Louisiana officials expected to okay charter school-run teacher training program

Apr 18, 2013 by

BATON ROGUE, La. – Later today, Louisiana’s K-12 decision makers are expected to approve a new alternative teacher certification program that is operated by three national charter school groups.

The alternative teacher certification program under consideration is managed by Relay Graduate School of Education, an organization that was started by three national charter groups – Knowledge is Power Program, Uncommon Schools, and Achievement First – in 2008, Nola.com reports.

Neerav Kingsland, CEO of New Schools New Orleans, said it makes sense for charter school operators to train the men and women who will staff their schools, and described it as a “natural progression” of the charter school movement.

If the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approves the Relay program, it will become the sixth alternative certification program in the state.

Relay officials plan to offer “a one-year track for novice teachers starting in the summer of 2014, and a two-year master’s degree starting this fall,” the news site reports. About 160 individuals are expected to apply for enrollment.

The teachers-to-be who go through the Relay program will have to pass the same state certification exam “taken by their peers earning a traditional four-year university degree,” reports Nola.com.

Relay applicants must have a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA, the news site notes.

Government school apologist Diane Ravitch has criticized the Relay program as too light on child psychology courses.

Other status quo defenders worry that Louisiana officials don’t “review the curriculum of out-of-state graduate schools that have been fully accredited in their home state,” Nola.com reports.

State Superintendent John White downplayed those concerns, and described the Relay program as run by “a group of educators” who “have found a creative way of teaching teachers how to teach.”

State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Chas Roemer was more direct in his response to Relay critics.

“Stop protecting a system that has not served our kids or our state well,” Roemer said.

via Louisiana officials expected to okay charter school-run teacher training program – EAGnews.org :: Education Research, Reporting, Analysis and Commentary.

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