Michigan Plans Changes to Teacher Certification Rules

Courtney Williams's picture
Friday, October 28, 2011

Michigan's superintendent of public instruction said he doesn't plan to yank teachers' licenses for poor ratings on their annual evaluations, despite language in proposed rules that would make that possible. 

Mike Flanagan said in a statement to educators Wednesday that he doesn't want to have a certification system that threatens a license on the basis of annual evaluations. At issue are recently proposed changes to administrative rules for teacher certification. 

"While I feel that it is vitally important that every teacher be effective in the classroom, everyone deserves a chance to improve and become effective in the most appropriate and supportive situations," Flanagan wrote. 

Flanagan said language in the proposed rules put out by the Michigan Department of Education that raised the possibility will be changed. They called for a loss of certification for those with a provisional teaching certificate if they were evaluated as not effective for three consecutive years. 

"A teacher's livelihood should not be at stake when others, who would not be accountable, have a major role in the effectiveness or the evaluation of that teacher," Flanagan wrote. "There are just too many variables beyond the teacher's control." 

The proposed changes were made in part to address new laws that will require schools to fire teachers who receive poor ratings on their evaluations. 

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