- United States of America
Clearly all teachers need to be proficient in English. But why math? Why ONLY math? Who besides mathematicians use algebra or geometry in their professions or in their daily lives? Who uses them to such a degree that proficiency in those subjects would be necessary to teach any other subject?
Demonstrating a basic knowledge of math doesn't prove competency in a non-math field. It doesn't indicate a lack of intelligence or teaching competency.
If the goal is truly well-rounded teachers, why aren't teachers required to demonstrate proficiency in literature, music, art, theater arts, psychology, philosophy, history, biology, sociology, geography, physics, film, environmental studies, current events, anthropology, computer programming, or any other field studied in college or taught in public schools?
Why is math privileged?
Many people hate math. Why are potential teachers forced to learn what for them is an irrelevant, boring subject when there are many other subjects that would be of more interest and value to them and to their students? Why not give potential teachers a choice of subjects to be tested on to indicate well-roundedness? Why not ask them to show proficiency in several subjects instead of just one - math?
If well-roundedness is truly the goal, teachers should have to show knowledge proficiency in several subjects, not just English (which obviously we all need) and math (which only a small minority actually NEED). Teachers should be free to choose which subjects they're tested on.
Petition to Eliminate the Math Proficiency Requirement
For Public School Certification in Non-Math Fields
We, the undersigned, respectfully petition Governor Charlie Crist to eliminate the math proficiency requirement for public school certification in non-math fields. Math is a specialized field with no practical application in most other fields.
Requiring potential non-math teachers to master algebra and geometry confers preferential and superior status to the field of math. Many potential teachers feel insulted that their high-level academic and professional achievements are deemed inadequate while mastery of an irrelevant field is a requirement.
Given Florida’s teacher shortage, we should not discourage well-qualified, intelligent non-math teachers by requiring testing in math. “General knowledge” tests should not privilege math while excluding knowledge requirements in literature, music, art, history, physical education, and other fields typically included in school curriculums.
The Help Eliminate Math Requirement petition to Florida was written by Beth Houston and is in the category Education at GoPetition.