Monday, November 2, 2009

Hearing on Teacher Requirements Gets Heated

This just in from the evening news: State Wants More Focus On Subject Matter Over Teaching Methods

INDIANAPOLIS -- Dozens of educators criticized a proposal to revamp Indiana's teacher licensing standards during the last of three public hearings on the contentious changes.

Monday's hearing before staff members of the Indiana Department of Education drew more than 250 people to a conference room at the Indiana State Library to voice their opinion on state schools Superintendent Tony Bennett's proposal, 6News' Renee Jameson reported.

Bennett said prospective teachers spend too much time learning classroom methods and not enough on subject matter.

"What we're looking to do is ensure that all future teachers have a deep content knowledge of the subjects they're going to be teaching," said IDOE spokesman Cam Savage.

But a series of teachers, college officials and others said Monday that the state needs to take more time considering the proposed changes, saying they fear the plan would weaken teacher standards.

"You should be concerned because perhaps some of these regulations, if they're passed, will allow someone with no experience and no background in education to run the school, the school corporation or even your child's classroom," said Teresa Meredith with the Indiana State Teachers Association.

Opponents delivered a foot-high stack of petitions signed by teachers, principals and other educators against the changes.

"It's the total package that you need to look at," said Mary Mavis, a teacher from Ft. Wayne.

State education officials will discuss the proposed changes on Nov. 18. The new rules would not go in effect until July of next year.


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