Union calls for teacher certification exam

WASHINGTON — Schoolteachers should have to pass a stringent exam — much like the bar exam for lawyers — before being allowed to enter the profession, one of the nation’s largest teachers unions said Monday.

The proposal from the American Federation of Teachers calls for a tough new written test to be complimented by stricter entrance requirements for teacher training programs, such as a minimum grade point average.

“It’s time to do away with a common rite of passage into the teaching profession, whereby newly minted teachers are tossed the keys to their classrooms, expected to figure things out, and left to see if they and their students sink or swim,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten, calling that system unfair to students and teachers alike.

The proposal, released Monday as part of a broader report on elevating the teaching profession, calls for a new test to be developed by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The nonprofit group currently administers the National Board Certification program, an advanced, voluntary teaching credential that goes beyond state standards.

There is no single, national standard for teacher certification, although the federal government does ask states to meet certain criteria to be eligible for federal funding.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan commended the proposal, describing it as part of a broader push to raise the bar for teachers and enable schools to predict a teacher’s potential for success in the classroom.

“Too many new teachers enter our schools feeling unprepared. We shouldn’t tolerate that in a profession so important to our country’s future,” Duncan said in a statement.

The union’s executive council will consider whether to approve the report at a February meeting. Other teachers unions, such as the National Education Association, have yet to weigh in on the proposal.

More in Local News

At long last, a church of his own

After years of filling in elsewhere, Hallack Greider is the new pastor at Maplewood Presbyterian.

Judge: Lawmakers’ emails, texts subject to public disclosure

News organizations had sued to challenge the Legislature’s claim that members were exempt.

Outgoing councilwoman honored by Marysville Fire District

The Marysville Fire District in December honored outgoing City Councilwoman Donna Wright… Continue reading

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Their grown children died, but state law won’t let them sue

Families are seeking a change in the state’s limiting wrongful-death law.

Officials rule train-pedestrian death an accident

The 37-year-old man was trying to move off the tracks when the train hit him, police say.

Number of flu-related deaths in county continues to grow

Statewide, 86 people have died from the flu, most of whom were 65 or older.

Ex-Monroe cop re-arrested after losing sex crime case appeal

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison but was free while trying to get his conviction overturned.

Marysville hit-and-run leaves man with broken bones

The state patrol has asked for help solving an increasing number of hit-and-run cases in the state.

Most Read