The Proof is in the CV


ASD is at it again! Though I put an end to ASD's use of unqualified teachers in 2001 ASD is once again staffing classrooms with persons not endorsed for the work in question. The District complained back then that it could not find qualified teachers, but amazingly enough, the Juneau School District (which treats its substitute teachers as professionals) had no such problems. While there are shortages of qualified teachers in certain fields nationally, the REAL problem is that ASD is unable to attract those that are qualified. And what is worse, District practices co-opt parents and polarize our already fractured community.

Some 5 years ago I recommended to the Superintendent that the District require that all teachers publish on the District provided web pages their resume, featuring their teaching credentials, certifications, endorsements and areas in which they were highly qualified. One would have thought that this would be a tremendous point of pride for the District..... However, the District passed on my recommendations and to this day it is difficult to obtain information about a teacher's credentials from ASD; perhaps for good reason as almost a third are in their classrooms illegally! While letters to parents of failing schools have to advise parents whether their children's teachers are HQ, more than one principal has told parents that the fact that a teacher is not HQ is not important. I agree that not being HQ does not mean that a teacher is not a good teacher, and the law (despite warnings) is written such that a teacher is not required to obtain HQ status (districts are just not allowed to use them in core classrooms if they are not). But the law is important because it is a law, and the fact of the mater is that the bar is so low for obtaining HQ status that any teacher not already HQ is likely either unqualified or simply making a political statement.

Back in the trenches, ASD HR, which continues to hire teachers unable to qualify as HQ, continues to argue it is saving money by moving to a less experienced teacher corps. Unfortunately, ASD has discovered that any savings is being eaten up by all the additional training the District is having to provide, not to mention the incremental costs resulting from curriculum and behavior management issues. Who is losing? The community is losing.

This communication was paid for by Marc Grober, 5610 Radcliff Dr. Anchorage, AK 99504