The legislature is considering adoption of the low-standard American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) process, in Senate Bill 1066 and House Bill 1911. Every person in Missouri who wants good teachers for our children should oppose these bills.
ABCTE allows anyone who holds any bachelor's degree (no minimum GPA or other criteria) to become certified to teach by passing two tests - one in teaching and one in the content field. This is a low effort, minimal preparation (even in content field) mechanism.
Supporters claim these bills will address teacher shortages but Missouri already has multiple alternative certification entry ways including the Temporary Authorization Certificate (TAC) and Teach for America. These allow people with a degree in the content field which they desire to teach to enter the classroom immediately (if hired) and learn on the job with support.
ABCTE will not help the shortage of highly qualified teachers; it will make it worse. I urge all Missourians to contact your representative and senator today to express opposition to these bills, or any legislation that authorizes ABCTE as a route to teacher certification in Missouri.
Donna M. Gardner
Associate professor and chairwoman
Department of Education
William Jewell College