Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsTeaching

The Problem With Teacher Credentialing

September 01, 2002

Re "Schools' 'Emergency' Is Lack of Cheap Teachers," Letters, Aug. 25:

John Rossmann is right to say that school systems want teachers on the cheap--and experience costs. But he makes a misleading argument about so-called emergency credentials. Many experienced people, after years in industry, government and the military, decide to enter teaching as a serious second career. Many are highly proven performers with a wealth of knowledge and experience.

In past years, these persons, judged to be competent and knowledgeable in their respective fields--very often science and math--could teach with a temporary credential by immediately enrolling in an accredited teacher credential program. But the current hysteria over credentials now makes this next to impossible because of a sleight of hand that has led many to equate a credential with competence.

Consider a college instructor--without secondary school experience or credentials--teaching math or science to incoming freshmen in the fall. The college decides on his qualifications and does not require any sort of teaching credential. Just three months earlier, this instructor would have been judged "unqualified" to teach these same students in their final semester in high school. This is the sort of absurdity that the current teacher credentialing system leads to.

Gerald S. Rellick

Santa Ana

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|