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Certified Teachers, Certifiable Credentialling Rules


In the same pile of newspaper clippings as the previous post alluded to, I found a letter to the editor (likely the SF Chronicle, but clipped without the date or newspaper header), a teacher named Todd Toepfer from Modesto writes about a colleague who was denied a teaching credential because even though she had been teaching for 7 years, because the teaching university she had attended would not recommend her for one because she did not complete the student teaching prerequisite. Her teaching experience included two years at a Big 10 university, two years at a private high school, and two years at the school where she was denied a teaching credential.

With that experience and a master’s degree in two foreign languages, she was denied an official credential for a technicality, and thrown into the group that the education establishment moans about when they complain about the lack of qualified teachers each time they try to tighten the rules about what it takes to become a teacher.

P.S. If my Googling turned up the same Todd Toepfer who wrote the letter, he is a math and science teacher who received an Award of Excellence through the University of California, San Diego, Outstanding Teacher Recognition Program, and is also a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. So don’t think this complaint was from someone unexperienced with teaching.

  1. ExCCRaider permalink
    2008-04-16 05:03

    This article is fact. I am the teacher mentioned as the letter writer. Here are some other facts:

    1. Although I had taught mathematics and science for 16 (back in 2002), the state of Michigan denied me a teaching certificate because my major was not mathematics (I have a BS in geology);

    2. Although possessing Professional Certificates in mathematics and physical science, I am NOT qualified to teach AP Calculus in my current district for the same reason (even though I taught it for 16 years while residing in Modesto, CA)

    3. Despite the shortage of qualified mathematics and science teachers, the district in which I work only credited me with 10 years of service when, in fact, I had been a full-time math and science teacher for 16 years prior to my relocation.

    School districts complain about not having teachers (and so do state departments of education) qualified to be in the classroom, but those who are experienced keep finding roadblocks when wishing to relocate and continue working in their chosen profession.

  2. LKJHP;JHI;L permalink
    2008-05-29 10:55

    I had very similar experiences with the public school system. I obtained my Teacher Credential in California and my Masters in Special Education. After all the grief, I chose to never enter the public school system.

    I am much happier now.

  3. Bill permalink
    2009-03-16 21:09

    Bill, I am a Democrat who has been converted some 8 years ago to embracing Nuclear Power. I want to help. I have sent more than a few e-mails to Congress members State and National as well as the White House. I forwarded my support of yours and Bob Brinkers comments about natural gas to the White House. I would like to donate financially to your efforts as to another ad placed in the Washington Post. I cannot access your billwattenburg2@yahhoo site on my computer. Can you set up a direct link on your KGO site so that all anyone has to do is click on it and it gets you to your site automatically?

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