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District to Offer Summer Classes for Students Taught by Uncertified Teachers Throughout School Year

District to Offer Summer Classes for Students Taught by Uncertified Teachers Throughout School Year

The Philadelphia School District announced just a month ago it intended to hire 800 more teachers by the start of the next school year- but as this year winds down, 100 vacancies still remain.

The high number of vacancies has meant that throughout the school year, the district’s students were frequently taught by uncertified teachers. As a result, the district is offering summer courses to students "who did not have a regular teacher for more than one-third of the school year.”

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, a City Council hearing this week revealed thousands of students were taught by uncertified teachers this year.

The summer classes were created by the district to help best prepare students for in kindergarten through seventh grade for the next school year; a separate program will specifically focus on helping the district's 2,100 eighth graders be prepared for entering ninth grade.

Still, despite the district’s intentions to make things right over the summer, the backlash against the discovery has been swift.

"Councilwoman Helen Gym and Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, blasted the district for failing to hire enough certified teachers, as state law requires,” the article said.

"When it comes to providing basic staffing, they are abdicating their duty by not fully staffing the schools, and we will not let this continue into September.”

District spokesperson Fernando Gallard told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the district is doing all it can to fill vacancies and is “very, very focused” on the issue.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

4/12/2016

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