'Presidential Teacher Corps' proposed

Feb. 10, 2011 at 4:34 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Thursday proposed the creation of a "Presidential Teachers Corps" of 100,000 new mobile teachers in the next five years.

"We need to raise the bar for entry into the teaching profession while removing the barriers to serving in our classrooms," Bennet, a former Denver Public Schools superintendent, said in Washington.

The plan involves teacher preparation programs awarding special "Presidential Teachers Corps" teaching licenses each year, The Denver Post reported.

The colleges and universities would receive additional federal funding for agreeing to track the classroom performance of the participating education majors following their graduation, the Post said.

The specially licensed teachers would be sent to lower-income, high-need schools throughout the nation, and would not have to obtain certification in each state where they might be assigned, the Post reported.

High-risk school districts currently lose 50 percent of their teachers within five years, Bennet said, adding eliminating the need for multiple state certifications would, in itself, be an incentive for students to opt for the program.

The teachers who show good results in the classroom would receive a bonus, the Post said.

"Most importantly, we need the most talented teachers to go and stay in the classrooms where they are needed most," Bennet said.

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