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Lesson Plans

California Interns-an explanation

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Patricia Munce (pdmun)
Mon, 29 Jul 1996 15:08:25 -0800


In California you must pass a basic test of skills to be allowed to sub or
teach in any classroom. Many people have BAs and BSs and do not have the
required course work for a teaching credential. We have a new law, SB 1777
that helps us fund the cost of reducing class size in grades K thru 3. The
goal is to have only 20 kids (average) in each class of K thru 3. A
fantastic goal.
(SB 1777 - go to the web site listed below and search there.
Its a great bookmark on Netscape.)
It does not pay all the cost, but a good sum. The rest of the cost comes
out of the general fund which is where we get raises etc... Now, we need
lots of qualified teachers to fill these new classrooms. We also know we
will not be able to meet this need immediately.

California has passed another law that allows a school district to hire an
intern (a person without a teaching credential or any student teaching but
who has a BA or BS) to attempt to teach in a classroom with students who
MAY and usually do speak another language besides English. We have over
100 languages represented in L.A. and even in Fresno, where I live. We know
this takes training to do a good job .
We old hands are all too familiar with what goes for on the job training
"day to day" in our schools. Its sink or swim for most. (The districts
always tell you it will be different this time.)

(AB 1432 Go to web site http:/ )

The big change is that before a school district could hire an intern, it
had to show it could not find a credentialed teacher to teach the subject
or grade. That is gone now. ( Many people you and I know think that
because they are well versed in their field of knowledge, they are "closet"
great teachers. Its just that they aren't in the classroom. You just go in
and lecture for an hour and if the kids don't get it, too bad.) Districts
can hire a total novice and turn away an experienced teacher in the same
area. It will save money and MONEY is what it is all about. Will it bring
up class scores? The lottery is a better deal then this gamble.

Interns have little rights. They can be fired at will. Then a sub is put in
until they find another warm body or a real teacher. I know, I talked with
a sub who has been covering for an intern who didn't make it.

Also when the run on teachers is over, I can see the future. Districts
using interns as much as possible to limit permanent employees. Remember
they can be fired at will. In a few years we could have interns coming out
into the classroom who do not care to teach, but it will be a way to earn
some money until they can find a better job in their field. They know they
will be let go anyway. Granted this may be down the road a bit.

Many people want the teacher at the school board's mercy every year. They
want the chance to fire you if one parent complains. Just think of how
your coaches are treated. At least at my school, two parents can end a
career if they call in and complain that little Johnny didn't get to play

California is going to be watched. We are trying to bring up our test
scores, but as usual we are shooting ourselves and our kids in the foot.

Please comment. How does your district plan to use these two new laws.

Pat Munce
Fresno, CA

  • Maybe reply: Ken Rohrer: "Re: California Interns-an explanation"