My Experiences with the California Credentialing Board.
A roommate who became a substitute teacher at the age of 68 encouraged me to enquire about obtaining a credential.
I applied online and submitted all the required documents except the fingerprints because I was informed initially these were not essential in determining eligibility. I paid the application fee online also.
The credentialing board took up to 2 months to get to my application because of their backlogs.
I called in and spoke to an officer called Linda. I explained to her that I had an expired probationary certificate in senior mathematics but the only difference was that I did not complete a full 1 year internship at the same school. I chose instead to substitute at different schools over a period of almost two years. She informed me this would not be a problem and that I should obtain Livescan fingerprints and ignore the communication that was sent out. In her own words she said, "I'll have them pass your file to me and take care of it when the fingerprint results arrive."
So, I set out to be fingerprinted. The first Livescan agency was unable to transmit the fingerprint data correctly and I was delayed a further month. The second Livescan agency made a mistake with the ATI numbers, so I was delayed another month. All this time, the communication between the credentialing board, the DOJ and the Livescan station was completely dysfunctional. Finally, I decided to go to a local police station and get the Livescan prints. It took exactly 2 days for the results to be sent to the credentialing board.
One would have thought the board would notify me but no one bothered. So I called in and lo and behold I was placed in touch with the original assessor of my application - Scott, D.
Scott D informed me that the probationary certificate was not acceptable as the law required a full credential. The only difference between the probationary and full credential is the 1 year internship as mentioned earlier. The alternative teacher preparation programs use this period to make their "profit". For example, an intern pays a certain amount of his/her monthly salary for the entire 1st year of internship. During this time the ACP does virtually nothing. No further training, no more courses, etc.
The only course provided by the ACP is a 2 or 3 week course at the beginning of the internship.
This course is useless just like most of the courses in teacher preparation programs. In fact, the teacher preparation programs are ineffective because they are run by teachers who did not make it in the
classroom! A candidate learns how NOT to teach by going through these programs. One need not look very far to be convinced - the system of education in the US is in shambles.
The probationary certificate is issued only after the candidate passes the pedagogy and content exams. For all intents and purposes there is no real difference in the probationary and the full credential.
Scott D called to explain several options which I was not interested in because I am both a qualified and experienced teacher who taught for 2 years as a substitute and 18 months as a full time A-Level teacher of mathematics and statistics in China. The options Scott presented amounted to nothing more than channelling new business to the local teacher preparation programs.
So after 4 months and almost $200, I am now finally abandoning all attempts to become a credentialed California mathematics teacher. Ironically, I am more qualified than most California teachers both in terms of content knowledge and teaching expertise.
Reason I have written this report is to warn prospective candidates not to believe anything they are told by the credentialing board (especially if they don't have it in writing). The loss of $200 is minor but the disappointment and frustration is not worth the effort.
The needy California students are the ones who lose out in the end. The schools complain about not having math teachers, but there are many math teachers who have given up because of the stupid rigid laws and red tape designed to keep the likes of Scott D and Linda in a job.
Don't misinterpret this last paragraph. Scott D was very polite and followed the rules. Linda misrepresented the facts to me and later denied having lied about the same to Scott D.
Finally, if you would like to teach, I suggest you teach abroad. There is much less bureaucracy and fewer headaches. Let the incompetent diehards teach the US students.
In the US, you get to be a teacher if you can put up with the bullshit of the preparation programs, the dismally incompetent education and other government agencies.
I officially give up on teaching anywhere in the US again. If you have dreams of being a teacher, look elsewhere. Don't waste your time, money and effort with any worthless teacher preparation programs in universities or alternative preparation programs.