The House Education Reform Committee today unanimously approved state Rep. Aaron Miller’s legislation to eliminate a professional teaching certification mandate, giving instructors more choice and time to work on classroom quality.
“New teachers need to teach, not go back into the classroom for more studying and more testing after recently finishing college to get new certifications,” said Miller, of Sturgis. “The time they spend leading their own classroom builds their career foundation and defines them as teacher. They should be given time to develop that, not jump through more regulatory hoops for a piece of paper.”
Currently, teachers fresh out of college are issued a standard or provisional teaching certificate with a professional teaching certificate available to instructors with more than three years classroom experience, over 150 hours of professional development and additional post-graduate coursework. Although new teachers can renew their five-year standard or provisional certification multiple times, obtaining a professional certificate can been required as early as three years into a teacher’s career.
Miller, a licensed teacher, noted his bill is supported by the state Department of Education, along with other educational groups.
“That professional certificate does not prove a teacher has excelled in the classroom,” Miller said. “There are a lot of requirements placed on teachers right now, such as completing a certain amount of professional development or doing added coursework for more pay. We need to emphasize preparation, effort and results working with students.”
House Bill 4614 advances to the House for its consideration.