The Iowa House has passed a bill which sets up a new way for people to become teachers. An “alternative” teaching license could only be used to fill high school openings — after the would-be teacher had 12 weeks of training. Representative Betty Grundberg, a republican from West Des Moines, says students in other states are learning a lot from teachers who have “alternative” licenses. Grundberg says the individuals have degrees with majors in subjects other than education, tend to be older, tend to be people of color and are more likely to be men.Representative Mike O’Brien, a democrat from Boone who taught for 32 years, doesn’t expect the move to yield many new teachers. He says this may not be such a big deal.Representative Mary Mascher, a democrat and a teacher from Iowa City, opposed the bill. She says she is not willing to lower the standards in the state to fix the shortage that needs to be fixed by raising salaries.Grundberg responded, saying it does not allow standards. She says it does not allow just anybody to become president.Representative Greg Stevens, a democrat from Milford who’s a teacher, saysthe bill “dumbs down” the teaching profession. Stevens says “it’s the wrong idea at the wrong time.”Representative Russell Eddie, a republican from Storm Lake, says kids respect teachers who have “real-world” experience. He says they may be better off allowing someone with practical knowledge to teach a subject, rather than someone who has a teaching certificate, but doesn’t have any knowledge of the subject.The bill passed the House 51 to 46. It now goes to the Senate.
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