Monday, October 10, 2005

Teacher Certification Myths

The John Locke Foundation again does a nice job of researching and dispelling myths, this time surrounding teacher certification. Read the whole piece for details, but my take on the issue is that states impose minimum levels of certification with 2 results. First, by imposing minimum standards you attract people who can just exceed those standards. Second, by making the certification process painful, you discourage potential teachers who have talent in other fields (business, engineering etc.) from spending their valuable time on a certification process that does not make them a better teacher.

Now if we had school choice and merit based pay, then the market (parental and student school and class selection) would determine teacher value and we wouldn't need state certification.