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Dallas follows Alabama’s lead on hiring less qualified teachers


The Dallas, Texas school system is the latest to allow teachers without certifications. The move follows Alabama administrators who hire educators with emergency certifications, often in low-income and majority-Black neighborhoods. Other states are doing likewise, Oklahoma has an "adjunct" program allows schools to hire applicants without teacher training. In Florida, military veterans without a bachelor's degree can teach for up to five years using temporary certificates. Decisions to put a teacher without traditional training in charge of a classroom involve weighing tradeoffs: Is it better to hire uncertified candidates, even if they aren't fully prepared, or instruct children in classes that are crowded or led by substitutes? A Southern Regional Education Board analysis of 2019-20 data in 11 states found roughly 4% of teachers were uncertified or teaching with an emergency certification. In addition, 10% were teaching out of field, which means, for example, they may be certified to teach high school English but assigned to a middle school math class.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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