Monday, August 31, 2020

ME: Pandemic Excuses More Uncertified Teacher Replacements

On August 26, Governor Mills of Maine issued an executive order that any warm body with any kind of college degree (or maybe even without) may be certified as a teacher.

The executive order actually has three parts. One gives instructions on how to count attendance if you want your state subsidy. One gives some loose instruction on facility disinfection. And one expands the eligibility for emergency teacher certification. Because of the "emergency shortages in essential school staff," 

DOE may issue an Emergency Teacher Certificate to an individual how holds a 4-year postsecondary degree or the equivalent in work and/or academic experience as determined by DOE.

Certification may also be issued to any college student enrolled in a teacher prep program. Also, they'll accept teacher certification from any other state. 

These emergency certificates will last only for this school year--at least, that's the deal for the moment. They have to be mentored, and the state isn't waiving criminal background checks. 

Maine has been doing okay-ish on the Covid front, though they just experienced a new outbreak cluster, thanks to a church and a rural wedding that largely ignored state guidelines. But they've still got a shortage of teachers willing to work under current conditions. That situation is not new--only the coronavirus part is. Maine's solution is understandable, but between the race to implement teach ing software and to grab any warm body to stick in a classroom, the pandemic is not exactly a boom for the teaching profession. At least Maine's warm body order has an expiration date.

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