The Berkeley Unified School District is shrinking the number of non-credentialed teachers in its classrooms, thanks partly to state programs that improve retention rates by enabling more on-the-job training.
“It’s much better than it has been,” said Dr. David Gomez, the district’s associate superintendent for administrative services. “The area of difficulty remains the single-subject areas, especially math.”
In the 1998-1999 school year, according to a state report, the Berkeley Unified School District had 43 teachers without credentials. This year, said Rosalind Sarah, the district’s director of new teacher programs, “we might have at a district level only 25 teachers who are not credentialed.”
All the elementary school teachers have some form of credential this year, she said, whereas “half a dozen” lacked them last year.
In addition, she said, about 130 of the district’s approximately 650 teachers are in second-tier training programs.
Sarah attributed the improvement partly to school districts’