Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Alternative teachers 

A bill has been entered in the Minnesota House to allow for alternative teacher licensure. This would allow someone with a bachelor's degree in a subject area in which s/he wanted to teach to take 200 hours of intensive training and get a license, rather than return to get a degree in education. It includes a mentoring program with a teacher and additional seminars during the first year of teaching. The faculty union sent this out to us encouraging us to write to legislators about the bill. They insist that they are not taking a position on the bill ... yet.

This will be an interesting test. Education colleges, including ours, will no doubt oppose this; in fields like mine however, it creates another employment opportunity. It appears that Education Minne$ota will lobby against this; given their deep pockets -- $740,000 to state politicians the last two biennia, $637,900 to DFLers, the largest PAC in the state -- they will probably be persuasive.