- New York is considering "alternative educator-certification methods" as appropriate teaching credentials for some of its charter schools in lieu of the state credentialing requirements, which require a master's degree and passing marks on the state certification exam, according to a recent article in the Atlantic.
- Some of the alternative credentials include pairing with teacher-mentors, summer workshops which include home visits, and some combination of staff retreats and year-round consultants brought in to supplement professional development.
- A proposal from the SUNY Charter School Committee would allow charter school networks to design their own credentialing programs, which would be accepted at other schools under SUNY's governance.
Dr. Sandy Womack, Jr., Director of Principal Leadership, Cleveland Heights University Heights School District, recently decried the diversion of dollars from traditional district schools into what he calls a great "experiment" in education: charter schools. His argument was largely centered around the lack of standardized credentialing requirements for teachers and administrators, and he expressed frustration over the notion that, while folks may have good ideas about how to best serve students, they'd be unleashed into schools without formal pedagogical training.
Beyond just the potential impact to students, there is also a negative impact of deregulation of teaching standards for teachers. At a recent Capitol Hill meeting, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Senior Vice President, Outreach and Engagement Amber Parker said, “A lack of coherence in the teaching profession is expensive, ineffective … and leads to having only 3% of teachers board certified." And 2010 Florida State Teacher of the Year Megan Allen said differing standards between states eventually pushed her out of the classroom when she found herself in a new state with completely different requirements for teaching. With an already overreported teacher shortage across the country, a national set of standards could help keep individuals in similar situations teaching; deregulating the process even further will likely make it even harder for teachers who are transferring between schools even within the same state.