One in ten California teachers unqualified for courses

More than 32,000 teachers in California public schools are teaching classes for which they lack proper accreditation.

That means one in 10 teachers are instructing students in a subject they are not trained to teach, according to a report by The Bay Citizen. The problem is worse in low-performing schools, where nearly 16 percent of teachers are in the wrong classes.

The report gives examples of science instructors teaching social science courses, and a woefully unprepared instructor teaching a test prep class.

An angry parent complained to the Berkeley Unified School District that her daughter failed an exam because of her teacher’s inadequate training.

“I paid good money for my daughter to participate … only to find out that the teacher may have been unqualified to teach it, and that she did not adequately prepare the students to take the final exam,” the parent wrote in her complaint.

The highly bureaucratic credentialing process makes it difficult for administrators to speedily identify misplaced teachers, said Stephanie Tomasi, credentials manager for Alameda County.

“If we had a whole bunch of people working on it, we could identify the misassignment sooner. You’re talking about one manager, one analyst — that’s all we are,” said Tomasi in a statement.

Still, California has made progress since 2006, when 30 percent of teachers were unqualified for their positions.

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