Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Licensure Regulations for School Personnel [8 VAC 20 ‑ 22]
Action Comprehensive Revision of the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 11/6/2015
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11/2/15  12:39 pm
Commenter: Candy Cunningham Educator

Oppose Engineering Endorsement 8 VAC 20-22

As a taxpayer, voter, child advocate, and professional educator; I strongly oppose 8 VAC-20-22 Engineering Endorsement.

An engineering endorsement to teach K-12, will not guarantee a better education in high school engineering classes because content knowledge does not replace teaching methods, training in adolescent development, knowledge of educational law, or classroom management skills.

According to the Journal of Effective Teaching, “An individual may possess a substantial amount of subject-matter knowledge, yet be unable to design and implement instructional methods to enhance student learning due to a lack of pedagogical ability.” (2002)  Effective teaching requires a combination of subject matter knowledge and pedagogical ability

  1. This endorsement only benefits an unemployed engineer, it does not benefit students.  This endorsement promotes putting an engineer into the classroom with no experience-teaching children; no experience managing classroom behavior; no experience-developing curriculum that meets the needs of a variety of learners; and no knowledge of educational law.  The existing Career Changer licensure program, ensures that people with a degree in another field take essential pedagogy classes in educational law, lesson planning, classroom management, and educational psychology.  These pedagogy courses ensure that the Department of Education is creating safe and effective classrooms for all students.  Putting an engineer into a classroom without theses pedagogy courses is irresponsible and will end in failure for the career changer engineer and the students.  This engineering endorsement was designed by engineers who DO NOT WANT to TAKE the pedagogy courses but just want a job teaching in the public schools.
  2. Creating an engineering endorsement for K-12 school teachers across the state of Virginia does not benefit students in any way.  This endorsement will end engineering classes that are being taught successfully across the state, by experienced Career and Technical Teachers who have both engineering content knowledge and pedagogy certifications. 
  3. This proposal is a waste of taxpayer money because there is an effective procedure already in place.  Firstly, there is already a licensure plan in effect for career changer engineers.  Secondly, the state is already providing engineering courses to high school and middle school students under the Career and Technical program.  Career and Technical instructors who have degrees in education also have completed professional Technology Education certification to teach: Introduction to Engineering Design, Principals of Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering and Architecture, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Digital Electronics, Engineering Design and Development, as well as Environmental Sustainability. The current Career and Technical teachers have both pedagogy and engineering qualifications.  Why would you replace effective teachers with engineers who do not have any experience-teaching children?
  4. The engineering endorsement will limit access to engineering classes to children across the state.  The endorsement will force smaller counties who cannot afford or find an engineer to teach already existing courses to drop engineering courses.
  5.  Under the existing plan, engineering courses are offered by Career and Technical teachers as an elective course with no prerequisites to students.  These education professionals will tutor students who are struggling in math or language arts to improve their SOL scores.  If there is an engineering endorsement, engineers who “teach” typically want to place prerequisites on the engineering classes thus offering the classes to an elite group of students who have passed calculus. This would be a true waste of taxpayer money because the current enrollment to Introduction to Engineering at a single high school would drop from 175 students to 40 students; thus eliminating any groups of students who struggle with math.

If engineers want to become teachers, then follow the current career changer path and teach under the Career and Technical program.  8 VAC-20-22 Engineering Endorsement only benefits out of work engineers who are trying to create a niche in education by eliminating effective teachers who already teach engineering classes. It is a detriment to students who want to learn about engineering in high school to give them a teacher who only has subject knowledge and no experience-teaching children or desire to take pedagogy classes.   

Please, for the sake of our students, do not pass this proposal!