Will NJDOE Turn Charter School Teachers Into Indentured Servants?
Last week, the New Jersey state Board of Education held hearings on regulatory changes for the state's charter schools. Probably the most significant -- and most controversial -- of the Christie administration's proposed revisions were changes to the certification requirements for charter school teachers.
Basically, the Department of Education wants to create a new certification just for charter school teachers. From what I can tell from reading the proposed regulations (available at NJ Spotlight), a prospective teacher who did not go through traditional college-based training -- what's referred to as an "alternative route" -- would follow a different path toward getting certified than would an alt-route teacher working in a public school.
A quick primer on alt-route: in New Jersey, there are a series of steps a prospective teacher has to take to be eligible for hiring. Once those are completed, she receives a Certificate of Eligibility (which can also be with Advanced Standing). She can then be hired by a district, which leads to a Provisional Certificate. While teaching, she takes courses and is mentored by a qualified teacher with a standard certification (I've been a mentor several times). If all goes well, the Provisional Certificate becomes Standard after a couple of years.
The ostensible reasons for all of this are:
1) No one gets to go into a classroom without at least meeting some very basic requirements. With the CE, a teacher has to have, for example, some college credits in French if they're going to teach French. They also have to take what's known as a "24-hour Jersey Jazzman: Will NJDOE Turn Charter School Teachers Into Indentured Servants?: