In Arizona, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed new legislation into law that will allow teachers to be hired with no formal teaching training. They must have five years of experience in fields “relevant” to the subject they are teaching; however, what’s relevant isn’t clear.

This law is part of a nationwide trend to allow teachers without certification, or even any teacher preparation, to be hired and put to work immediately in the classroom. Unfortunately, these laws are passed in large part to help the close persistent teacher shortages.

The state has had thousands of teachers leave in recent years for reasons including low pay, insufficient classroom resources, and so many testing requirements and teaching guidelines that they feel they have no flexibility and too little authentic instructional time.

Ducey described the legislation as a positive change that will entice “great teachers” into the classroom and help alleviate Arizona’s teacher shortages.

This law will no doubt play into the misconception that anyone can teach if they know a particular subject and that it is not really necessary to first learn about curriculum, classroom management and instruction.

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