Proposal would allow charter schools to develop its own teacher certification requirements

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The State University of New York Charter School Committee recently approved a proposal that would allow charter schools to develop its own teacher certification requirements.

“We think that’s bad for kids and bad for the profession,” Carl Korn, Spokesman for the NY State United Teachers, said.

The New York State United Teachers are one of many groups that are opposing the decision that would allow charter schools in New York to certify their own teachers.

“It’s a travesty that the SUNY trustees want to lower the standards and essentially say anybody that they want can become a teacher.”

New York is one of only a few states that require their teachers to have a master’s degree. The newly proposed regulations would allow charter schools with strong academic performances to certify their own teachers with as little as 30 hours of classroom instruction. Yet, many believe this poses to be a new opportunity for professionals.

“Interesting and positive step for Charter Schools to be able to attract some really highly qualified people who maybe already have had a career doing something else but maybe want to teach as a second career,” Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R) said.

Assemblywoman Walsh compares it to having an adjunct professor, saying it can be a program with easier requirements not lesser quality. Korn describes it as undervaluing the rigorous certification process so many teachers worked so hard to attain.

“I think we need to make sure that whatever standards are put forward are going to meet that goal, but I think to allow a different kind of flexible path,” Walsh said.

“The best way to attract good teachers into the profession is not by lowering the standards and letting anyone in but treat teachers with respect to pay them properly and to allow them to have a voice in the profession,” Korn said.

The proposal now has six weeks of public comment before its final hearing before the board.

The New York State United Teachers have expressed that they are exploring all options to stop this proposal, including possible legal actions.

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