Senate approves Rep. Miller plan to help new teachers

Categories: Miller News,News

Legislation will allow educators to focus on students, not licensing

The state Senate today unanimously approved state Rep. Aaron Miller’s plan to eliminate burdensome requirements to educators, giving new teachers more time to work with students in the classroom.

New teachers are issued a standard (formerly called a provisional) teaching certificate with a professional certificate available after three years classroom experience, over 150 hours of professional development and additional post-graduate coursework. New instructors may renew their five-year standard or provisional certification multiple times, obtaining a professional certificate may be required as early as three years into a teacher’s career.

“New teachers need to be focused on their students, not a mandate with little to do with quality work in the classroom,” said Miller, a licensed teacher. “Ironically, the current licensing requirement can hurt classroom quality by having teachers less than five years into their career dedicating more personal time to professional development and added coursework. We need to stop having the candle burn at both ends. We must emphasize preparation and results working with students, not adding to the challenges of dedicated young educators.”

Miller noted the legislation only makes it optional for teachers to pursue the professional certification. The plan has the support of the state Department of Education, along with multiple other educational groups.

“A professional teaching certificate does not guarantee someone is an exceptional teacher, especially with the required professional development and educational course standards set in Michigan right now,” said Miller, of Sturgis. “The good teachers are ones who are engaged and knowledgeable in front of the classroom, not sitting in another classroom taking on repeated tests, hours of study and an added cost for a piece of paper. This helps teachers teach.”

House Bill 4614 advances to the governor for consideration.