Oklahoma state board of education has been issuing permits as emergency teaching certificates to many who have not completed the higher education or the training requirements which are normally required from teachers. This has come by due to a shortage that has arisen across the state for teachers in classrooms. Above five hundred permits have been issued by the board in order to staff classrooms across the state.
Nearly two hundred certificates in the same category were approved by the board in the month of July. The figures that were presented to the board have been a sum total of the requests that have come in across the different districts in the state in the last twelve months. It is reflective of a shortage of teachers in classrooms, especially certified candidates. Hence, this emergency measure has been adopted by the state board. The state has a total shortage of thousand teachers which is exclusive of the emergency certification that has been issued till date. Most of the elementary schools and preschools are in demand of teachers for the session 2015 to 2016. Forty five percent of the certificates issued have been for this category of teachers.
With emergency certificates are issued to candidates with negligible experience or appropriate training, the next concern for the state board is to provide support to these teachers. Hence, short courses as well as how to manage classrooms and similar topics are being considered for the new teachers. As school districts are seeking emergency certification for individuals to man the classrooms, the state board authorities have to think about equipping these candidates to take classes as well as how to deal with the students.
The board has also revisited the latest versions of the core curriculum tests that are designed for the students from grade 3 to grade 8 as well as the end of instruction exams that are designed for the high school classes. Proficiency in maths seemed to have declined for the third graders, though it picks up for the fourth graders. The intensity of reading remains for the early grades. For the high school tests, the proficiency levels were up for most subjects except for geometry and US history.
The significant changes are the increasing scarcity of teachers in classrooms across the different districts of the state and whether the inexperienced candidates who are being taken up as teachers will be able to keep up the standard of education as required in the schools.