Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

December 6, 2012

Rules for educator licensing changed

INDIANAPOLIS — Over the protests of teachers’ unions and some universities that train new teachers, the State Board of Education has changed the licensing and credentialing rules for K-12 educators.

The new rules ease the traditional education-training requirements needed to become a school administrator or teacher and will allow more people without a teaching degree to become classroom teachers.

The board voted Wednesday for the new rules despite a plea from the newly elected state schools’ superintendent, Glenda Ritz, to postpone their decision until after she takes office in January.

“We cannot have anything standing in the way of putting qualified teachers in our classroom,” she said in comments made to the board at the invitation of current Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett.

Bennett, who sits on the board by virtue of his position, had pushed for the new Rules for Educator Preparation and Accountability, known as REPA II. He touted them as a part of a package of education reforms passed by the Indiana General Assembly and implemented by the Republican Bennett in his four years in office.

Ritz, a Democrat who beat Bennett in an upset race, had opposed the new rules in her campaign saying they threatened to diminish the standards of the teaching profession. She was hoping the board would see things her way.

But many of the board members, who were appointed by Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels for their support of the sweeping reforms he championed, made it clear they had no interest in delay.

“Every 26 seconds, we’re losing a child,” said Jo Blacketor, referring to the frequency of students dropping out of high school. “We’re losing sight of that. We’re concentrating too much here on the teachers and the institutions.”  

One of the new changes that generated the most heat in the controversy is the creation of an “adjunct teaching permit.” It allows someone who earned a four-year college degree with a 3.0 grade point average to earn a credential to teach by passing an exam that proves proficiency in the subject area.

The board voted Wednesday to add a “pedagogy requirement” that will allow someone with an adjunct permit to get a teaching job in Indiana, but also requires that person to score well on future teacher evaluations and to take college or other professional development courses to renew their teaching license.

Another area of contention involved “content area exams.” Bennett and his staff wanted the board to approve rules that would allow teachers who already held a teaching license to be able to add a certification to teach additional subject areas by taking a test, rather than additional college-level coursework. The state board of education voted to approve a revised version of that proposal that allows teachers to “test into” some subject areas but not others, including special education, elementary education, early childhood education, and English as a second language.

The new rules also allow school districts to hire superintendents who have not completed doctoral degrees if they have master’s degrees. The new rules also transfer the power to approve teacher-training programs away from state Department of Education and to the state Board of Education. A proposed change that was dropped would have blocked teachers with low evaluation scores from renewing their licenses.

The board voted for the new rules after listening to both supporters and opponents use strongly worded language to make their arguments.

Gerardo Gonzalez, dean of the Indiana University School of Education, said the new licensing rules “will diminish the teaching profession and make it difficult to attract the best and brightest into the teaching profession.”

Sally Sloan, head of the Indiana Federation of Teachers said: “With the rollbacks in standards and temporary licensing, you can expect to see the cronyism and nepotism that we saw 30 years ago in public schools.”

Jilly Lyday, a retired Indianapolis high school teacher, told the board they needed to postpone their decision until Ritz took office: “If you vote without considering Glenda Ritz’s vision, your actions will be seen by citizens of this state as purely political.”

Maureen Hayden can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Police & Rescue News LaGrange County police advise avoiding Ind. 5 and C.R. 400 South

    HONEYVILLE -- LaGrange County police are cautioning motorists to stay away from the intersection of Ind. 5 and C.R. 400 South due to a traffic accident.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Person injured in fall at Goshen business

    Someone has been injured in a fall at Hoosier Interior Doors along Goshen’s East Lincoln Avenue.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Press Release 04-23-2014 J.jpg SLIDESHOW: Police need help ID'ing suspects The Goshen Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in identifying suspects wanted for questioning in relation to a number of thefts from retail stores throughout Indiana. The four individuals have stolen over $25,000 worth of merchandise, according to law enforcement. The men are believed to be African-American and have been seen fleeing in a white Dodge Ram or another white pickup truck with a white cap which may have Florida license plates. Anyone with information is asked to call the Goshen Police Department at 574-533-8661 or Michiana CrimeStoppers at 800-342-STOP.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michigan Prisoner Escape Michigan murderer arraigned in prison escape that led to manhunt in Elkhart, LaGrange counties

    IONIA, Mich. — A convicted murderer who broke out of a western Michigan prison in February has been arraigned on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEMA OKs aid for 19 Indiana counties hit by storm

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved disaster aid for 19 Indiana counties

    April 22, 2014

  • NWS GN140421 jobless rate Elkhart County jobless rate drops to 5.8 percent

    Elkhart County’s jobless rate dropped below 6 percent last month, according to figures released today by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
    The March unemployment rate for the county was estimated at 5.8 percent, compared to the February estimate of 6.2 percent and the March 2013 figure of 8.3 percent.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Bristol motorcyclist dies from crash injuries

    Dale Greensides, 32, Bristol, the driver of a motorcycle involved in a crash with an automobile Sunday north of Middlebury, died today at 11:25 a.m.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News No injuries in Concord Township fire

    Firefighters were called to a basement fire in a Concord Township home shortly after midnight today.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Bristol bank robbery suspect arrested

    A South Bend man has been arrested in connection with a bank robbery last year in Bristol.
    Zamale E. Davis, 19, 1805 Chapin St., was arrested at 7:10 a.m. Friday in South Bend by officers with the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Six injured in crash northwest of Wakarusa

    A two-vehicle crash injured six people north of Wakarusa Tuesday.
    The mishap occurred around 7:20 a.m. at the intersection of C.R.s 1 and 26.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results