Friday, November 6, 2009

Isn't it Important? It's All Important.

I was searching around the State Department of Education's website this week looking for the different possible certifications available in Connecticut to maybe someday in the future further my education.  Scrolling through the exhaustive list I found your run of the mill endorsements like Elementary, K-6 (mine) and English 7-12.  There were supervisory positions such as Superintendent and Intermediate Supervisor (Not for me).  There were even some vague ones like 039 Secondary Subject or 110 Unique Subject Area Endorsement?!  I even found one called "107 External Diploma Program/Noncredit Mandated Programs"  Bizarre!  

There was a comprehensive list for reading and reading instruction, at least six I could count.  These included Remedial Reading and Language Arts Consultant. These are quite essential and important to the programs within our schools.  

Curiously there was something missing.  Hopefully it was just evasive and I couldn't find the precious code. Maybe it was a misprint.  That is easy to do.  I doubt it though. 

There was not one supervisory, consultant, or specialist endorsement in the area of math education.  NOT ONE.

I could not find any university education programs that offered this as a program or certification within the state.

How could this be possible. Every school has reading specialists and math specialists.  How could there not be an endorsement or certification for math?  This sure needs some explaining.  

The State Department of Education includes the following lines in its position statement.
7. Appropriately assign highly qualified mathematics teachers who are knowledgeable about content and pedagogy.
 8. Recruit and train mathematics teacher leaders to coordinate and support mathematics instruction at all grade levels.

Knowing all of this shouldn't there be an endorsement called "Math Specialist K-8" or "Math Consultant".  

All this makes me think that the state thinks that math is not important.

I did find one proposal from November 18, 2008 in the minutes of a meeting. This stated:
"Math Specialist advanced endorsement: certification was generally seen as a positive approach for not interested in pursuing the 092. Elementary people would need the nine credits in math. Language should be modified to say program supervision, as opposed to supervision of staff. Districts can build upon these types of positions. Some of the job responsibilities are not unique to this position, but are qualities for all teachers. There was concern that those presently in these types of positions should be able to use professional development opportunities to fulfill the requirements. Some sort of caveat or “grandfathering” to address current teachers serving in these types of positions. Endorsement builds capacity of teacher leadership."

If this is the state's true intention, then get it started.  The kids depend on it!

Note: If you can find anything to contradict this information, please do so, and please let me know about it. My hope is that none of this information is correct. 


  1. Very interesting piece. I recall attending local and national mathematics conferences where certification requirements was the topic. I don't recall a single state where there's a category for elementary mathematics specialists. The closest thing I could find was the National Certification Program. In fact, not only was there no Certified Mathematics Specialist, but there were no districts that I recall where there was a Math Specialist at EACH elementary school. In all cases, except Newtown, there was one person serving several schools. In fact I know the person filling this role in Southbury/Middlebury Region 15. He serves about 6 elementary schools and they call themselves progressive. On top of that, his job is up in the air every year because it's funded by federal grants. So there's a very long way to go before mathematics instruction enjoys the same stature as reading/language arts/literacy. Be a pioneer. Get the ball rolling (in your spare time!).

  2. All this is happening following the contract settlement in Newtown, right?! You are so not alone in your search for a means to better yourself in education without necessarily taking on the headaches of administration. Too much irrationality out there for that one.'s another missing piece in the puzzle--all this talk of writing and improving writers in America/Connecticut? Well, you'll see a LOT of reading certifications out there, but not one will mention writing. They put it under the umbrella of literacy. But you know what? While reading and writing do work together, kind of like siblings, they are two very separate animals!! When will we ever see a Writing Consultancy Certification? I live for that day!!

    Meanwhile, back in the trenches on Monday!! ;)