Gov. Ducey opens alternative paths to teacher certification

Gov. Doug Ducey (File Photo)

Gov. Doug Ducey signed an education bill into law Tuesday, May 2 — Teacher Appreciation Day — which allows for alternative paths to teacher certification amidst Arizona’s teacher shortage.

Under the new law, American Board for the Certification of Teacher Excellence can relaunch in Arizona and offer its online path to teacher certification, according to a press release.

American Board is a nonprofit that provides individuals with a bachelor’s degree material to prepare for exams which test their competency in pedagogy — or instructional methods — and subject area specifics, a release states.

The program focuses on recruiting qualified individuals who already live in communities suffering from the teacher shortage instead of hoping outsiders will move to rural areas and stay more than three years.

“I always wanted to be a teacher. I knew I wanted to be one before I even finished my degree (in social work),” Arizona resident and American Board alumna Shantel Tiner said in a release.

“American Board was the best match because I could study from home and my son was in preschool at the time. American Board gave me the knowledge I needed.”

In his State of the State address Gov. Ducey said, “if we are serious about supporting education, and tackling our teacher shortage, we’ve got to take action on multiple fronts.”

“We want the most qualified, most talented people leading our classrooms. So let’s get with the times, and place trust in our school boards, superintendents and principals by letting them make the hiring decisions, and remove the obstacles.”

The new law aims to fulfill Gov. Ducey’s vision by removing several obstacles which previously halted American Board from operating in Arizona. Since January, American Board has had to turn away dozens of potential teachers interested in leading Arizona classrooms.

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