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State Approves 500 Emergency Teaching Certificates in Response to Shortages

State Approves 500 Emergency Teaching Certificates in Response to Shortages

Oklahoma has approved 500 emergency teaching certificates where the only qualification is a Bachelor's degree as a result of crippling teacher shortages across the state. 

"Thursday, the State Board of Education approved 503 emergency certifications for teachers. All of them must have a Bachelor’s degree, but none of them necessarily need to have a teaching certificate. And those who do, may not be teaching the subject they specialize in," said KFOR.com.

Many administrators within Oklahoma schools are concerned about the move. One superintendent in an Oklahoma district told KFOR the emergency certificates should signal crisis mode and that parents should be worried.

When KFOR took a look at the list of individuals receiving teacher certificates, it found "English teachers with Anthropology degrees, science teachers with Funeral Service Degrees and Physical Education degrees."

Like many states facing similar teacher shortages requiring drastic measures to fill vacancies, the Oklahoma State School Boards Association said part of the reason behind the shortages is because of a not-competitive pay that has teachers seeking work elsewhere.

“'It’s really concerning...It’s time to take a look at this problem. We need lawmakers, we need educators, we need parents to work together to get more highly qualified teachers in our classrooms,'" said Christy Watson, OSSBA director of communications, according to KFOR.

The emergency certificates are just one of the state's responses to teacher shortages; the state's districts have also been forced to take measures such as increasing class sizes and cutting courses.

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

08/28/2015

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