Ryan Walters clarifies statements on emergency-certified teachers


Oklahoma Education Secretary Ryan Walters is clarifying his comments after a controversial stance on emergency teaching certificates.| MORE | Walters calls for former Norman teacher to lose teaching certificate for sharing QR codeWalters, who is running for state superintendent, said emergency-certified teachers can make a big difference and he does not want to get rid of them altogether.”I’ve heard a lot of stories across the state of an alternatively certified emergency teacher that filled a role, and it ended up being fantastic,” Walters said.The education secretary, however, wants them to follow the law after a Norman Public Schools teacher resigned when she used books with QR codes in her class that, if scanned, would lead students to the Brooklyn Public Library program known as Books Unbanned.”Oklahomans want to know that when they send their kids to school, they want their teachers and administrators are following the law, not indoctrinating kids,” Walters said. He said he’ll do whatever it takes to get rid of indoctrinating teachers.”Those people don’t need to be teaching. And so this individual here, her teaching certificate needs to be pulled from her,” Walters said.Kathrine Bishop, the president of the Oklahoma Education Association, said emergency-certified teachers are needed because of the teacher shortage and larger class sizes.”When we talk about the impact of student learning, that’s what we’re talking about,” Bishop said. Walter’s opponent in November’s election, Jena Nelson, doesn’t like the idea of getting rid of teachers.”We have so many teachers right now that have certificates, but they’re not in the profession because they don’t feel like they are respected,” Nelson said.She said there are too many open positions with Oklahoma’s teacher shortage.”This is a profession that needs to be celebrated and appreciated right now, and we don’t have the people to spare to be throwing them out,” Nelson said. Her plan is to take pressure off teachers.”We have got to stop this partisanship when it comes to education,” Nelson said. “We need to focus on elevating our teachers and taking care of kids.”Walters and Nelson will face off in November for the state superintendent position.

Oklahoma Education Secretary Ryan Walters is clarifying his comments after a controversial stance on emergency teaching certificates.

| MORE | Walters calls for former Norman teacher to lose teaching certificate for sharing QR code

Walters, who is running for state superintendent, said emergency-certified teachers can make a big difference and he does not want to get rid of them altogether.

“I’ve heard a lot of stories across the state of an alternatively certified emergency teacher that filled a role, and it ended up being fantastic,” Walters said.

The education secretary, however, wants them to follow the law after a Norman Public Schools teacher resigned when she used books with QR codes in her class that, if scanned, would lead students to the Brooklyn Public Library program known as Books Unbanned.

“Oklahomans want to know that when they send their kids to school, they want their teachers and administrators are following the law, not indoctrinating kids,” Walters said.

He said he’ll do whatever it takes to get rid of indoctrinating teachers.

“Those people don’t need to be teaching. And so this individual here, her teaching certificate needs to be pulled from her,” Walters said.

Kathrine Bishop, the president of the Oklahoma Education Association, said emergency-certified teachers are needed because of the teacher shortage and larger class sizes.

“When we talk about the impact of student learning, that’s what we’re talking about,” Bishop said.

Walter’s opponent in November’s election, Jena Nelson, doesn’t like the idea of getting rid of teachers.

“We have so many teachers right now that have certificates, but they’re not in the profession because they don’t feel like they are respected,” Nelson said.

She said there are too many open positions with Oklahoma’s teacher shortage.

“This is a profession that needs to be celebrated and appreciated right now, and we don’t have the people to spare to be throwing them out,” Nelson said.

Her plan is to take pressure off teachers.

“We have got to stop this partisanship when it comes to education,” Nelson said. “We need to focus on elevating our teachers and taking care of kids.”

Walters and Nelson will face off in November for the state superintendent position.



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