Teacher Qualification Standards

This paper examines the question of whether or not states should be allowed to revise or even eliminate teacher qualification standards in order to enlarge the pool of available talent as a solution to the shortage of certified teachers. Increasingly, schools throughout America are confronted with a shrinking pool of teachers who have received the conventional education that allows them to meet each state=s standards for teaching certificates. Low pay, heightened demands beyond skills at imparting knowledge, reduced public respect for the profession, and a host of other challenges make attracting and keeping trained teachers an increasingly daunting challenge. One of the more intriguing but controversial ideas has been to draw on the expertise and enthusiasm of individuals with a wealth of content knowledge but limited formal training in teaching methodology to fill the gap. While many oppose this as Ade-professionalizing@ the profession, this paper argues that the idea has considerable merit and should be pursued.

In contemporary America, a basic, quality education is considered the right of every individual. Education provides literacy and a body of shared abilities and knowledge that are essential to building the skilled workforce and involved citizenry needed to run a capitalist democracy.

In such a system, teaching should be considered to be one of the noblest professions. Yet, as public schools have increasingly come under attack for their perceived failure to so



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