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La Crosse teachers union pres. not in favor of proposal for online licenses



Provision, apparently, wouldn’t require student teaching 

In response to a significant teacher shortage problem in the state, Wisconsin’s legislature is getting creative. 

That includes a provision in the proposed budget forcing the Department of Public Instruction to accept teachers who get licenses online.

Many of these teachers would be specialized, something that concerns La Crosse School’s teachers union president John Havlicek.

“(It’s) really targeting the mid-career person,” Havlicek said. “I would be considered mid-career. I’m 46. If I weren’t teaching. I’m 25 years, almost 30 years removed from high school. Teaching in school has changed.”

Those teacher licenses from online courses don’t have the same type of rigorous standards as the state.

Opponents say the provision is aimed at a program called American Board of Certification of Teacher Excellence, which doesn’t require student teaching and takes less than a year.

Havlicek is concerned with that. He calls student teaching invaluable.

“Teaching is really a very very complex set of interactions,” he said. “It is not something that you can do just because you’re good at a particular skill.”

Supporters believe it might help with the teacher shortage but Havlicek has a better idea there, as well, and that’s to fix the culture.

“The working conditions are not as good as they were a few years ago,” he said. “Paperwork, kind of meaningless paperwork – not terribly helpful paperwork – is up.”

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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