Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Union Opposes Teacher 'Permit' ; State Board Weighs Career Specialist Proposal

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Union Opposes Teacher 'Permit' ; State Board Weighs Career Specialist Proposal

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana's largest teachers union is attempting to stop a proposed teaching license that would allow college graduates with good grades and work experience to become classroom teachers. The so-called career specialist permit is part of an update to the state's licensing rules that the Indiana State Board of Education may take a final vote on next month.

The Indiana State Teachers Association held a news conference at the Indiana Statehouse this week asking the board to reconsider its decision to keep the proposal alive.

Supporters say the license will provide flexibility to high school principals and superintendents when hiring new teachers.

But Mark Lichtenberg, head of the Evansville Teachers Association, echoed the sentiments of those against the proposal, saying on Friday the license "cheapens" the profession.

"To allow someone to simply pass a test and demonstrate knowledge of a particular content area in no way qualifies them to be teaching children in a classroom," Lichtenberg said.

Even if the proposal is passed, Lichtenberg said he doesn't expect many teachers in Evansville classrooms to hold the career specialist permit because of the large pool of candidates for openings.

"It will depend largely on the situation that is present in each different area, in each school corporation," Lichtenberg said.

"It's hard to predict. There has to be high standards in order to be a teacher in a classroom, and this clearly lowers that standard."

Candidates would need to hold a bachelor's degree with a B- average in the content area they want to teach, pass a content test and have work experience in the subject they want to teach. The teacher also would need to begin training on instructional methods by the first month they enter a classroom.

The license would be limited to the secondary level and was inserted into the proposed licensing rules at a State Board of Education meeting this month. …

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