Indiana‘s teacher licensing requirements are subject to change, making the course load for college students lighter and less expensive. This proposal from Indiana Schools Chief Tony Bennett has caused uproar among principals and educators statewide. More than Hoosier 2,500 teachers and principals signed petitions against the licensing requirement change, and many believe that the Department of Education should slow down and take a closer look at the issues.
Bennett’s proposal suggests that elementary education programs should scale back the amount of courses required on how to teach by imposing a cap of 30 credit hours. The proposal also states that teachers should major in a specific subject area, such as English or math, and only minor in education. But today’s teachers and many Hoosiers disagree with these proposals and say the changes could put schools at risk of having unqualified educators.
Several public hearings have been held on the matter, and on Monday, more than 250 people gathered in downtown Indianapolis for a hearing at the Indiana State Library. Many protesters worry that if the proposals are accepted, there will be a decline in the quality of education in Indianapolis, and all over the Hoosier State.
Several Indiana colleges and universities disagree with Bennett’s proposal too, stating that the Department of Education should not dictate the curriculum or the number of courses required on their campuses. Faculty members from Indiana University, Purdue University, Butler University and Ball State University attended Monday’s hearings to speak out against Bennett’s proposal.
The governing body that must approve these types of changes is the Department of Education’s Professional Standards Board. Their next meeting is Nov. 18, but the board has requested several meetings for revision of these proposed policies. Reaching a final decision could take several weeks.