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ERIC Number: EJ776556
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Break the Link
Hess, Frederick M.
Education Next, v2 n1 p22-28 Spr 2002
The central premise underlying teacher certification is that--no matter what their qualifications are--anyone who has not completed the specified training is unsuited to enter a classroom and must be prohibited from applying for a job. Presumably, the danger is that, in a moment of weakness, a school official otherwise will mistakenly hire such an applicant rather than an appropriately trained teacher. It is essential, the author says, to remember what we often seem to forget, which is that allowing someone to apply for a job is not the same as guaranteeing him employment. Making applicants eligible for a position simply permits an employer to hire them in the event that they are deemed superior to the existing alternatives. The argument against certification is not that unconventional applicants will be good teachers; it is only that they might be. If one believes this, case-by-case judgments are clearly more appropriate than an inflexible bureaucratic rule. The author argues for a competitive certification process that establishes key criteria for entry into the teaching profession; gives public schools greater freedom to hire and fire teachers; and treats teachers like professionals and their schools like professional institutions by allowing them to tailor professional development to meet the needs of teachers.
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A