Teacher of the Year speaks: ‘Wall of bureaucracy led to my resignation’

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Alabama Teacher of the Year resigns after state calls her ‘unqualified’.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A finalist for national teacher of the year said she threatened to resign out of sheer frustration after being told she didn’t meet the “highly qualified” requirement for her new job at an Alabama elementary school. Teacher Ann Marie Corgill said she fired off a resignation letter out of exasperation with the “wall of bureaucracy.” She said Friday, however, that she’s trying to work out the issue with the school system.

Corgill said in the resignation letter that a department official told her that National Board Certification does not substitute for state certification, and she is, therefore, not qualified to teach fifth grade. But 19-year-old sophomore Alex Smith wrote a column in the campus newspaper this week identifying herself as a Machine member and publicly resigning from the group.

Because of the school’s special distinction, teachers there must meet the federal requirements to be considered a “highly-qualified teacher” – a designation Corgill does not meet. It said, “However, when an inquiry was made, the department reported that her current teaching certificate covers primary grades through Grade 3″. Corgill has Class A and B certifications to teach primary school through third grade, according to certification records provided by The Alabama Department of Education. Alice King, the New York-based education consultant at the Center for the Collaborative Classroom, told The Independent it was “crazy” that Corgill has resigned. “She is brilliant and it’s interesting they [the State authorities] would feel that way about a published author.

Corgill was able to teach Cherokee Bend fourth graders because that school is not a Title I school, State Superintendent Thomas Bice said in a written statement. “Unlike her tenure in the Mountain Brook City School System, (Corgill) teaches in a Title I School that receives Title I funds,” Bice said. “Since Ms. Stacie Starr, a ninth-grade intervention specialist in Elyria City Schools in Ohio, who was selected as “Top Teacher” last year in a national search by the popular television show “Live with Kelly and Michael,” said earlier this year she was quitting. The average American is predicted to spend about seventy five dollars on their costume, as well as candy to give out to trick or treaters. “I think several years ago, it used to be just about getting the kids dressed up and taking them trick-or-treating, but now, really, with social media becoming more popular and a lot more people getting into dressing up and having Halloween parties, it’s probably become just as much of an adult holiday as it is a kid holiday.” Weather forecasters are predicting up to ninety percent chance of rain in Alabama tomorrow night. It remained unclear on Friday whether Corgill’s lack of highly-qualified teacher status was discussed before she was hired at Oliver Elementary, why she was moved after the semester began and why she received the paycheck so late in the semester.

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