No Student Teaching? No Problem: Wisconsin Wants You.


Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Committee passed Scott Walker’s budget proposal dealing with teacher education on a 12- 4 party line vote.  While the entire proposal is a partisan disaster that continues the dismantling of Wisconsin’s public school system—one item is worth highlighting.

45. Alternative Teacher Preparation Program-

Require the DPI to grant an initial teaching license to an individual meets the following requirements: (a) possesses a bachelor’s degree; (b) he has successfully completed an alternative teacher certification program operated by an alternative preparation program provider that is a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code, that operates in at least five states and has been in operation for at least ten years, and that requires the candidate to pass a subject area exam and the pedagogy exam known as the Professional Teaching Knowledge exam to receive a certification under the program and successfully completes a background check.  Specifically that this license would authorize an individual to teach the subject and educational levels for which the individual successfully completed his program.


The American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence will be granting teaching licenses in Wisconsin.

What does it take to earn a teaching license through the American Board for Certification  of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE)?

  1. $2100
  2. A computer.
  3. Web access
  4.  ?

That’s it! You never need to step foot in a college classroom or a classroom full of children. This is  truly “fast-track” alternative teacher certification.  Who needs to work with kids or learn how to interact with other human beings?  That’s so “traditional.”

But that does bring up a rather important question: What about “traditional” colleges, schools and departments of education at Institutions of Higher Education (IHE)? What happens if you seek a teaching license in Wisconsin through an IHE? You will …

  1. take course work with faculty that have been teachers.
  2. spend time doing multiple field experiences in classrooms with children.
  3. student teach for a semester or more in a real school with real classrooms and real children.
  4. complete a rigorous reflective performance evaluation.

I know what you’re thinking (no I’m not a psychic).  I just know because anyone with any sense of the world is asking those same questions?

  1. How much does “traditional” cost?
  2. What happens during the “traditional” performance evaluation?
  3. What other mandates—tests—are required by “traditional” programs?
  4.  Keep going….

However, let’s ask the question that matters: Whose children are intentionally being placed at risk by politicians hell bent on dismantling “traditional” teacher preparation?

Other people’s children! Not theirs.