Proposal to “fast track” more teachers a disservice to students
“This proposal would weaken qualification standards for teachers in Michigan,” said Michigan Education Association President Iris K. Salters. “Michigan’s students deserve to be taught by the best prepared professional educators available. Reducing teacher requirements will reduce teacher quality, a cost the state’s students can ill afford.”
Among the survey’s findings:
“At the heart of the proposal is the perception that there is a teacher shortage in the state. With teachers being laid off statewide, others moving out-of-state to find jobs, and still more in the pipeline ready to graduate from the state’s colleges and universities, that perception seems far from reality,” said Salters. “Perhaps a more effective initiative would be one to identify the qualified teachers who are available and help to match them to districts that need their expertise.”
Opponents to the proposal also cite the preparation needed to become an effective teacher. The state’s current five-year teacher curriculum ensures both subject-matter expertise and preparation in the fundamentals of teaching.
“’Fast track’ teachers might know the subject matter,” Salters said, “but it’s doubtful they’ll be prepared to communicate their knowledge effectively to students.”
The survey was conducted by EPIC-MRA, the highly regarded survey research firm in Lansing, Michigan, during the week of July 19-25, 2009. EPIC-MRA queried 400 active professional educators. The survey had a margin of error of ±4.9%.
Contact: Ed Sarpolus, MEA Director of Government Affairs, 517-927-9776
“The mission of the MEA is to ensure that the education of our students and the working environments of our members are of the highest quality.”
Updated: October 26, 2009 11:28 AM