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Teaching in Florida: 5-Year Cert, No Degree Necessary.

July 29, 2022

Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, and the Florida legislature are happy to hand over five-year teaching certificates to veterans. Not teaching veterans. Military veterans.

As NBC-2.com reports, this plan is an attempt to address Florida’s teacher shortage of approximately 9,000 teachers. Veterans who served a minimum of 48 months (4 years) are eligible.

The article opens as follows:

School is just weeks from starting in Southwest Florida and there is a chance your child’s new teacher may not have a teaching degree.

One edit is needed: The word “teaching” should be changed to “college.” Allow me:

School is just weeks from starting in Southwest Florida and there is a chance your child’s new teacher may not have a college degree.

No college degree necessary.

I am a supporter of the military. I have many family members who have served in the US Army, and my sister is an Air Force veteran. I appreciate their service to our country.

That noted, it is quite the stretch to count military service as experience logically connected to the K12 classroom. And in this case, it is the only experience necessary to be granted Florida teacher certification.

Below is the criteria for Florida’s Military Veterans Certification Pathway, as noted on the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) website:

For some reason, as noted above, Florida is also excusing veterans who wish to teach in Florida’s K12 classrooms from holding a college degree in any area at all, much less in education. Current enrollment in a degree program is also not required. No coursework on pedagogy, or human development, or classroom planning, or education policy/law, or special populations necessary.

One simply needs at least 60 college credit hours in any courses, taken at any time, and not necessarily centered on any course of study.

These folks would be certified to teach for five years– longer than it takes to earn a bachelors degree in education but without the requirement that college attendance continues at all.

Interested individuals do have to pass a subject-area test to “demonstrate mastery of subject area knowledge.” However, other Florida teacher candidates must also pass examinations on general knowledge and professional education. Not so for those on the military-veteran fast-track.

So, military veterans who do not hold a bachelors degree and who need not have any experience in the K12 classroom are excused from being tested on the following (from the professional education exam):

No need to know about “appropriate student-centered learning environments,” or “instructional design and planning,” or Principles of Professional Conduct of the Education Profession in Florida,” or “research practices appropriate for teaching English Language Learners (ELLs).”

No need to even know what an “English Language Learner” is.

But surely, surely, one must know something in order to be able to pass a subject area test.

Yes. But knowledge of subject matter does not automatically translate into legal, age-appropriate delivery of that subject matter in a well-managed classroom environment conducive to learning.

This idea has *litigation* written all over it.

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2 Comments
  1. Christine Langhoff permalink

    One morning, I was shuttling my two kids to school before heading to my own classroom. The car radio was on and I nearly drove us off the road in a rage, at about 6:30 AM. There was a report about how the Broad Academy had placed a General with experience in either the Afghanistan or Iraq war theater in charge of an urban school system as superintendent.

    Must be where DeathSantis took his inspiration.

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  1. Teaching in Florida: 5-Year Cert, No Degree Necessary. — deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider’s Blog | David R. Taylor

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