Naked City

Slowing Down Insta-Teachers

In a victory for Texas schoolteachers, the (governor-appointed) State Board of Educator Certification announced it will delay issuing its new policy on alternative teacher certification in order to allow the (elected) State Board of Education time to review it.

The SBEC drew fire earlier this month when, over the objections of every Texas teacher organization, it voted narrowly to allow school districts to grant two-year teaching certificates to anyone with a college degree who can pass the certification exam. Under current regulations, apprentice teachers must have both advanced disciplinary study and education training, but school districts complain of shortages in certain specializations and want more flexibility in hiring.

Had the SBEC not decided to delay implementation, the new rule would have become law without SBOE intervention. The elected board only has 90 days to consider, and potentially reverse, decisions by the SBEC, and its next meeting wasn't scheduled until February, 96 days after the SBEC's vote.

Considering that a move to liberalize certification policies to allow for insta-teachers had been specifically rejected by the Legislature this spring, the SBEC action was more than ordinarily insulting to the state's teachers, and teacher organizations have been lobbying the SBOE to take up the matter. Some SBEC members, meanwhile, have let it be known that they had been placed under direct pressure from the governor's office to enact the new rule.

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State Board of Educator Certification, SBEC, State Board of Education, SBOE, alternative certification

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