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In response to the gifted teachers receiving yet another letter and after receiving a disappointing response from the state level, I have asked Dr. Henson and Mrs. Smith to determine whether the BCBE has the right to change the certification requirements for these gifted teachers or to offer classes for certification on a local level. As of this date, Dr. Henson has gathered all information and has submitted to legal counsel for review. Updates to come.
Update Gifted Certification-
I have e-mailed the State Department of Education, Lester Smith, Pam Henson, and AEA rep, John Hudson on this issue. Several teachers have reported that they have received letters asking them to declare their intention regarding their certification status. I will continue to work on this issue and post updates.
11/29/08- Update- Gifted Certification
I have received several e-mails from Mr. McKinney, but unfortunately, have not yet found a solution to this problem. The state claims that this issue is based on incorrect information given to these gifted teachers at the time of hire and that nothing has changed regarding certification. Our Gifted teachers are still in a difficult position, as classes needed are not offered locally and the classes that are offered at USA or in Mississippi are inconvenient and expensive. It is my position that in these times, we should not put our teachers in a position of being forced to spend thousands of dollars on classes for certification when teachers in other core areas are able to certify through avenues such as the PRAXIS. I have expressed our disappointment with the way the state board has handled this so far with Mr. McKinney and have assured him that we will continue to work through this until a fair solution is found.
10/19/08- Gifted Certification
In a recent meeting with representatives of our Gifted Teachers, the issues came to light regarding the certification requirements of our Gifted Teachers. After speaking to Kathy Nichols, Dr. Henson, Lester Smith, and John Hudson, our AEA Rep, I have concluded that the issue lies with state requirements. I currently have a call in to Mr. Randy McKinney who is an acquaintance and who also serves on the State School Board. It is my intention to discuss this matter with him at length in an effort to either "grandfather" those teachers who were given different requirements at the time of hiring or to develop a "PRAXIS" test for Gifted Certification. Please refer to this portion of the website for future updates on our progress and feel free to call or e-mail me anytime.
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Contact Angie: SwigerRep@yahoo.com