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Bill would change requirement for veteran Michigan teachers

Sarah Hulett
Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are considering dropping one requirement for a professional teaching certificate in Michigan that everyone agrees is a needed skill.

In order to get their professional certificate, veteran Michigan teachersneed to pass a reading disability diagnostics course. The intent is to train teachers to assist struggling students to read at grade level.

But State Representative Jim Tedder (R-Clarkston) believes the $1,500 cost is too large a burden on young teachers.

“I find it ironic that we are mandating an additional course….on the very population of teachers that I would argue are most up to date on the best practices,” says Tedder. 

Several lawmakers say student teachers should take this course in college. 

But Michigan’s teacher training colleges argue it’s more beneficial for veteran teachers to take the course.

“The immersion into the classroom and individual student data and the use of those data to positively affect student outcomes require more practice as it would for any professional in any discipline who is expected to improve and to stay current in their practice,” says Dr. Joseph Lubig, the Associate Dean and Department Head of the School of Education at Northern Michigan University. 

The Michigan Association of Colleges for Teacher Education Board, which represents of the interests of teacher education programs in Michigan, is opposed to HB 4084, which is before the House Education Reform committee.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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