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Many Qualified People Ready to Be Teachers

October 08, 2003

Re "Commission Delays Decision on Limiting Use of Novice Teachers," Oct. 3: None of the articles I've read on the teacher shortage has mentioned the obvious solution: intern teachers. I am a special education teacher in the intern program at Cal State Northridge and have been aggressively looking for a special education teaching position (supposedly an area of critical shortage) for the last four months, to no avail -- and I'm not the only one. We are qualified and ready to teach today and cannot get our credentials until we do so. How are we to get our credentials if we're not given the opportunity to practice our profession?

Marc Dodell

Tujunga

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Private schools have many teachers whom the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing says can never be considered highly qualified because they have neither completed nor are they enrolled in a year's worth of postgraduate education courses. Inner-city school districts know this is nonsense. They are required to improve student performance. But their students are not easy to teach.

Good, credentialed teachers tend to shun these schools. Yet highly intelligent people with bachelor's degrees can be found willing to teach in these schools while enrolled in a year's worth of postgraduate education courses to be completed over a five-year period. The willing include unemployed aerospace, computer, engineering and other highly skilled workers. They have real-world experience, drive, intelligence and ability. This is why inner-city school districts want them. Why not the commission?

Raymond J. Rostan

Santa Ana

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