Sure, wait 'til I've renewed mine....
The South Dakota Department of Education just eliminated one piece of paperwork (99,999,999 to go!): starting January 1, 2010, teachers will no longer receive paper teaching certificates. My permission to corrupt the youth will soon be no more substantive than spam, a little e-mail from Pierre.
A new online database of teacher qualifications seems to make even that e-mail redundant. Want to know if someone is qualified to teach in South Dakota? Just check out Teacher 411 (I feel compelled to shout Yo! after that), the Department of Education's new online database. Punch in my name, and you can see my degree information, majors, and endorsements. Click on the HQT link, and you can learn that under the criteria of the No Child Left Behind Act, I'm "highly qualified" to teach civics, current events, humanities, and philosophy—how's that for quals for blogging? ;-)
You can also find out your favorite teachers' current class assignments. For instance, J. "Doc" Miller, senior member of the Madison High School English staff, has four preps—four different classes for which he must prepare different lessons, assignments, and assessments. Good grief! But hey, at least he's one up on Renee Nills: she's got five!
The way things are going, formal résumés are on their way to extinction. We're not far away from the point where a casual coder could wire up a mashup for any given profession that could pull together certification data like this from Pierre with Google search and other online databases to provide a fuller picture than any two sheets of cream-colored paper ever could.
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