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Will Changing Florida’s Teacher Certification System Fix a Statewide Teacher Shortage?


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Halfway through the school year, many public schools in the state are still lacking staff in crucial positions. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Halfway through the school year, many public schools in the state are still lacking staff in crucial positions. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran wants to change the state’s teacher certification system in an attempt to solve the teacher shortage. Halfway through the school year, many public schools in the state are still lacking staff in crucial positions.

The FDE has already hired more staff in their Bureau of Teacher Certification, created a single contact point for teachers as they move through the process, and put a system in place that streamlines applications in certain high-demand subject areas.

The goal? To get rid of a backlog of applications in the system over the next 120 days.

Director of the Florida Education Association Fedrick Ingram applauds these changes to the system, but says more needs be done to address:

“The lack of flexibility in instruction. It’s the teaching to the test. It’s class sizes. And all that plays a role in teacher shortages.”

Rollins College Director of Teacher Education Scott Hewit says this starts by improving teacher work environment and pay.

“And I think that both of those have not been adequately addressed. And so that would be two areas in my opinion that would need more substantial long-term attention by the legislature and the office of the commissioner.”

The Florida Education Association says the teacher shortage could be leaving as many as 17,000 elementary and 120,000 secondary students in the state without full-time teachers.

If you’d like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above.


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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

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Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan. She trained in public radio at WDET’s Detroit newsroom, and is really excited ... Read Full Bio »

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