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American Board Awaits Senate Approval for Teaching Certification

Posted: May 8, 2013 9:23 PM by Jiselle Mack
Updated: May 10, 2013 9:40 AM

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ASHLAND - Sarah Marshall, a fourth grader at Ashland Elementary, said reading is her favorite subject, but science is bit of a challenge for her.

"[Science] It makes it kind of difficult to memorize because if you're learning about one thing and having to learn another then remembering it all," Marshall said.

The idea of learning from people who have decades of experience in the science industry never crossed her mind. Hamilton said it would change her learning experience.

"I think I would learn a lot more because from their point of view, they're more scientific," Hamilton said.

That's what the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) aims to do. The non-profit organization gives people a chance to teach elementary and high school levels without getting a four-year education. It held a free informational session in Ashland at the Southern Boone County Library on Saturday and has more sessions across the state this month.

Betsey Hamilton, the ABCTE certification specialist, said it gives a chance for people in mid-careers to channel their industry experience.

"These people are chemists, biologists.They're accountants, architects...It's just a different route to the classroom," Hamilton said.

Hamilton said the requirement is just as vigorous system to maintain the standard of education within Missouri. The self-paced program can be completed online within 8-10 months and costs about $2000.

"They'll do the work because the program is challenging but to meet the state standards," Hamilton said.

The program is waiting for approval in the Missouri Senate. House Bill 808 passed at the end of April. State House Representative Doug Funderburk, the sponsor of the bill, said a sunset provision was placed on bill when it began in 2008.

"The education community was lukewarm at best. We were concerned we were introducing a process that may not truly be effective and bringing people into the class who are not ready to teach children," Funderburk said.

An executive session was held last week Thursday.

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