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Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WFP-125AD, Tompkins/Cortland) announced that she has written a letter to the SUNY Charter Schools Institute calling for the rejection of a new teacher certification proposal that would allow charter schools to hire uncertified teachers and to set up their own programs to certify those teachers with as little as 30 hours of classroom experience. By creating an alternative pathway for teacher certification, the proposal will result in an inferior workforce of teachers who won't be qualified to give New York's children the superior education they deserve, Lifton said.

"The charter schools are saying that they can't find teachers to hire for their "high-quality schools," which seems very odd to me, because I know that teachers are normally very eager to teach in good schools," Lifton continued in her letter. "To solve the problem they have, they apparently want to lower the standards for teachers entering the profession. This questionable logic – "we want to have high quality schools by lowering the standards for teachers" – strikes me as a very bad idea, particularly because it would set up different standards for the teachers of New York's children."

"This proposal is doubly ironic given that SUNY has been working hard for a number years to raise the standards in SUNY programs that educate and train teachers – such as at SUNY Cortland – so this runs completely contrary to that important effort," Lifton wrote. "Hiring more unqualified teachers is not an appropriate solution to the problems of recruitment and retention that are causing high turnover rates in charter schools."

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