OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Thanks to the easing of laws that allow people to go into teaching from other professions, the state Board of Education on Thursday granted one teaching license and reversed past license rejections for five other people.
Just six months after 63-year-old petroleum engineer Marvin Moody was told by another panel that he couldn't teach, he was issued his teaching license Thursday by the state Education Board.
``It was a change that was long overdue,'' said Moody, who has a job offer at Dustin Public Schools.
A new law allows teacher applicants who are denied an alternative license by the Teacher Competency Review Panel to appeal the decision to the state board.
Moody did all that was required of teachers seeking alternative certification, including passing a general education test, a professional teacher test and subject-area tests in the fields he wants to teach _ math and science. He has a bachelors degree in the field he wants to teach, has related work experience and passed a felony background check.
But he didn't fulfill the requirements of the seven-member competency review panel, which mandated a personal interview, a video demonstrating teaching ability, a lesson plan and academic and work-related background information, including reference statements.
The state Board of Education now allows the panel to ask only for a resume, a written explanation of why the applicant wants to become a teacher and a felony background check.
The law also now requires applicants to only pass the general education and subject-area tests. The professional education test can be taken within three years after a license is issued.
All alternatively licensed teachers must complete a residency year and take college education courses.
Alternative certification isn't available for elementary school teachers.