Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis unveiled a program to alleviate Florida’s shortage of teachers and attract veterans to Florida; see Ron DeSantis Promotes Veterans Serving as Florida Schoolteachers.
The Governor’s office provided this description of the program.
Military Veterans Certification Pathway
The State Board of Education will consider a rule to allow military veterans to obtain a 5-year temporary teaching certificate without a bachelor’s degree, providing the following criteria are met:
- Minimum of 48 months of military service with an honorable/medical discharge;
- Minimum of 60 college credits with a 2.5 grade point average;
- Passing score on a Florida subject area examination;
- Employment in a Florida school district, including charter schools; and
- Cleared background screening.
Per SB 896 (2022), which unanimously passed the Florida House and Senate, veterans who successfully obtain their 5-year temporary teaching certificate will be assigned a mentor teacher for a minimum of two years to support their classroom teaching endeavors. They must also earn their bachelor’s degree during the 5-year period to be eligible for a full professional certificate. Veterans utilizing this temporary certificate may not teach subject areas that require a master’s degree.
This new certification process expands the “Troops to Teachers” program that has been around since 1994, from veterans with at least a bachelor’s degree to those with an associate’s degree. The Florida teacher’s union alleges they have 14,000 teacher vacancies this school year; this may or may not be accurate because authoritative data at the state and national levels is hard to come by. Regardless, while I have doubts about the net effect of the program, I think it is a solid move. I’m not convinced that a college degree is necessary for the overwhelming majority of teaching positions, and I am convinced that a degree in “education” is not a significant value-add to our kids’ education.
Naturally, the magenta-haired, non-binary groomers are not happy.
“It sucks to see all these good teachers leaving because they are burned out and Florida is expensive to live [in] now, and we cannot afford [it] with our teachers’ salary,” said a teacher calling herself Mrs. Maya on TikTok. “So then the good idea was to put people that have no education on education.”
Can we put this bullsh** about teachers’ salaries on hold? In virtually all school districts in the nation, the median teacher’s salary is equal to or greater than the median household income. The fact that you think you aren’t getting paid enough doesn’t mean you aren’t getting paid what you are worth.
More wisdom from the woke:
In a video with 150,000 views, a teacher known as Millennial Ms. Frizzle on TikTok said she used to teach at a Florida public school near a large military airbase. She described the logic of the new policy as “dystopian.”
“We know about the school-to-prison pipeline,” commented the teacher.
“We want teachers to have guns and we don’t want to pay for gun training, so hire military people that are already trained,” she added dryly.
My gripes with the program are that it reinforces the authority of a profession that, by any empirical criteria, has failed. It puts the people who run that system in charge of certification. It uncritically accepts the necessity of an education baseline. It agrees with a “certification” process that may or may not be anything more than a sham designed to control who enters the teaching business. Charter schools are covered by the same rules ensuring that they become another wing of the public education grift. Instead of recruiting people who can reform a broken system, it recruits more foot soldiers for that system.
I appreciate anything that gets normal human beings into the classroom who will spend more time inculcating the basics into students rather than regaling them with tales of sexual deviance. Still, the answer to our education system’s woes lies in putting bandaids on a sucking chest wound by increasing the pool of applicants. The answer lies in new models of public education that are not subject to fads and don’t create barriers to keep competent and dedicated people out of the classroom.