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Alternative/emergency licenses

Posted By: Deborah Mitchell on April 22, 2003
I am a university professor in education (CSU system, California). Class size reduction and the teacher shortage in CA has exascerbated our problems with emergency permits. For the last 5-6 years, our pre-service students have been recruited by district personnel and individual principals before they have completed the credential program. Many of our students are first generation university students who work 20-40 hours a week in addition to attending school. They are attracted by the salary and the ability to start their teaching career. What they don't realize is that the practical part of their education that comes with well-designed fieldwork and careful student teaching placements under the guidance of excellent mentor teachers is the most important part of their education. This lack of practical experience has placed tremendous stress on these young people to develop curriculum in alignment with state content standards, adequately develop teaching strategies, implement the most basic forms of classroom management let alone respond to the individual needs of students and communicate with parents. In California, 60% of our students are minorities many of whom do not speak English and are from low socio-economic levels. Of course the majority of our EP's are placed in Title I, low-achieving schools. Nearly 2/3rds of these new teachers leave after the first year. Now, many school districts in California are concerned they will loose federal funding because the NCLB Act does not consider an emergency permit teacher a "qualified" teacher. Those teachers who have been successful are now being told they will not have a job in September without a valid credential. One of my students (emergency permit teacher) was slated to student teach while employed in the fall...but now will no longer be employed. None of the EP teachers with whom I have come in contact received adequate mentoring. And what about the education of the children they were hired to teach? D. Mitchell
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 Alternative or emergency licensed teachers by Connie White on March 21, 2003
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