Ron Isaac’s Commentary: Credential Requirements

Aug 9, 2021 by

Teacher certification is not all kit’s cracked up to be.  Being licensed is a qualification for employment, but one should not read too much, for better or worse, into what it says about its owner. 

A diploma and the expensive documents that follow, are supposed to imply a level of competence but no skill-set or degree of natural inspiration need be inferred. 

They essentially hold ransom the right of talented potential teachers to enter a classroom, pending the payment of tuition or some other form of de facto bribe. It is a gravy train for colleges, vendors, contractors, professional developers and the government.

The current criteria for licenses are not too rigorous in terms of intellectual challenge, but are too inflexible.There should be alternate paths to the classroom.

Educators do not require the same forensic laboratory practicums as doctors or textbook case law immersion as lawyers.  This does not mean that education is a lesser profession, but rather that mastery is achievable by other means of witness and instinct.

Although instructors need groundwork and continuing refresher courses in research and best practices, the current delivery of these requirements is steeped in questionable practices and relationships.

The education credentials industry and its cartels in the publishing and allied fields, must be reined in.  It is too expensive, time-consuming, and ineffectual.

As things stand now, Abraham Lincoln could not be hired to teach history, debating or political philosophy, because he didn’t pass the requisite courses in a college catalogue.  Such courses are craftily worded to sound like they correlate with essential knowledge, but often bear little relation to reality.

If the DOE spot-checked his file and found he was missing a single required credit in golf, it wouldn’t matter that Lincoln could write the Gettysburg Address unaided, without revisions and in record time, he’d be booted from the payroll.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, perhaps the greatest musical genius, wrote symphonies and operas before he was ten years old, but the only teacher he ever had was his father, or who unaccredited, so he couldn’t get a job in the DOE’s Summer Rising program
Bill Gates,  Barry Diller, Julian Assange, Jack Dorsey, David Geffen, Ralph Lauren, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, James Cameron, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, are among the dropout Hall of Famers who couldn’t get a job in the New York  school system, even with a mentor.

Special dispensations should be available not only for experts who are celebrities but also to ordinary no-name folks who are luminaries by virtue of their life experiences. Some provisions need to be made. Avenues must be opened up.

We must break the stranglehold of regulations that purport to be designed to assure quality control in the teaching profession, but instead are all about revenue generation and self-aggrandizement of entrepreneurs and bureaucrats.
Ron Isaac

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