Science teacher will teach math class

By Nancy Gutierrez

A 1996 report by the The California State University Institute for Education Reform, stated that, "in 1995 over 15,000 people with inadequate teaching credentials were teaching in classrooms up and down the state, on emergency permits or waivers of credential requirements.

Most were hired in Southern California, 60 percent in Los Angeles County alone.

The statewide total has increased by more than 50 percent in recent years, despite the introduction of internship alternatives for new teachers."

The report described emergency teachers as credentialed teachers teaching out of their subject areas, frequently teaching special education, math and science. The report cites shortages of teachers in core academic areas as the reason for needing emergency teachers. This recently occurred at Lindsay High School.

At a special meeting of the Lindsay Unified School District Board a subject matter certification committee was approved with the purpose of reviewing and approving assignments for teachers employed on a full-time basis in kindergarten through 12th grade.

This committee provides teachers, who have special skills and preparation outside of their credential, with authorization to teach a core class -- English, math, science or social studies. The committee consisted of three teacher representatives and three administrators.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Andrew Bukosky said that a subject matter verification committee has been in place for several years.

A pre-existing committee has already reviewed and decided on a recommendation to the board of a teacher capable of teaching outside of her credential area.

No Child Left Behind laws include stipulations regarding highly qualified teachers. High school teachers earn single subject credentials or pass subjects tests that certify them to teach a specific subject.

In order for schools to allow teachers -- who have a credential in one area but are capable of teaching another subject -- to fill open class assignments, they must be reviewed and certified by the board. Other requirements for these teachers include a special preparation in or recent experience teaching that subject.

LHS is in need of an algebra teacher. Bukosky said the recent resignation of two math teachers and the mis-assignment of a teacher left a math class with no teacher. Because school will be starting in a few weeks, acquiring a credentialed math teacher will be difficult.

"The committee met to discuss Marjean Beamer, who has previously taught math but received her credential in science," Bukosky said.

Beamer taught algebra for four years on an emergency credential. Though she did not major in math and has not passed the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET), she has taken enough math units and has an old emergency credential in math -- which she must continue to take math classes on to keep current -- qualifying her for the position.

In other business:

  • The board approved a resolution to accept and access funds from the state and start a new fund to record revenues and expenditures from that allocation of money, separately from all other funds.

    LUSD received state matching funds of $1.1 million for the construction of the Steve Garvey Junior High School gymnasium. The district will track financial activities regarding the gymnasium project. Construction on the Garvey gymnasium has already begun.

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