ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Less than a week after U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan scolded Minnesota for not having more ways for talented people to become teachers, the state House committee approved a bill that would do just that.

On a split vote, the House Finance Committee on Thursday forwarded a bill sponsored by Rep. Patrick Garofalo, a Republican from Farmington.

His bill would make it possible for the first time for a local applicant to get a license through an organization other than a Minnesota college or university, provided it was approved by the state.

It would also reduce the amount of required supervised student teaching time from about 10 weeks to about five weeks. Both provisions would make it easier for Teach for America to expand its presence in the state.

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Comments (12)
  1. hg says:

    If a person does not have the motivation to complete college and the intelligence to pass the current State tests do we really want them as an example teaching our children. I realize just because you have done those things this does not make you a good teacher but it does weed out the slackers. In our haste to include the underprivileged we make a lot of bad choices.

  2. MO says:

    Yes… less qualified teachers are really going to help our schools. It makes PERFECT sense. If you want to attract “talented” people, try improving teacher salary.

  3. StaceyU says:

    I am currently in school to be a teacher and believe it or not the testing you have to take is broad and not based on what type of teacher you are wanting to be. If the tests were more localized on the subject matter you are applying to teach this would cut the cost of the test and ensure you know the subject matter that you are going to be teaching our children. The student teaching time should be shortened. Every teacher has their own way of teaching and 5 weeks is plenty long enough for your observers to tweak your style, observe good and bad and watch to see if you take their advise and use it for good.

  4. Pmaxine says:

    Anyone think of college grads in other degree areas that might want to teach that subject but don’t want to go back to school to get their teacher’s license? I think that’s who the program is aimed at. Not people who have no degree whatsoever.

  5. MJS says:

    @ hg & Mo: Both of my parents were teachers and I am currently in grad school to get my masters degree. I would LOVE this opportunity to get my teaching license, and will be looking into it. This is not a fast-track for people who don’t want to go to school; this is for people who are already educated in another field and want to teach.
    I can tell you one thing: Raising salaries isn’t the answer. High pay alone is rarely a formula for success. Aptitude, desire and job satisfaction are all critical elements in attracting “talented” people. In America, we spend more per child on education than any other country in the world, yet our rankings keep falling. Throwing MORE money at the problem is not the answer. School systems must be held accountable to the money they already receive.

  6. KracktKrock says:

    I can’t wait! Ex-con, chronic user of meth, didn’t do to well in my former career(s) but I can’t wait to get a job teaching the youth of America!!!

    Degrees and training are meaningless as we all know and really should not be part of any criteria for hiring. It is a shame that it is required from almsot every other employer in the state. Sheesh – all I will be doing is teaching your kids so they have a chance to get a career and even maybe learn (if you do your part too).
    I plan to pass along this great news to every unepmployed person I know !!!! Go Minnesota !!!!! Yippppppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  7. Gotta be kiddin' says:

    Is it just me or is this state literally falling apart at the seams?
    We once help education up high – pushed and pushed for better training and teachers. Pushed for parental involvement too.

    This is truly a joke. What it will do is get the individuals who are unhappy in other careers or even failing maybe in that field an easy chance to teach. Limited training – delightful. I mean after all – why would anyone want you to be specially trained and have spent minimum of 4 years working towards a teaching career to teach the children? That sounds like to much to require of someone. No – let’s fast track anyone right now. Then in a few years they’ll be able to move ahead into another career when they can’t handle this too/ Or had the proper training to do so.
    It’s time to wonder if this state has any true virtues left. Maybe we just don’t give a rats rump about anything anymore.
    Minnesota – like the Vikings, you just cannot finish anything on top.

  8. Native Tom says:

    Go Gold – Minnesota must be nearing the bottom of the totem pole in dang near everything.
    Next stop —- no schooling required. LMAO

  9. Joel M says:

    When all else fails – hire the cheapest you can. I cannot wait to see these results in 20 years. 😉
    10% graduation rates and 90% teacher turnover. LOL
    Wonderful MN – you gave us Jesse and Bachmann and now this. Top shelf state – bet you’ll get that Purple Stadium built soon and really show us all where your values are.
    We are so proud to be Minnesotans. NOT

  10. you wouldn't last a month says:

    Good grief! it takes more than a warm body to be a good instructor. It takes PRACTICE, EFFORT, TIME, EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE. Just because some warm body is amazing at science content doesn’t make them a good science teacher. There is so much more to being a teacher than instructing too. Dealing with families, psychological issues, technological issues, languages, learning disabilities, parents, etc.

    Teaching takes sticking-with-it-ness. Fast tracking people into this field is asking for a high turn-over rate. If you want to draw more business people and content people, pay people for what they’re worth. Some of you wouldn’t last a month!

    This is above all disrespect for teachers and for the field of public education.

  11. Nicole says:

    I have a very hard time with them changing the requirements to be a teacher. I completed 14 weeks of student teaching (my college’s requirement) and I could have done another 14 and still been learning something new about teaching every day, 5 weeks is definitely not enough.

    There are plenty of licensed teachers with teaching degrees, we don’t need to “settle” for those who get a major in something else and decide to go into teaching through alternative methods.