As a 42-year teacher, school principal and superintendent of schools, I could not be more opposed to the current proposal regarding teacher certification being made by charter school proponents.
The proposal would allow charter school owners to sidestep the teacher certification mandated by New York state education law and to hire non-certified personnel to staff their classrooms. This is totally unacceptable and will quickly erode the quality of instruction in charters below its already floundering level.
It must be noted that charter schools are public not private schools. They are funded by taxpayer dollars while being run by for profit companies. Placing non-certified teachers in charter classrooms will have a negative impact on the students in these classrooms.
New York state has long been a leader in public education across the country. High standards for teachers is at the heart of the system. In addition to teacher standards the state sponsored regents examinations and other testing programs insure monitoring of student progress and achievement.
This matter cannot be taken lightly by New York state legislators nor the leadership of the state Education Department. Dropping certification for traditional public school teachers should never be entertained. It should not be allowed in public charter schools either.
Dr. John Metallo is a retired teacher and administrator. Among the positions he has held are principal of Albany High School and adjunct instructor at the University at Albany and SUNY Plattsburgh. He lives in Slingerlands and can be reached at 518-577-7530 or at [email protected]