SF teachers face deadline for specialty credential

December 7, 2009 7:23:58 PM PST
Tuesday, San Francisco's Board of Education may vote to begin firing teachers who are not credentialed to work with kids who are learning English. It is an impending consequence that some teachers are fighting.

Amanda Peterson is a math teacher who has been trained to teach to those students who are learning English.

"Also it involves teaching vocabulary, teaching academic language, teaching basic language that students need to be able to communicate their knowledge in English," Peterson said.

That training makes her CLAD certified; CLAD stands for cross-cultural, language and academic development.

A teacher who has even a single English learner in the classroom must have the special credential. Since 2005 it has been a state law and since 2007 the San Francisco Unified School District has been notifying teachers of the requirement.

Two years ago, 900 teachers in San Francisco were not CLAD certified or their certification had expired; today only 64 are not.

The Board of Education will decided Tuesday if those 64 will be terminated as of January 20 if they fail to get certified.

"There have been a number of outreach efforts the district has provided opportunities for teachers to take the coursework the exams, many times it was free of charge for teachers, so this is not something that has popped up recently," district spokesperson Richard Carranza said.

The teachers' union is asking the district to pay for the 12 units required to get clad certification. The district has agreed to the request.

"The district has indicated some money Preposition A money parcel tax money behind helping support people to do that, so we are hopeful we can get a class going together for those folks at the last minute who are in danger," union spokesperson Dennis Kelly said.

Once enrolled, the few teachers can get an emergency certification and will not be terminated.

"Our district has so many students who have that need; they are English language learners and they need qualified teachers in front of the that have to expertise to be able to teach them," former school board member Mark Sanchez said.


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