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WILL V.I. LOSE TEACHERS WITH CERTIFICATION?

May 10, 2003 – Friday night at the last of three public hearings on new certification requirements, Education officials said they know teachers are facing a dilemma even as they meet new federal standards.
The point was raised that a chance exists that other municipalities will try to lure certified V.I. teachers away to meet their own quotas even as the territory tries to meet its own. Board of Education member Terrence D. Joseph said, "If they're recruiting teachers from down-island right now, and they're not highly qualified, imagine when all teachers are highly qualified. What are they going to be doing?"
"They're going to be coming right here," he said.
For the past week, Board members and the top brass of the V.I. Department of Education have been holding public hearings to collect input on proposed certification guidelines.
Education Commissioner Noreen Michael attended Friday's meeting. She said she was aware of the risk that training Virgin Islands teachers for certification might lead to losing them to stateside school districts offering better salaries.
A more immediate concern was expressed earlier this week by teachers union presidents Tyrone Molyneaux and Vernelle DeLagarde said they needed to get more copies of the guidelines in the hands of their teachers and also needed more time to get them through the certification process.
"We are regular full-time teachers at this time. Where are we going to have these courses implemented?" DeLagarde said Friday after attending the Thursday hearing at the Charlotte Amalie High School. "Are we going to have a group of trainers or professors coming in to give us these courses in the evenings, or are we going to do it in the summertime? Is it going to be a one-shot deal with several courses or parts of courses, or do we have to do one course for the year or every year until we get to 2006?"
Federal requirements call for certification of all teachers in the U.S. by 2006.
Joseph, who represents St. Croix on the Board of Education, said he heard Molyneaux's concern at the Tuesday hearing held at the Educational Complex about not having enough copies of the certification guidelines available to pass around. Since the hearings began on Tuesday, he said, he has personally distributed nearly 400 copies and is trying to circulate more.
He said it is just helping territory's children to be better educated.
Now that the hearings are completed, board officials say they want to finalize the guidelines and get them into the hands of the lieutenant governor as soon as possible. According to Evadney Hodge, the board's executive director, a vote on finalization was scheduled for May 17 but on Friday night, acting Board President Harry Daniel said that meeting was being postponed.

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May 10, 2003 – Friday night at the last of three public hearings on new certification requirements, Education officials said they know teachers are facing a dilemma even as they meet new federal standards.
The point was raised that a chance exists that other municipalities will try to lure certified V.I. teachers away to meet their own quotas even as the territory tries to meet its own. Board of Education member Terrence D. Joseph said, "If they're recruiting teachers from down-island right now, and they're not highly qualified, imagine when all teachers are highly qualified. What are they going to be doing?"
"They're going to be coming right here," he said.
For the past week, Board members and the top brass of the V.I. Department of Education have been holding public hearings to collect input on proposed certification guidelines.
Education Commissioner Noreen Michael attended Friday's meeting. She said she was aware of the risk that training Virgin Islands teachers for certification might lead to losing them to stateside school districts offering better salaries.
A more immediate concern was expressed earlier this week by teachers union presidents Tyrone Molyneaux and Vernelle DeLagarde said they needed to get more copies of the guidelines in the hands of their teachers and also needed more time to get them through the certification process.
"We are regular full-time teachers at this time. Where are we going to have these courses implemented?" DeLagarde said Friday after attending the Thursday hearing at the Charlotte Amalie High School. "Are we going to have a group of trainers or professors coming in to give us these courses in the evenings, or are we going to do it in the summertime? Is it going to be a one-shot deal with several courses or parts of courses, or do we have to do one course for the year or every year until we get to 2006?"
Federal requirements call for certification of all teachers in the U.S. by 2006.
Joseph, who represents St. Croix on the Board of Education, said he heard Molyneaux's concern at the Tuesday hearing held at the Educational Complex about not having enough copies of the certification guidelines available to pass around. Since the hearings began on Tuesday, he said, he has personally distributed nearly 400 copies and is trying to circulate more.
He said it is just helping territory's children to be better educated.
Now that the hearings are completed, board officials say they want to finalize the guidelines and get them into the hands of the lieutenant governor as soon as possible. According to Evadney Hodge, the board's executive director, a vote on finalization was scheduled for May 17 but on Friday night, acting Board President Harry Daniel said that meeting was being postponed.

Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice ... click here.