ISTA Lobbies Against New “Teacher” Permit

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May 23, 2014 — Indiana Public Broadcasting — Northwest Indiana lawmaker Vernon Smith says he’s “insulted” by a proposed teacher licensing permit that would require no prior teacher training. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports:

The State Board of Education last week approved a proposal to create a Career Workplace Specialist permit. It would allow individuals to teach in high school without a teaching degree. Applicants would be required to have a bachelor’s degree and a 3.0 G-P-A, pass a test in the subject area they want to teach, have at least three years of workplace experience and take pedagogy training after they’re hired. Gary Democrat Vernon Smith says just because a person knows a subject area doesn’t mean they’re qualified to teach it:

I’m insulted because what they’re saying to me is what I learned at Indiana University-Bloomington, in order to become a practicing teacher, was unimportant.”

State Board spokeswoman Lou Ann Baker says use of the permit would be entirely optional:

It is designed to allow flexibility for teachers, typically in an area which may be hard for them to fill, where they have an outstanding candidate that they believe can inspire and encourage their students.”

Baker says the new permit is modeled on existing teacher licensing programs that allow people without teacher training to get a permit while taking pedagogy courses. But Smith says those existing programs make the new permit unnecessary.


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