AL Education Department plans to re-look at teacher certification tests

AL Education Department plans to re-look at teacher certification tests
The bar is set pretty high for entering the teaching profession. For example, if you are a welder and want to teach a welding class, you are required to take the same math and reading tests as other teachers.

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Education wants to attract more teachers to the state by revisiting the teacher certification process.

The department and the School Superintendents of Alabama said there is a teacher shortage in Alabama, especially career tech classes. Dr. Mackey said he wants to possibly change the tests some teachers need to take.

"Certainly we want people who are literate and who understand basic math procedures in all of our classrooms, but we actually have a pretty high bar for entering the teaching profession," Mackey said.

For example, if you are a welder and want to teach a welding class, you are required to take the same math and reading tests as other teachers.

"Well we had a few folks in places that had a hard time with that, and maybe that's why they went into electrical or welding," he said.

Ryan Hollingsworth is a superintendent and the Executive Director of School Superintendents of Alabama. He said the process to become certified is stiff at times.

"Some of them are very rigid and we just need a little bit of flexibility in that," Hollingsworth said.

In his experience, he has seen former engineers struggle to become a certified teacher.

"How blessed the students would be to be learning from an engineer that's bringing into that science classroom, that physics classroom, real life experiences and what they're dealing with every day and the problems they're solving," he said.

Dr. Mackey said the department is collecting information to revisit the teacher credentialing process. It probably will not go more in-depth until 2019.

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