Teacher certifications

Legislation to improve the alternative teaching certification process was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

House Bill 3025, by state Rep. John Paul Jordan, would allow for additional entry points for those wishing to pursue a teaching certificate through the alternative certification process. The measure directs the state education department to develop a matrix or rubric by which an alternative certification candidate’s work experience would be evaluated and aligned with a specific certification area.

The measure would allow those candidates with a terminal degree to pursue an alternative certification as long as their degree aligned to an area of certification. All alternative certification candidates must pass the certification exams and pass a background check before being certified.

“These changes simply allow more people to pursue the alternative certification pathway in this time of crisis,” said Jordan, R-Yukon. “This bill was requested by the Teacher Shortage Task Force.”

Unfortunately, a national teacher shortage has hit Oklahoma especially hard, Jordan said.

“It seems reasonable that the individual’s work experience would align with a particular subject area and that he or she could expect to receive alternative certification after it is professionally examined and he or she passes all three certification tests and a background check,” Jordan said.