MEA is opposing a bill to create an alternative path to teacher certification in Career and Technical Education (CTE) that would allow anyone to teach those courses if they have a high school diploma or equivalent and a professional license in a subject matter or field, such as plumbing or electrical.
Contact your lawmakers to oppose lowering standards for entrance into the teaching profession—and tell your story! Blend the arguments outlined below with your own school experiences to make the most impact.
HB 5141 would add CTE to an existing list of subject areas in which noncertificated, non-endorsed teachers are allowed to teach. In addition, the bill would loosen the minimum requirements for those teachers employed in a CTE program—eliminating requirements for a college degree, passage of basic skills and subject area tests, and experience in the field or subject.
Instead, school districts could hire a CTE teacher who satisfies both of these conditions:
- Have a high school diploma or high school equivalency certificate; and
- Either of the following:
- Hold a professional license or certification in that same subject matter or field.
- Have previously held a license or certification in that same subject matter or field if the license or certification expired no more than two years before the start of employment and was in good standing immediately before it expired.
MEA opposes the dilution of teaching as a profession that requires specific skills and knowledge in pedagogy, lesson plan design, instructional delivery, assessment, classroom management strategies, child development, learning styles, and more.
Students in CTE deserve no less highly trained and prepared teachers than their peers in a college prep pathway. Allowing teachers to enter the classroom untrained and unprepared by supervised practice or apprenticeship would be a disservice to kids.
MEA is willing to work with policymakers to craft a quality alternative certification program that would allow career professionals to enter the classroom prepared to handle the demands of teaching and managing a classroom of young people, but the current legislation is unacceptable.
The alternative certification bill is part of a package of CTE measures which in some cases reflect activities public schools are already doing and MEA largely supports. Other bills in the package include:
- HB 5139 to require the MDE to develop a model program of instruction in career development no later than July 1, 2018, including instruction for students in kindergarten to 12th grade.
- HB 5140 to require high schools to provide their students’ pupil directory information, obtained from the Michigan Data Hub Network, to a representative of a proprietary school, community college, or skilled trade employer at least annually, as long as the student’s parent or guardian has given signed written permission to do so.
- HB 5145 to provide teachers and counselors continuing education credit and professional development credit for any time spent engaging with local employers and professional trade centers as a part of a CTE program.