Christopher Crowley, assistant professor of Teacher Education in the College of Education, quoted in Chalkbeat, "Michigan’s ‘band-aid’ for filling teaching jobs is expanding. Here’s what you need to know."Return to news listing
Michigan’s ‘band-aid’ for filling teaching jobs is expanding. Here’s what you need to know.
By Koby Levin
There aren’t enough qualified teachers to fill classrooms across Michigan — and especially in Detroit. That’s why state officials have opened the door to a controversial way of filling classrooms, loosening restrictions on so-called alternative certifications for educators. In addition to Teachers of Tomorrow, a fast-track, for-profit teacher certification program that began placing teachers with virtually no classroom experience in schools this year, another for-profit company, #T.E.A.C.H., was recently approved to help expand the state’s teacher pipeline. They’ve joined long-running nonprofit programs like Teach for America, whose corps members typically get some in-classroom training and more hours of teaching classes. If the expansion continues, it could change the face of schools across the state, in cities like Detroit most of all. Critics say that lowering the barriers to entry into the teaching profession won’t address the deeper problems that plague Detroit schools. And they worry that this quick fix comes with unintended consequences. “It’s really more like a band-aid, as opposed to addressing the larger issue,” said Christopher Crowley, a professor of teacher education at Wayne State University. “These are experiments, and they’re being tested on certain populations and not others.”