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1999 Ron Paul Chapter 41

Opposing National Teacher Certification Or National Teacher Testing

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5 May 1999
HON. RON PAUL
OF TEXAS
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Wednesday, May 5, 1999


1999 Ron Paul 41:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce legislation to forbid the use of federal funds to develop or implement a national system of teacher certification or a national teacher test. My bill also forbids the Department of Education from denying funds to any state or local education agency because that state or local educational agency has refused to adopt a federally-approved method of teacher certification or testing. This legislation in no way interferes with a state’s ability to use federal funds to support their chosen method of teacher certification or testing.

1999 Ron Paul 41:2
Having failed to implement a national curriculum through the front door with national student testing (thanks to the efforts of members of the Education Committee under the leadership of Chairman GOODLING), the administration is now trying to implement a national curriculum through the backdoor with national teacher testing and certification. National teacher certification will allow the federal government to determine what would-be teachers need to know in order to practice their chosen profession. Teacher education will revolve around preparing teachers to pass the national test or to receive a national certificate. New teachers will then base their lesson plans on what they needed to know in order to receive their Education Department-approved teaching certificate. Therefore, I call on those of my colleagues who oppose a national curriculum to join me in opposing national teacher testing and certification with the same vigor with which you opposed national student testing.

1999 Ron Paul 41:3
Many educators are already voicing opposition to national teacher cerification and testing. The Coalition of Independent Education Associations (CIEA), which represents the majority of the over 300,000 teachers who are members of independent educators associations, has passed a resolution opposing the nationalization of teacher certification and testing; I have attached a copy of this resolution for insertion into the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD. As more and more teachers realize the impact of this proposal, I expect opposition from the education community to grow. Teachers want to be treated as professionals, not as minions of the federal government.

1999 Ron Paul 41:4
Legislation has already been introduced in the Texas State Legislature prohibiting the use of any national certification or national examination to determine if someone is qualified to teach in Texas. While I applaud this legislation, I wonder if Texas would change its’ policies if the Department of Education threatened to deny Texas federal funds if Texas failed to adopt the Department’s chosen method of teacher certification and testing. It is up to Congress to see that the Department of Education does not bully the states into adopting the method of teacher certification and testing favored by DC-based bureaucrats.

1999 Ron Paul 41:5
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I once again urge my colleagues to join me in opposing national teacher certification or national teacher testing. Training and certification of classroom teachers is the job of state governments, local school districts, educators, and parents; this vital function should not be usurped by federal bureaucrats and/or politicians. Please stand up for America’s teachers and students by signing on as a cosponsor of my legislation to ensure taxpayer dollars do not support national teacher certification or national teacher testing.

1999 Ron Paul 41:6
COALITION OF INDEPENDENT EDUCATION ASSOCIATIONS — STATEMENT ON NATIONAL TEACHER LICENSURE, FEBRUARY 26, 1999

The licensure of teachers should remain the responsibility of each state’s Board of Education and any attempt to authorize the federal government to govern this process should be opposed.

1999 Ron Paul 41:7
Secretary of Education Richard Riley’s proposal (February 16, 1999) to empower a teacher panel to grant licenses for teaching would remove the separate state’s authority to protect the welfare of the general public.

1999 Ron Paul 41:8
Teaching is a public enterprise and not a private profession.

1999 Ron Paul 41:9
Such high stakes licensure decisions must be controlled by a body that is responsible to the public and has accountability for the quality of the decision.

1999 Ron Paul 41:10
The current education reform movement has compelled states’ Boards of Education to revamp and improve teacher licensure programs. This right should be left to the states to best determine how they license state teachers.

1999 Ron Paul 41:11
Congress should oppose any movement toward federalizing educator licensure, teacher appraisal, and employment contracts.

1999 Ron Paul 41:12
The undersigned representatives of the Coalition of Independent Education Associations strongly urge our members of the Congress and the Senate to vigorously defend the rights of states to control their educational destiny.

1999 Ron Paul 41:13
Arizona Professional Educators, Association of American Educators, Association of Professional Educators of Louisiana, Association of Professional Oklahoma Educators, Association of Texas Professional Educators, Kentucky Association of Professional Educators, Keystone Teachers Association, West Virginia Professional Educators, Mississippi Professional Educators, National Association of Professional Educators, Palmetto State Teachers Association, Professional Educators Network of Florida, Professional Educators of Iowa, Professional Educators of North Carolina, Professional Educators of Tennessee.

Notes:

1999 Ron Paul 41:1 federally-approved probably should not be hyphenated: federally approved.

1999 Ron Paul 41:2 the administration probably should be capitalized: the Administration.

1999 Ron Paul 41:4 itsí policies probably should have no apostrophe: its policies.

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