Oh, No—These Teachers Aren't Licensed! Wait, Are They Any Good?

Whether students are actually learning doesn't seem to factor in.


Is this art any good? Depends on whether the artists are licensed, obviously.
Creative Arts School

Creative Arts Secondary School in St. Paul, Minnesota, boasts that it provides to artistic teens "a unique learning experience through performance arts, visual arts and literary arts. In our brand new learning spaces — including a dance studio and theater — we provide a challenging curriculum that inspires excellence, and we love being close to museums, the Ordway Center for Performing Arts, and the Lowertown artist community. The dedicated arts teachers are also practicing artists: the concept on which our school was founded more than 20 years ago."

They may be dedicated artists, but it turns out that two of them have been teaching for years without being licensed. The two of them taught photography and "recording arts." The way the Pioneer Press and NBC affiliate KARE 11 have tackled the story, the big concern is whether this scandal will affect students' credits and not whether the teachers were any good at their jobs:

The licensing problem will not stop anyone from graduating this spring, but one student due to graduate in summer "may have to do something additional to graduate," district spokeswoman Toya Stewart Downey said.

Adam Bucher, hired in October 1999, has been teaching recording arts classes at Creative Arts. Cadex Herrera, hired in October 2000, has been teaching media arts.

Neither has ever had a teaching license or special permission to teach without a license, said Laurin Cathey, the district's human resources director.

There is literally not a single word in the story addressing the quality of the education the two unlicensed teachers are providing. KARE 11 did talk to two students who loved the teachers and hoped nothing bad would happen to them. One student credited one of the unlicensed teachers for helping her win an award for her artwork.

But they are unlicensed! In our bureaucratic, permission-based education system that means they are inherently unqualified. Why would that summer student have to do additional work? There is no indication from this reporting that the student's education was insufficient. There is just an apparent feeling that obviously these students' educations must have been insufficient because the teachers did not have the right paperwork to teach two arts-oriented, elective courses.

Looking at the school's posted online test scores, they should be more concerned about the quality of education these students are getting in the old-fashioned reading, writing, and arithmetic categories. I'm sure that must not be a problem, though. No doubt all those teachers are properly licensed.

(Hat tip to CharlesWT)

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  1. My favorite subject. Yes, my champion bagpiping students mourn that I was not “credentialed”, so all their victories are ephemeral, and they’re really not superior musicians, aided by an experienced an able teacher.

    Nope – better I have a certificate (or, as we refer to them at work, on occasion – “sir-fuck-tickets”.

    Education is the worst, but….heaven forbid you get your hair cut by an unlicensed barber!!!!1111!

    Fuck the credentialists*.

    *not including some voluntary organizations who “certify” voluntarily in the name of….whatever, so people can have some confidence in whatever the certificate bearer is purveying

    1. You seem to be conflating “bagpipers” with “musicians.”

      1. Are they just recorder players with great lung capacity?

        1. HAYTERS GONNA HAYT!!!11!!

      2. Bagpipes were invented by someone who saw a man walking down the road with a pig under his arm, with the pig’s tail in his mouth, biting it.

        To date, bagpipers have not attained the purity of sound achieved by the pig.

    2. heaven forbid you get your hair cut by an unlicensed barber

      I’ve told this story on here before, but when I worked legal aid I tried to get the record purged of a guy who, when he was 16, rode in the car with his brother’s friends after they’d broken into a pawn shop (he knew about it, but didn’t participate). He was charged with a felony, but couldn’t get the charge removed because, under the “forgiveness” program for under 18 offenders, he violated probation by missing a midnight curfew once.

      Anyway, he couldn’t get certified as a barber because of his record. And so, instead of taking his portable clients to his own business and providing a better life for his daughter (he was a single dad with custody), he had to keep working for someone else. Which wasn’t the end of the world, but having to eternally practice as a supervised apprentice is pretty maddening.

      I think the Institute for Justice does a great job picking battles pitting a common sense of decency against the state, so it’s no wonder they hit the licensure and civil forfeiture circuit so hard.

      1. Good lord, that’s….typical. Just when I think the gummint couldn’t suck more….they do.

      2. Lemme get this straight: He didn’t drive the car, he was just another passenger. Nothing that he did furthered the crime?

        And he was allowed to apprentice as a barber forever, & get paid? Did the barbers apprenticing him need to be specially licensed as teaching barbers, or just as regular barbers?

    3. I have long felt that all credentialing ever did was institutionalize mediocrity.

  2. Any good at what? Teaching white privilege? Look, as long as they worship at the altar of the one state and carry it’s message to the great unwarshed sheeple masses, that’s what is important.

    Libertopians, leave those teachers alone!

  3. …but one student due to graduate in summer “may have to do something additional to graduate,” district spokeswoman Toya Stewart Downey said.

    Perhaps write a paper on the importance of government stamps of approval.

    1. You say this as if it’s a bad thing. How are we to determine if little fist will grow up a good citizen of the new utopian state, if he doesn’t get a proper indoctrination education?

  4. But they are unlicensed! In our bureaucratic, permission-based education system that means they are inherently unqualified.

    Many, many years ago, I posted on these pages that one of the reasons why private education is so expensive in the U.S. is because of licensing and zoning laws, which compel private citizens to build Pharaonic structures just to have a school. A guy named Joe then came back to say that I wanted kids to be in shoddily-built schools with roofs that collapsed.

    There is this sort of binary-thinking among a lot of people, especially on the left but also in the center, that anything not certified by the government or at least supervised must be bad, I believe because most people have been conditioned for years to think like that by licensed teachers.

    1. This type of thinking is epidemic on the left. Any time you argue against any type of government restraint, less regulation in any area, or even more freedom in any regard, they will immediately start screeching about roads and bridges and women and children dying in the streets, minorities back in chains. You can’t debate with them, they don’t know what that is. And they don’t understand degrees of anything. Everything is black and white, on or off, you’re either for or against something, period.

      1. It’s all about intentions. Greedy capitalists seek profits which constitute theft from customers and workers alike, and they’ll cut any corner to do it. So obviously they have bad intentions. That’s why they need to be tempered with well-intentioned government. Without government it would be greed running amok, with ill-intentioned capitalists running the show. Food would be poison, building would fall apart, it would be chaos. Only government saves us from predatory capitalists and their ill intentions.

        1. And everyone will always be KKK level racist because ‘people’ in a society cannot evolve. Only politicians who represent government can evolve. Because government is not people. Government is god, all benevolent and wise. And god must force you to be good, or punish you if you are not.

          How these people attack religion while being the biggest zealots themselves is beyond parody.

          1. How these people attack religion while being the biggest zealots themselves …

            It’s easy to do if you’re a smug sociopathic asshole convinced of your own superiority and completely lacking in even a hint of self awareness.

      2. you’re either for or against something, period.

        And if you’re against the state doing something, then you’re against that thing being done at all, as Bastiat would say. They can’t even fathom a world in which people can just do stuff without having to beg for permission from their “betters” in government.

        1. They can’t imagine it. They often cake public works in terms of “free riders” who would use the facilities without paying, yet when you propose a use fee, they squirm about “public good”. It’s clear they just want subsidies for things they just KNOW are better.

          When I tell people that there are private mountain bike ranches in Texas (the best trails outside West Texas), where private trail maintenance crews and volunteers build and maintain the trails, they cannot believe it. On the front page of the International Mountain Bike Association website, they had a “Stop Rand Paul” notice, as the Kentucky senator wanted to decrease public works funding for things like trails.

          Libertarianism sounds nice, citizen, but if not for government, who will build the trails? Muh trails!

      3. So don’t for less regul’n, just for more accommodating regul’n. You can always get sympathy for some accommod’n that’d fix the problem at hand.

    2. There are so many institutions which, if built from scratch, would look so different today.

      I had a lovely trip with my Grandma a few years ago through rural Iowa to her one room schoolhouse. When she described her education, she emphasized that it was the duty of the older kids to help the younger kids, and that even though they were in the same room, they were all learning at different levels suited to their abilities. They probably focused to much on mastery back then, but the system worked enough for my grandma to be fully prepared to teachers college.

      Given the capabilities of technology to cater to students’ learning, I think that one-room schoolhouse would probably be better suited to modern education than huge schools. I mean, what my grandma described is basically what my cousins do for homeschooling, and what a lot of smaller, advanced placement classrooms look like at public schools.

      1. For example, she probably instinctively knew the difference between “too” and “to”, and perhaps had a blackboard eraser analogous to an “edit” button, which would be nice.

    3. I love the overlap between the people who argue that schools shouldn’t be ‘soulless square buildings’, and the ones who argue for school uniforms because “school isn’t a fashion show”.

  5. There is literally not a single word in the story addressing the quality of the education the two unlicensed teachers are providing.

    Get to the important part.
    Did they have union cards?

  6. Scott, are YOU licensed to write words and post ALT TEXT?

  7. Speaking of occupational licensing, can anyone think of a reason that attorneys should have to be licensed? It just doesn’t make sense to me that someone can represent themselves – knowing nothing about law – and make a total ass of themselves in front of a judge and jury, and that’s acknowledged as their right, yet it’s illegal for them to hire someone else to do this for them.

    I don’t know much about the legal profession, and maybe there’s something I’m not seeing here. For those who are familiar with the court system, can you think of any reason why attorneys should be licensed?

  8. Being a good teacher and having license are two different things. Of course it’s better if your kid is being taught by experienced, well-educated and motivated teacher. However, a degree alone does not mean the teacher is good. At the same time you can become a talented educator without license. For instance some students can read post here and learn a lot about essay writing and assignments. It’s possible to study on your own and become an excellent teacher without license. In fact, I would be happy if my children had a teacher who simply cares.

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