Monday, January 13, 2020
Charter Schools Lose Again On Teacher Certification
The New York State Appellate Division, Third Department upheld a lower court ruling that the SUNY alternate teacher certification scheme for charter schools was not allowed under State education law. The Appellate Court unanimously rejected SUNY's argument that they had the authority to have an alternative teacher certification for charter schools.
It's no secret that charter schools are having trouble in recruiting and retaining certified teachers and by State law are only allowed to have no more than 15% uncertified teachers on their staff. My guess is if the State scrutinize the charter schools they would find that most violate that limitation. Take Eva Moskowitz's Success Academy High School in Manhattan that saw an astonishing 70% teacher turnover in one year.
I know of a Science teacher that was unfairly terminated by the DOE but every year charter schools compete with each other to hire the teacher since most of them lack a certified Science teacher. The Science teacher tells me that every charter school she teaches in, the next year most teachers are either not invited back due to money, incompetent administration, lack of certification, or because many teachers quit during or after the school year.
The State and local teacher unions as well as the NAACP, the Board of Regents, and The NYSED oppose the alternate teacher certification scheme and the unions called the SUNY teacher certification scheme as "Fake certification". The alternate certification scheme only consists of 160 hours of classroom instruction and 40 hours of practice teaching and allows the charter school to self-certify to get around the 15% uncertified teacher limitation.
Will SUNY appeal to the NYS Court of Appeals? Probably since they are supported by deep pockets charter school supporters but with a unanimous decision at the Appellate Court, it does not look promising for the charter schools.