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States relax teacher certification requirements in response to staffing shortages

States across the country are modifying the requirements to become a school teacher as, it seems, those already in the profession are leaving in droves.

According to Education Week, it already was difficult to fill positions in certain subject areas like special ed and mathematics … and then the COVID pandemic hit.

At the beginning of the last school year, almost half of U.S. school districts reported problems filling full-time teaching positions. There’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding COVID, and aside from students being behind academically, teachers report student behavior has been abysmal.

The last thing parents need now are unprepared teachers — not those lacking in requisite education school credits, but in actual subject areas and the maintenance of classroom order.

Today’s schools of education are bastions of social justice nonsense, but there are more than a few students who go into the profession to actually teach and not pontificate on politically correct topics du jour. If we want to keep these folks, here’s a bit of advice for schools and districts:

1. Bring back sensible student behavior expectations. In the name of “equity,” school district and building-level leaders essentially have thrown in the towel when it comes to student discipline. This is because they’re either progressive ideologues when it comes to matters of race proportionality, or they’re common-sense individuals who are scared out of their wits of their peers who are progressive ideologues when it comes to matters of race proportionality.

MORE: School districts screen for ‘racial biases,’ then wonder why teachers are quitting

The so-called “school-to-prison pipeline” is a big factor, meaning if “punitive” discipline measures such as suspensions are used, it’s (allegedly) more likely the misbehaving student will end up in the clink.

But it sure does nothing for equity when lack of consequences for misbehavior leads to chaos in the classroom and hallways. Teachers consistently note that lack of support for disciplinary measures leads to dissatisfaction and burnout. They don’t mind alternatives like “restorative justice,” just not at the expense of things like detentions and suspensions. Which brings me to …

2. Eliminate divisive race programs. Whether it’s “Courageous Conversations,” “Difficult Dialogues” or some other cutely monikered “diversity” training device, these programs do nothing to actually improve anything in our schools. What they do accomplish is foster racial resentment among staff and worse, students. Anything related to critical race theory is poison for teachers and students alike as has been well documented here at The Fix.

3. Ditch “no zeroes” policies. How many teachers want to teach in a school where a student can do absolutely no work … and still get a 50 percent? This is one of the newer fads making the educational rounds; the rationale is that zeroes make it virtually impossible for a kid to salvage a passing grade for a marking period. But as long as a teacher’s overall grading policy is fair, the ability to give zeroes is fair as well — no work, no credit.

After all, can there be a more vital life lesson?

MORE: Poll: Over half of American teachers oppose the teaching of critical race theory

IMAGE: Michael Jung / Shutterstock.com

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.