The Massachusetts Department of Education is being deluged by calls from teachers who are confused, upset, and angry about new teacher certification requirements that took effect on October 1. Under the old teacher certification requirements, a teacher could have a master's degree or an equivalent number of credit hours in any field, no matter how irrelevant or ancillary the degree was to their teaching assignment. The new regulation requires teachers to take courses in their subject area, eliminating such popular in-service offerings as "100 Great Designs for Your Classroom Bulletin Board" and "Using Your Overhead Projector for Effective Instruction."
The mounting complaints from teachers have led Education Commissioner David Driscoll to make some accommodations for teachers who are on their way to degrees by October 1, 2005. We thought Massachusetts Director of Education Preparation Carol Gilbert summed it up best: "We value teachers, but really, the ultimate client is the student."