Monday, December 9, 2013

How to Become a Teacher: Public vs. Private | The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

How to Become a Teacher: Public vs. Private | The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice:

How to Become a Teacher: Public vs. Private

How to Become a Teacher: Public vs. Private
robbieRobbie Rhinesmith
Posted: December 6, 2013

“Those who can’t do, teach,” goes the common refrain. But not among education reformers, many of whom say changing that attitude is the key to lasting systemic improvement in our schools. Andresearch seems to back them up, as studies show teachers are the most important school-based factor in a student’s performance.

So how does someone qualify to become the most important factor in a student’s academic progression?
As you probably expect, state governments play a gatekeeper role by requiring teachers to be licensed. Requirements vary state to state, and even from year to year, particularly at this time of widespread upheaval in how education is governed at the federal, state, and local levels.
But let’s look at Indiana, a state that has embraced reform on so many fronts, as an example of how teachers get into public and private school classrooms.
Public School Teacher Licensure Requirements
Indiana currently allows prospective teachers to follow one of three initial steps to get a teaching license.
The “traditional” route differs slightly for elementary teachers and middle/high school teachers, but it is the route most people commonly associate with being a teacher: The prospective teacher enrolls in classes in his or her college’s school of education and completes the requirements. Elementary teachers major in General Education with a minor in a state-approved content area, while middle/high school teachers major in the content area they will teach with a minor in education that includes education courses.
The second route is for the teacher, either elementary or secondary, to complete a bachelor’s degree in a non-education major and then either complete a state-approved minor in “essential pedagogy” or complete a state-approved “transition to teaching” program.
Finally, prospective teachers may complete a Master of Arts in Teaching approved by the state.
The second requirement of Indiana’s teacher licensure process is successful completion of certain standardized tests. Currently, Indiana requires passage of Educational Testing Service’s Praxis Series II exam for each content area that will appear on the teacher’s license. Beginning in May 2014, Indiana will fully transition from the Praxis exams to the new Indiana CORE Assessment.
Finally, teachers in Indiana must complete both CPR-Heimlich Maneuver-AED certification and an approved course in child suicide recognition and prevention.
Private School Teacher Licensure Requirements
In short, private schools in Indiana may decide for themselves whether teachers must be licensed by the state. In their application and hiring processes, some schools may decide they want all their teachers to be trained and licensed according to state guidelines. Other schools may decide that