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Ohio trades classroom experience for credentials

Akron Beacon Journal (OH)

Darby Baumberger comes highly recommended by her supervisors. She's spent more than half of her 18 years as an educator helping inner-city third-graders learn to read. "I'm confident in my teaching," she said, hushing her class with ease. And it shows in her students, who make impressive gains on reading tests given twice yearly. With 10 of her 22 students identified as being at-risk of being retained under the state’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee, she seemed the right teacher to get these struggling readers the help they needed. Yet until just a few weeks ago, the state considered her inadequate. Baumberger may be a competent and veteran teacher. But she lacked the state-approved credentials to be considered a "qualified" teacher, which today could mean a teacher with only one year of experience.

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"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." — Groucho Marx