Teachers divided on fast track certification

LANSING, Mich. - About 42 percent of Michigan teachers do not oppose a proposal to speed up the teacher certification process for people who already have a background in math or science, according to a statewide survey reported in Michigan media.

Only 19 percent of teachers who participated in the poll believed applicants wouldn't have enough subject knowledge, and only 13 percent believed applicants would not have enough classroom training to be effective, according to one report.

Describing a poll commissioned by the Michigan Education Association, the Detroit Free Press said that about 58 percent of those questioned said they oppose a plan that would create a 15-month route to teacher certification for people who already have training in math or science. The poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

The proposal is under consideration by the State Board of Education as a way to address teacher shortages in specific subject areas, but the MEA says it would weaken qualification standards for teachers, the Free Press reported. Deans of Michigan education colleges also have criticized the plan, the report said.

In other poll results, the Michigan Information & Research Service reported that only about 19 percent of the 400 active professional educators surveyed believed that applicants wouldn't have enough subject knowledge and 13 percent believed applicants would not have enough classroom training to be effective.

Most teachers do not believe there is a shortage of qualified teachers for middle and high school classrooms, the poll showed, according to MIRS. 

Detroit Free Press, "Poll: Michigan educators oppose speeding teacher certification," July 30, 2009

Michigan Information & Research Service, "MEA Poll: Teachers don't like fast track certification," July 30, 2009 (Subscription required)

Michigan Education Report, "Proposal would shorten path to teacher certification, for some," May 29, 2009