Senate OKs Automatic High School Teaching Ticket for College Instructors

The State Senate Monday night passed a bill that would allow any college instructor to receive a license to teach his subject in high schools with no additional educational training.

Sen. Jim Summerville, a Dickson Republican, is the sponsor and an adjunct instructor himself, though he says he wouldn’t take advantage of the automatic teaching license.

Under his bill, a former college professor would be presumed to be able to teach on the basis of knowing his subject. An amendment would require an instructor to be in good standing with the college.

“But the bigger question is, should we do this, period.”

Senator Andy Berke, a Chattanooga Democrat, asked if the proposed law sends a mixed message. He says trained teachers were key to the state winning half a billion dollars in the federal “Race to the Top” program.

“And one of the things that we talked about was the professionalism of teaching, and raising the bar, and raising standards.”

The House version of the bill is scheduled to be taken up in a committee Wednesday.

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The bill is SB 2302 Summerville / HB 3098 Hensley.

Adjuncts who have taught four years, or full-time instructors who have taught two years, would qualify for licenses under the bill.

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