Wisconsin politician proposes a new low in teacher standards

Credit: Enrico Strocchi via Flickr

Show of hands: How many people think having a high school diploma should be a basic requirement for teaching in high school? 

Wait, we see that at least one person has not raised her hand. Wisconsin state Rep. Mary Czaja (R-Irma) has some different ideas about who should be handed a teacher's license in that state.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal reports that Czaja snuck a proposed provision into a K-12 budget bill approved last week by a legislative finance committee. The provision argues that "any person with relevant experience — even a high school dropout — could be licensed to teach in any other non-core academic subject in those grades," according to the newspaper.

Czaja says the goal of the proposal is to make it less difficult for rural Wisconsin schools to hire and keep qualified teachers in non-core subjects.

Maybe she has a point. After all, if you're finding it difficult to keep qualified educators because you pay so little, why not hire unqualified people to teach?

How about because it's a stupid idea.

"Heavens no," the Journal-Sentinal quotes Jerry Fiene, executive director of the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance. "This totally destroys any licensure requirements that we have in Wisconsin. It's very concerning."

It's one thing to lower the bar. It's an entirely different thing to eliminate it.

This story, "Wisconsin politician proposes a new low in teacher standards" was originally published by Fritterati.

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