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Dispelling NEA Myths
GEA Board of Directors
Kathleen Riebe - V.P.
875 East 5180 South, #1
Murray, UT 84107
Michele Jones - 9th Grade Math Teacher
I am disappointed by the recent ruling of the USOE (Utah State Office of Education) to allow people with no degree or training in education to become teachers. The USOE’s Board is supposed to be the guardian and defender of education, and each Board member is expected to uphold the value of education as the keystone of a healthy society that ensures an intelligent and productive citizenry. This ruling makes a farce of this duty.
This decision devalues the formal education of teachers, thereby undermining the professionalism that the USOE should be edifying. Educational research shows that evaluating a person’s ability on a single test does not give a comprehensive or accurate measure of a person’s fluency, comprehension, or ability. Mandating that a single test qualifies someone to teach infers that it is only the test that is important—not the process of obtaining a high quality education.
State School Board members made this emergency decision as an attempt to mend Utah’s severe shortage of teachers instead of addressing the real problems creating the lack of qualified applicants—low pay and unrealistic working conditions. Young people are unwilling to consider teaching as a career and career educators are leaving the profession to do other things because of these conditions that aren’t being addressed. This ruling will put even more pressure on career teachers as we will have to pick up the slack of individuals who have been hired to teach but have no formal training necessary to create engaging, effective lesson plans and manage the behavior of 30-40 students in a classroom. It will also further erode the confidence the public has in our education system when their children are put into the classrooms of these unprepared teachers.
This rule devalues education and erodes the professionalism of the teacher. It will only increase the number of teachers who enter and then quickly leave this important, but difficult, profession. This creates a revolving door of teachers, making it so we have fewer and fewer master teachers teaching in our public schools. I highly encourage the USOE Board to reverse this decision and require all teachers to have a high quality education before they enter the teaching profession. This, coupled with raising salaries and reducing class size, is the solution to the current teacher shortage.
2016 Bulletin Board Contest Winners
Kristin Fisher - Lake Ridge Elementary
Granite School District Teacher of the Year and GEA Building Representative, Shantelle Ford (West Kearns Elementary) (second from left), is congratulated (L to R) by GEA President, Susen Zobel, Granite Superintendent Martin Bates; and Granite Assistant Superintendent John Wellburn. CONGRATULATIONS, SHANTELLE!
Association Representative of the Year - 2016
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