July 18, 2011
Virtually Irrelevant: How certification rules impede the growth of virtual schools
Dr. Terry Stoops:
Posted by Jim Zellmer at July 18, 2011 4:48 AM
- Teacher-certification requirements are among the most onerous rules enforced by state education agencies and have the potential seriously to limit the scope, quality, and accessibility of virtual schooling for years to come.
- By design, certification requirements prohibit unlicensed individuals who reside within a state -- such as higher education faculty, private-sector professionals, private school faculty, and independent scholars -- from teaching virtual courses.
- States should allow their virtual schools to have the flexibility to focus on hiring candidates who possess the requisite skills and relevant knowledge and experience, rather than those who possess mandated credentials.
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How do we decide that one has "the requisite skills and relevant knowledge and experience", rather than "mandated credentials"? Should this only apply to charter schools? Since I've worked in a hospital for over a dozen years and have observed surgery and taken care of post-op patients, should I be allowed to practice as a surgeon without that pesky "mandated credential"? Do I really need that "CPA" credential to audit your books? I used to keep the books for a company I managed - isn't that good enough? What if I were really good at playing a flight simulator game on my Nintendo? Could I be a commercial pilot now? I argue really well - can I be a lawyer now? Who needs all those silly government regulations? I could increase profits for my employer by working for less than those who got those blasted licenses and still make a decent living.