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PACE Supports a Clear Pathway to an Initial Teaching License
posted by: Tim | May 01, 2014, 03:19 PM   


Robert Morris, a teacher in Colorado Springs, commented, “Colleges don’t do a very good job of teaching things like classroom management. New teachers need to gain experience in the classroom with the help of an experienced mentor until they are prepared to teach on their own.”

A teacher in Thompson School District added, “I know a number of highly qualified and effective teachers who are not teaching in Colorado because of the difficulty of obtaining and maintaining a teaching license. One of them spent 20 years as an astrophysicist at NASA. He teaches at the local college, but is not allowed to teach at the high school!”

Currently, too many potentially talented teachers are turned away at the initial phase of licensure because they didn’t take the right courses in college. PACE supports requiring only a background check, bachelor’s degree, and a passing score on a content area exam in order to receive an initial license to teach. This policy would create a pathway for mid-career changers, retirees with varied backgrounds, and college graduates with diverse content knowledge. These candidates would still have to prove their teaching abilities before being granted a permanent license, yet they would not be turned away before they even have the opportunity to show what they can do.

“There are thousands of excellent teachers in Colorado, but we need more,” said PACE Executive Director Dr. Kris Enright. “A policy like this could attract a wider variety of talented individuals to a growing profession.”

As a member-driven organization, PACE urges policymakers to respond to this call for a clearer pathway into the teaching profession.  Students deserve the best and most talented teachers possible.

Click here to view the 2014 PACE Membership Survey.


The Professional Association of Colorado Educators (PACE) is the state’s largest non-union professional educator’s organization, advancing the profession by offering a modern approach to teacher representation and educational advocacy, as well as promoting professionalism, collaboration and excellence without a partisan agenda. PACE members are forward-thinking professionals who are committed to student-centered reform. PACE welcomes professionals from all educational entities. Membership is $15 per month, which includes $2 million professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, professional development resources, as well as a host of other benefits. Visit for further information.

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