Parish looking for qualified teachers

Published 1:03 am Saturday, June 30, 2007

VIDALIA — The No Child Left Behind Act may have the purpose of ensuring only the best teachers make it to the classroom, but it has made it difficult for the Concordia Parish school system to fill open slots.

The open positions — approximately 10 — are in schools in Ferriday and Ridgecrest, Concordia Parish School Board Personnel Coordinator Ann Sandidge said.

No Child Left Behind requires teachers not only be certified but also be highly qualified.

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“The purpose of No Child Left Behind is to get the best teachers we can in the classroom,” Sandidge said.

The school system has placed ads in the newspaper and posted job openings on state Web sites, she said.

“I’ve called other personnel directors to see if they have extra people,” Sandidge said.

“We have teachers out there trying to find teachers for us,” she said.

The most urgent need is for three middle school math teachers at Ferriday Junior High.

“The problem is there aren’t that many math certified people out there,” Sandidge said.

If the school system can find someone certified for grades one through eight, the system can work to get them rated as “highly qualified” through various coursework, she said.

Another problem is most elementary teachers don’t want to work with the seventh and eighth grades, she said.

Fifth-grade teachers are needed at Ferriday Upper Elementary and at Ridgecrest Elementary School.

The system could also use some certified English teachers to offer special classes, Sandidge said.

“If I get them, I can place them,” she said. “The key here is they need to be certified.”