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C'est la Z

We need certified teachers, not professionally developed teachers.

Last time I mentioned that there are many teachers teaching CS in NY that have no intention of earning the new certification and also don't really know the subject. People might not want to here this but it's true. I don't blame the teachers for this since they've been repeatedly told that "CS is super easy" and that their PD training 100% makes them CS teachers and really prepares them.

It doesn't

With the new certification, one would hope that teachers who took one for the team and muddled through would either get certified or go back to teaching their primary subject but that probably won't be the case.


Because the state is allowing it.

Current teachers can (or could) file for the SOCE - Statement of Continuing Eligibility. Basically if you taught CS you can fill out a form and keep teaching it for 10 years regardless of qualifications. It has limitations - it's tied to the school you filed the SOCE at - if you transfer it's no longer valid but it basically means that if you taught CS, good or bad, you can keep doing it at your current school.

This is not good.

The idea of giving a time frame to become a strong CS teacher is a good one but 10 years is excessive.

Yes, there are some teachers that won't be certified but really know CS and how to teach it but in my experience they are in the minority. Over the past three years I've worked closely with about 100 teachers in my program and I've evaluated applications from afew hundred more. Many of these applicants have been attending CS professional development for years. These PDs are the usual suspects - CS4all's training in NY, etc.. The number of teachers who attended years of these types of training but have difficulty with "hello world" has been shocking. Now, I'm not down on a teacher for not knowing more than what they've been taught but what's being taught in PDs is sorely lacking and attending them does not a CS teacher make.

Now, this isn't to say that all CS Certification programs will be superior to the low bar PD. I'm confident in saying that the Hunter program is. I'm also confident in the quality of Siena's program but they only award a Bachelors so it's not for currently working, certified teachers. Other programs, I just don't know - some will probably be great and others will be glorified PD.

We really need to educate school administrators and district leaders as to what real CS teacher preparation should look like and they have to insist that while right now, we're in a transitional phase, within a few years - and not the 10 the state is giving, that teachers both new or existing get that preparation.

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