Jumping Through Certification Hoops Should Be For Everyone

Cathie Black Visits Hillcrest High School, Dec...
Image by lancmanoffice via Flickr

I’ve spent the day learning about the hoops I have to jump through — a 2nd master degree, for one — to be certified as a school librarian. Oh, and I have until August to get 18 of the 36 required credits if I want to be able to do the job I’m doing now next year.

I think our new school’s chancellor should have the same opportunity I have, get half the credits for an education leadership degree to be allowed to continue to do her job past Labor Day.

If I worked at an elementary school it would not be an issue but certified librarians are required at all secondary schools.

That I’ve done more in one month in and for the library, and for the students and teachers who now can use it than the certified librarian (certified in 1956, btw) did in the past six years is apparently not as important as having that piece of paper certifying me.

That I can teach the students and teachers about technology and how to use it effectively and safely where the certified librarian thinks the electric typewriter is a threat to society is not as important as having that certificate.

The "QWERTY" layout of typewriter ke...
Image via Wikipedia

If the certificate is that important for me to have, shouldn’t the school chancellor have one, too?

This post started as a comment on The Innovative Educator blog.Enhanced by Zemanta
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6 Responses to Jumping Through Certification Hoops Should Be For Everyone

  1. pharesr says:

    Believe me when I tell you I feel your pain. It is ridiculous. I have 2 masters, Technology in the classroom and Curriculum with an emphasis on Technology. However, I was did not have the credentials to teach 7th grade computer class. I went through a credential review board and was finally granted an endorsement. Would something like that work for you? It is almost the most frustrating thing I have ever had to deal with.

  2. Chris says:

    The whole certification system can seem pretty arbitrary and crazy at times. Our librarian (who’s extremely conscientious and up-to-date with her skills) had a Master of Library Science when she came to us, but they required her to get a second Masters in School Media Specialist. That said, if you do go back for the library certification, you’ll probably pick up some tips that will make taking that old library of yours into the present easier. Good luck, Deven. Whatever you decide to do, it will be the students who’ll benefit.

  3. I hear both of you. Our culture seems obsessed with credentialing. I think most people want professionals to be trained and evaluated. However, when a professional demonstrates adequacy or excellence at a job, that should be factored in when considering that person’s ongoing employment. Sometimes it seems that we miss the trees because we see only the forest.

  4. Ira Socol says:

    I think that if Cathie Black cannot intelligently respond to this question she proves that she has no business being involved in educational leadership. Because this IS one of those big questions:

    NYC’s mayor says credentials are meaningless. So does NYS’s superintendent. So do Arne Duncan and Barack Obama when the fund and support TFA.

    So if this is the case, let’s dump credentials. Probably starting with the High School Diploma, the University Degree, and the PhD. Let’s let people present portfolios proving their knowledge and skills instead. But lets do it across the board. Not just for the rich and connected.

  5. [...] their proper degree and specialized certification while also working full time like the rest of did or still must do. Why don’t they have to take the tests they had to pay to take. Why aren’t they [...]

  6. [...] their proper degree and specialized certification while also working full time like the rest of did or still must do. Why don’t they have to take the tests they had to pay to take. Why aren’t they [...]

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