Friday, January 8, 2010

State Lowers Standards for Teachers

More spin coming from the DOE.....make no mistake, this means less qualified teachers in the classroom and actually makes it easier for LESS content courses for secondary teachers.  At least their consistent in twisting the truth.

New Rules Will Give Hoosier Students More Knowledgeable Teachers Subject-Experts from Outside Education Welcome   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Media Contact:
Stephanie Sample, Press Secretary
The state board overseeing teacher licensing and preparation voted today to advance new teacher licensing regulations that ensure all new teachers will be experts in the subjects they teach and allow adults from other careers to more easily enter the teaching profession. These new regulations—called the Rules for Educator Preparation and Accountability or the REPA—aim to improve student achievement through better classroom instruction. “We crafted these changes with the belief that students’ academic success is determined, in large part, by the quality of their teachers,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett said. “These new rules for licensing go further than ever before to make sure all Indiana’s school children receive the high-quality instruction they deserve.” Members of the Advisory Board of the Division of Professional Standards, including Bennett, have been meeting since July, 2009, working with the Indiana Department of Education and education stakeholders statewide. In addition to passing exams that test their knowledge, the new rules require those who teach grades 5-12 to earn baccalaureate degrees in the subjects they teach.  This creates a better balance in teacher preparatory programs between coursework on how to teach and subject-specific training on what they will teach. 

Dr. James Fraser, senior vice president for programs for the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation and professor of History and Education at New York University, said, “The proposal to require every future secondary school teacher in Indiana to complete a full discipline-specific arts and sciences major makes very good sense. Indeed, such a move will bring Indiana up to a standard that is currently in place in many states across the United States. A solid major in the discipline to be taught is an essential minimum to truly knowing the content one aspires to teach.” Equally important, the rules take steps to address future teacher shortages and bring more knowledgeable adults into Indiana schools. The advisory board will have the authority to approve online and non-traditional teacher preparation programs in the future.  Without these alternative licensing programs, it’s unduly difficult for successful adults in other careers to enter the teaching profession.  These new regulations allow for new pipelines to bring real world experts into Indiana classrooms. Ariela Rozman from The New Teacher Project said, “We commend the IDOE for taking important steps to increase teacher and administrator quality—through an expansion of teacher and administrator pipelines, a focus on content knowledge which has been linked to student achievement, a requirement to measure the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs and a commitment to school-based professional development.” The new regulations go even further to improve teacher support and provide greater flexibility. Incoming teachers will work closely with school-level administrators to create targeted professional development plans to benefit student instruction.  

Current and future teachers will have more options to renew their licenses—options that won’t require them to pay for college coursework. The new rules also make it easier for teachers to make their licenses more marketable; they can add subjects to their licenses by passing exams that test their knowledge. “I’m incredibly proud of these teacher licensing changes,” Bennett said. “They address a foundational aspect of my plan to reform education in Indiana by targeting instructional quality. This is a great victory, and it should energize all of us to work even harder to improve Indiana’s schools in the year ahead.” 

The REPA regulations go into effect July 31, 2010. Students currently enrolled in teacher preparation programs will be transitioned into these new rules between now and August 31, 2013.  For more details on REPA and to view an updated summary of the rule,



  1. It's hard to read the legalese but one of two things is true: either they lied about the compromise on the content major or they're spinning this so the public thinks the changes are bigger than they are. I put nothing past them.

  2. Talk about uninformed....this McFeely guy appears to be winging it and somehow makes it to the front page. Interesting comments online however.

    "Teachers may need different major
    New rules focus more on educators' expertise in particular subject area"

    By Dan McFeely at

  3. REPA is backwards. Just because a teacher has a bachelors in their subject area DOES NOT mean they will deliver quality instruction. Quality instruction comes from methods and being able to reach your students. Methods are taught in EDUCATION classes - NOT content classes. A person may be brillant in math/science/english/government/etc but if all they do is lecture not only do they bore students they lose them. Thus, effectively teaching them NOTHING! Teaching is a combination of content knowledge AND method instruction. It comes down to this . . . If you can not reach your students you can not teach your students!