Public education is rife with problems, and when politicians come up with policies and programs intended to solve them, more often than not, they prove to be ineffective.
Back in 1986, North Carolina created such a program, the North Carolina Teaching Fellows. The idea was to get more students into teacher-training programs within the UNC system, then route them into “low performing schools.” The state legislature pulled the plug on it in 2011, but then revived it in 2017. How is it working? That’s the question writer Dan Way looks into in today’s Martin Center article.
Way begins, “Enrollment in North Carolina’s teacher-training programs is falling off even as classroom-instructor vacancies climb, two recent reports conclude. Amid the handwringing over these problematic trends, some policymakers are wondering about the effectiveness of the state’s revived N.C. Teaching Fellows Program. It is intended to send more graduates into the teaching pipeline, but nearly four in 10 participants are not fulfilling the program’s teaching requirements.”
Perhaps the solution to the quality teacher problem is a combination of higher pay and relaxed licensing requirements. There might be a considerable number of people who could teach excellent STEM classes who know the material but don’t feel like jumping through the hoops needed to become certified in the state.