Republic: Emergency teacher certificates help fill job vacancies

Thursday, December 14, 2017

VIDEO: Dan Hunting of Morrison Institute explains how high teacher turnover impacts Arizona schools.


The Arizona Republic columnist Joanna Allhands asks, "How appalled should we be that more than 1,000 emergency teacher certificates have been issued in Arizona so far this school year?

"It certainly shows the appalling extent of Arizona’s teacher shortage.

"Even if state universities and community colleges are cranking out graduates as fast as they can, and lawmakers just passed a wider set of alternate methods by which teachers can get certified, there simply aren’t enough experienced applicants to fill classrooms," she wrote.

VIDEO: A majority of Arizona schools are experiencing a teacher shortage, according to an ASU Morrison Institute report, and low pay may be at least partly to blame.

"But that doesn’t mean all teachers with emergency certificates are unqualified – or that kids in their classrooms are destined to fail," Allhands continued.

"I know. We like to think that only those with an education degree and at least a year of student teaching experience are ready to lead a classroom. In a perfect world, all teachers would at least meet state certifications before they were hired.

"But I’ve heard from plenty of educators who say that a teacher’s willingness to work hard and ability to learn matter even more than their credentials. If you put those people in classrooms and back them up with mentors and in-school training, they’re going to do just fine," she wrote.

READ: Are 'underqualified' teachers ruining education? Yes and no