist is just a subject matter specialist,” Neff said, “but a teacher is something different.”
“The measure will waive the state’s licensure regulations for a group of districts called the Coalition of Innovative Districts, a program that the Legislature established in 2013 based on model legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council….,
“Critics who spoke earlier Tuesday against dropping the requirements included education professors, Kansas Parent Teacher Association president Denise Sultz and Topeka USD 501’s Marie Carter, who recruits teachers for the district.
“They warned of the difficulties that untrained teachers can face managing large class sizes, understanding pedagogy and the learning process, and serving students with a variety of skill levels, including those with learning disabilities or behavioral issues.
“No members of the public spoke in favor of the waiver Tuesday.”