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Qualified vs. Unqualified

Michigan Dept. of Education is getting rid of some certifications

Have you ever had a teacher a teacher that just made you ask yourself how on earth did this teacher get this job, well I'm here to deliver bad news.

In a letter dated April 27 from the Michigan Department of Education, the Office of Professional Preparation Services has “carefully reviewed data about educator preparation program graduates, K-12 course offerings…teacher assignments and determined…the following endorsements will no longer be issued on certificates after July 1, 2026.” They are “Bilingual, Communication Arts, Computer Science, Dance, Fine Arts, Journalism, Marketing Education, Polish, Recreation, Russian, Sociology, and Visual Arts Education Specialist.”

What this means is a new change in roughly ten years. Teachers no longer have to be certified in the listed certifications in order to teach it. A journalism teacher can have a degree in math, with no training in journalism, if the school district allows.

This effects students because they will no longer be educated by teachers who hold a major in the area. The can be taught by any teacher with a teaching certificate, even if their degree/certification is not in that coursework.

Physical education teacher Aquilla Bell holds a degree in political science and is certified to teach dance. She's not sure if she's retiring within the next 10 years but hopes the teachers who are teaching are qualified for their positions.

The academics of Detroit Public Schools Community District are struggling. They’ve faced school closures, a nice portion of the 2015-2016 school year was effected by sickouts and walkouts to protest building conditions. There is also a decline in the student population due to charter and EAA schools, but essentially, what does this mean for our teachers at Detroit International Academy for Young Women?

Dance teacher Ellece McKinley holds a degree in health and physical education. She says she is not sure if she's retiring within the next ten years, but her biggest concern is for the kids in classrooms with unqualified teachers.

English teacher Lisa Brooks, whose job will not be effected by the change, holds a degree in secondary education with a concentration in English. She knows for a fact that she will not be retiring within the next 10 years, but is also sure that the Department of Education is wrong for putting this plan in place. She says, “they are basically saying, ‘screw you’ to the teachers who it will effect.”

Decisions are being made that will greatly affect our Michigan education system. Question is, can unqualified teachers help students compete in the real world?


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