Stephen Downes, making an observation that appeared in my Facebook stream, points outs an eerie trend in Texas education:

Texas must be the only place in existence where the ad for teachers requires applicants NOT have a teaching certificate

You can’t help but wonder at the veracity of the facts, the judgement that draws a conclusion based on the facts. So, like many other Texans, I clicked the link to find:

The Texas Teaching Fellows program is seeking a select group of achievement-oriented individuals to use their knowledge to teach students in Fort Worth. As a Texas Education Agency approved alternative certification program, we are committed to finding and training outstanding individuals to become teachers in the fall of 2011. No previous experience or coursework in education is necessary. Those with math, science, or bilingual experience are especially encouraged to apply.

But the real kicker here is the juxtaposition of “Texas Education Agency approved alternative certification program” with the words from the minimum requirement:

Must not hold a standard teaching certificate from any state

Read this article on Professional Development Schools

Of course, there are many possible conclusions…here’s a list in no particular order, except how they “flopped out:”

  • They really meant to say “any state except Texas”
  • We are facing a severe teacher shortage, so we’ll suspend requirements like teaching certification for now realizing that we’ll never meet the demands of highly-qualified teachers under NCLB in Texas.
  • Teachers with certificates aren’t getting the job done, so let’s go ahead and throw the gates open and see if “private charter” organizations can prepare teachers better than teaching preparation centers such as universities and alternative certification education center’s (regional) that help folks with degrees get certified to teach.
  • Good way to boost the economy…hire anyone with a degree off the street and throw them into education, paying them less than regular teachers…saves money for everyone. Combine that with the encouragement by Bill  Gates and his ilk to dismiss master’s degree bonus

What is your interpretation of these acts by Texas Teaching Fellows out of Ft. Worth, Texas? What is the state leadership thinking about this?

Disclosure: I am the product of a TEA approved alternative certification program. Thought that it might be fun to argue this from the other side…what exactly were those crusty progressives/liberals saying when I got certified through alternative means?

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure