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Letter to the editor: Indiana deserves the best teachers

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 12:01 am

This week, the Indiana State Board of Education will vote on changes to the licensing requirements for teachers and administrators. In short, adopting these changes to educator licensure is a mistake for Indiana.

These changes, called REPA III, would dramatically reduce the expectations for teacher and administrator licenses to some of the lowest, if not the lowest, in the nation. The changes would eliminate the need for any type of training or coursework related to how students learn or what is research-based best practice as it relates to instruction and assessment.

To become a superintendent, one would only need a master’s degree and two years of teaching experience to qualify. Licensure in the area of fine arts would be based on a content area test.

Indiana has consistently sought to be a leader in education as it relates to curriculum, and the new College and Career Ready Standards are touted by our leaders as being some of the best in the nation. Why, then, should Hoosiers concede lower standards for the professionals entrusted with delivering these standards?

In an age of ever-increasing accountability in schools, now is the time to work to better support our educators through high standards while simultaneously providing quality professional development.

As our nation compares student achievement with other nations, those countries outscoring the U.S. consistently show a serious commitment to recruiting, training and continuously developing their teachers.

If we wish to prepare our students to be competitive with students from other states and countries, we need to have the best prepared and trained teachers working to help get them there.

Adopting REPA III is a mistake for Indiana.

Josh Wenning, executive director, Indiana ASCD