Teachers College Dean not sure of licensing proposals effects

Ball State University's Teachers College is unsure of what a new teaching license proposal will mean for Ball State's education majors.
Dean of the Teachers College John Jacobson said the new proposal put forward by Indiana Department of Education Superintendent Tony Bennett has forced educators to examine how students are challenged.
Jacobson said secondary education majors would not be affected because the current degree requirements are in line with IDOE's proposal, but he can't say the same for everyone else.
"We have no idea about the impact because we don't know what the final rules are," he said. "I've already been told that how the rules are right now won't be the final version."
Teachers College director Judy Miller said part of the concern is the number of changes that are being proposed and the amount of time given to put the proposal in place.
"There are actually quite a few issues on the table all at one time, which is unusual," she said. "They expect to have all of the rules approved by the end of this year."
IDOE is wanting to have the final rules drawn up by April and to have the rules put in effect in July, Jacobson said.
In the past, the state has proposed rules based on input from professional organizations and groups, Jacobson said. This year, the rules were created, presented and then organizations were supposed to share their reactions.
"It seems uncomfortable to what we have normally done," Jacobson said.
A public hearing was held on Nov. 2 where over 250 members of the public were expected to provide input, but only 66 people ended up speaking. Another hearing is set for Nov. 18, although IDOE will not receive public input. People can make an impact by attending the hearing and talking to people to help guide the process, Jacobson said.
"I've encouraged teachers to work through their professional organizations to have a strong united voice," he said.
There is still concern about how small changes can have an affect on students' education, Miller said.
"We're being very proactive to eliminate the consequences," she said.
Many students are mad and still have concerns about the new proposal though.
"I'm in the group getting ready to do student teaching and graduating. We're not happy at all," senior Megan Johnson said. "It's a slap in the face."
Johnson said after going to school for over three years and completing the difficult program, students are upset about Bennett's proposal for students to focus less on teaching methods and more on the subjects they plan to teach.
"We've completed this difficult program and now for legislature to say those requirements aren't necessary [is] saying [our education is] worthless," she said.
Johnson also said she thinks the changes are unfair to future teachers and their future students.
"I think [the proposal] will be a disservice by putting people in the classroom with teachers who aren't taught to effectively manage classrooms or prepare students," she said. "I don't think [future students] would receive high quality in education." Senior Abby Campbel said that not focusing on teaching methods could hurt the community, lessen students' education and hurt teaching jobs in the future.
"I don't think it's fair to our students and it's taking future students' education away because anyone [would be able to] get a [teaching] license," she said.
Campbell said she agrees that education majors should continue learning on how to be effective in the classroom and not focusing just on subject matter.


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