PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts Reacts to State University of New York Charter Committee Allowing Some Charter Schools to Certify Their Own Teachers

Published October 11, 2017


The State University of New York (SUNY) Charter Committee voted to allow SUNY-authorized charter schools to certify their own teachers. The new rules allow teachers to be certified with “a month of classroom instruction and practice teaching for 40 hours,” according to Chalkbeat, affecting 167 charter schools across New York. Additionally, these teachers do not have to earn a master’s degree or take state certification exams to be eligible to teach.

The following statement from education policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Media Specialist Billy Aouste at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 847/445-7554.

“Allowing this shortened alternative certification process will allow more teachers to be brought into SUNY charter school classrooms faster. Not only will this create a more diverse teaching population, it will also allow easier entry into the teaching profession for those who have mastered a subject in the private sector.

“Alternative certification pathways should be adopted for all public schools, not just SUNY charters.”

Lennie Jarratt
Project Manager, Education
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“This is a great win for New York charter schools and for education freedom. Why shouldn’t charter schools – or any school, for that matter – be free to certify its own teachers in the way it sees fit? Teachers unions and the educational establishment are upset because charters, who are supposed to operate with fewer regulations anyway, are not being forced under this policy to jump through more state-mandated hoops. Whenever government loses control, it panics.

“Educational institutions are not meant to answer to government; they exist to educate children and to answer to parents. If parents take issue with how these charter schools certify their teachers, they will make it known by withdrawing their children, and the charters will cease to exist. If only parents had such power in all areas of education!”

Teresa Mull
Research Fellow, The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, School Reform News
[email protected]

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that any action taken to combat the power of teachers unions is a positive action. This ruling by SUNY officials also has the benefit of combatting cartelization and the idea the only good teachers are the ones who have gone through the expensive, unnecessary credentialing process imposed by colleges and the education establishment.”

Tim Benson
Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]