We supported a proposal, originally put forward by Tony Bennett, former Indiana superintendent of public instruction, to allow classroom teachers to earn a teaching license based on their real world experience.

We still do and we are glad the State Board of Education does, at least for the moment.

The issue has been a sore point with the Indiana State Teachers Association and remains so. It opens up the teaching ranks to a lot more people and thus increases competition for jobs held by their current members.

It also, in the minds of many, strengthens the mistaken supposition that just anyone who knows a subject well can teach it well. We don’t believe that. But, do we think there are many creative, bright people who can be good teachers without a four-year degree focused on the subject rather than the education process? Absolutely.

Should we open classrooms to such people? Yes.

We hope the Board stays the course. But the proposal will continually have to overcome opposition.

Earlier this month, the board, by a 6-5 vote, kept the proposal alive and defeated a motion to kill it made by current State Superintendent Glenda Ritz.

The Board altered provision to create a career specialist certificate. It would allow professionals in the field being taught to qualify to teach in high school after 6,000 hours of real world experience. The proposal would also require teaching training upon taking a teaching job. We are comfortable with such changes.

The idea of opening the ranks of teaching to more people does not automatically translate to lesser teachers but, in our opinion, more innovation and the ability to create a more flexible and talented teaching staff.

As always, the issue of how well our schools perform is mostly a local one and what school boards do with the proposal is most important. But we are not afraid of more local control and the possibility of more, good people in our classrooms.

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