Regarding our article about alternative certification and efforts to help experienced professionals become K-12 classroom teachers, readers said ...

...Alternative certification will not only benefit students by exposing them to a wider range of experienced leaders, it should help alleviate teacher shortages in critical areas of instruction.

-administrator, Gratiot-Isabella ISD

... The bottom line is people that go into teaching usually have a passion for it and want to make a difference. … I feel that my experience in the business world and my (online education) program has prepared me to excel in teaching ...

- substitute teacher, Fraser Public Schools

... Teaching is a skill and requires training. Alternative programs which provide this background and training are what we need. Less red tape and complications … would be helpful, of course. Let us not think, however, that a person decides to change careers and is ready to walk into a classroom ...

- elementary principal, Grand Rapids Public Schools

... Certified does not necessarily mean qualified. The amount of academic muck I had to wade through when I studied to be an English teacher was staggering…. (E)verything I needed to know about educational science could have been taught in one, three-credit class.

- teacher, South Lyon Community Schools

... Generally the Michigan Education Association has not been impressed with efforts to short-circuit the route to license teachers, because they do not provide an adequate balance between subject mastery and pedagogy. One must know the subject AND be able to convey to students ...

- spokeswoman, Michigan Education Association


In Diverse Viewpoints, two guest educators argued for and against lifting the cap on charter schools in Michigan. Readers shared these ideas:

... YES!! Michigan should lift the cap. ... I always say the general public school system is comparable to the USPS (United States Postal Service). The USPS does a decent job delivering mail. But if you want your package delivered on time, guaranteed, no extra charge for signature or insurance you use FedEx or UPS, etc.

- educator, Biscotti Educational Center, Macomb

... Charter schools offer parents a choice even when they can’t afford private education. Charter schools give parents a chance to have a loud voice in their child’s education. We need to stop the "left behind" children from happening

- teacher, Island City Academy, Eaton Rapids

... I believe if school funding were not being compromised by charter schools, public schools would be able to offer a broader range of learning experiences to students. As it is now, public education is being coerced by its financial circumstances into providing a very narrow education for our students.

- teacher, South Haven High School

... I began my teaching career in a charter school. … From poorly trained administrators, irate parents, children who didn’t care to be at school, crumbling buildings, lack of supplies and support, I felt completely lost and trapped in a system that was lacking in structure. ... Many charter schools have ideas of grandeur that are lacking the proper means to excel beyond public schools. ...

- teacher, Novi Community Schools


Our feature article about reform efforts in Edmonton Public Schools, Alberta, Canada, talked about parental choice, teacher appreciation and allowing building principals to make budget decisions. Readers weighed in with these comments.

... The ideas about competition and running the schools like a business make so much sense. I can’t understand why more people in the U. S. don’t seem to get it.

- teacher, St. Lorenz Lutheran School, Frankenmuth

... I also feel it is important for teachers to feel appreciated and respected. School districts can do this by encouraging teachers, like the billboards mentioned, and by treating their employees in a fair and equitable manner.

- teacher, Concord Community Schools, Jackson

Are we to assume that "bad schools" are solely the responsibility of teachers? Won’t teachers only want to accept positions at "good schools" to protect their careers rather than try to help raise the standards at a "bad school"? Let’s not oversimplify.

- teacher, Rockford