Licensing Travails

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by redtop, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    This is just a whine thread.

    Background, my wife is an experienced French teacher looking to move to the USA. She is not geography-specific, we're open to a lot of places. But the licensing process is ridiculous.

    Latest idiocy. New York State requires her to be fingerprinted to get a license. Not to be employed, but in effect, just to apply for a license.

    What is particularly crazy about that? Well, two things.

    First, they are charging $91.50 for it. An FBI certificate costs $15 or $18 or something like that.

    Second, they will find that my wife has no FBI record. Bravo! She could be a child molester/abuser in Canada, where she's lived for the past 13 years, and they'd never know, but as long as she hasn't been a naughty girl when she comes here on weekends and school breaks, she gets her gold star.

    I'll sleep better at night knowing that my kids, if I had any, would only be taught by foreign pedophiles, and that the bright boys and girls in the New York State Department of Education are marking up the FBI reports about as much as they mark up beer at the local baseball stadium.
     
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I don't think it's unusual to need fingerprint clearance before receiving a license. I had to do the same in my state, and it was a somewhat hefty price here too.

    I have no knowledge of the issue with foreign records, but I would hope they would have some way of connecting with agencies around the world to avoid the kind of situation you posted about.
     
  4. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    No other state has asked for it.

    I'm fine with having a police check as a condition of employment. My wife had to get one for her green card, and I had to get one for my work visa in the country I now work in.

    But having to do it just to interview for jobs is obnoxious.
     
  5. LovetoteachPREK

    LovetoteachPREK Companion

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    I had to be fingerprinted for two states, also not cheap. Not unusual.
     
  6. bison

    bison Habitué

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    I've had to be fingerprinted several times on my route to getting my credential in California. Like others said, not unusual and frankly I'd be horrified if they weren't fingerprinting.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I had to get fingerprinted several times; there isn't anything unusual about it.
    - First I got fingerprinted when I got into my credential program. It wasn't even for a license, just to make sure I won't have a problem 18 months later when I do apply for my credential (that would have been a waste of a lot of money, time and effort).
    - I'm not sure, but I think I had to get fingerprinted when I applied for my sub permit with one district.
    - I know for sure I had to get fingerprinted when I applied to sib in another district (I just found the receipt). These 2 districts are in the same metropolitan area.
    - I had to get fingerprinted to get my credential.
    - And now i had to get fingerprinted to get this job. (This is a different area, but even if it was in the same city, I'd still have to do it).

    So I've been fingerprinted and checked out 4-5 times, and had to pay for each one, except for this last one.
    What do you do? You just do what they ask, there is no point to compain, it won't make any difference.
     
  8. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I've had to be fingerprinted before I could submit an application & of course pay for it. Sometimes I've had to pay for it,'sher times, if I've gotten the job I've been reimbursed. It's just part of teaching. You have to pay for your license. You pay to be fingerprinted. You pay to maintain your certification.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Red...fingerprinting and clearance ahead of time saves the district the time, energy and resource of going thru the interviewing and hiring process only to find out later that a candidate comes up as a problem thru fingerprint/police check.
    What's obnoxious is repeated posts of how bad the US system is, how unfairly you (your wife) are being treated, how difficult it is to find a job...while there are plenty of highly qualified, educated, intelligent US citizens (and members here) who are also currently seeking employment in education...and doing what it takes...and taking it all in stride.:2cents:
     
  10. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    I don't accept that it makes any sense to require someone to take multiple virtually identical tests. Nor that teaching French in American Samoa is considered "valid experience" but that teaching French in a country where French is an official language is considered the equivalent of making change at an arcade.

    I also resent the reference to "US Citizens." Is my wife inferior because she is "only" a legal permanent resident? There are probably some school districts in Arizona that would love to have you there, with an attitude like that.

    The first line of the thread says I'm just whining. If you don't like to hear whining, don't read it.
     
  11. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    The US puts a premium on individual states' autonomy. We have such strong feelings about it that we even fought a war over it. Education is one of the many things under state control. That's not going to change any time soon. If you don't like it, don't work here.

    As for the citizen comment, every country is clamping down on work permits. I want to move to Ireland but I can't because I can't get a permit to work since I'm not a citizen. In Ireland, as a non-citizen I'm most certainly a "second-class" person, since the government of Ireland would like to put its own unemployed population back to work. I'd have the same issue anywhere in the UK and in all of Europe. Why should the US be any different towards non-citizens than the rest of the world. Our citizens are suffering from high and long term unemployment as well.

    The bottom line is that you can complain all you want, but in doing so you're alienating a group of people that could become an invaluable resource.
     
  12. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    My wife doesn't need or want a work permit. She is a legal permanent resident of the USA.

    I personally do need and have a work permit in the country I work in, and it's in fact quite clear that if I lose my job, I have to leave the country.
     
  13. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I think the comment about US citizens was just reminding you that we all have to go through whatever processes are required of and was not meant as an insult towards your wife. I am in Mexico on a temporary working visa and there are great limitations to the line of work I can do in this country. Here a foreigner is only allowed to be hired if it is proven that a citizen cannot do the job. Yes, the citizens have certain rights that I do not have because I am a US citizen, not a citizen of Mexico. It doesn't mean I am second class or inferior, but certainly from a legal standpoint I simply do not have the same rights. As a US citizen, however, it can be somewhat irksome to have a guest in your country complaining about your country. I hope you can see where the irritation stems from. I wish your wife the best of luck in her job search.
     
  14. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    My wife is not a "guest" in the country. She is a legal permanent resident.

    I am a "guest" in the country I work in. Yes, I could only get this job after they advertised for someone local who was qualified (which was an impossibility anyway). I will never ever have the opportunity to obtain citizenship or even permanent residency.

    The United States has a long and rich history of successive waves of immigrants coming here, being discriminated against, overcoming obstacles and prejudice so that their children and grandchildren can assimilate and then - discriminate against the next wave of immigrants. The only Americans never afforded this luxury were the original Native Americans.

    And yes I (who am an American citizen, not that it matters) will continue to complain loudly about the inanity of requiring someone to take multiple virtually identical tests with no discernable benefit to anyone except the testing companies.
     
  15. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Until she renounces her current citizenship and takes an oath to become a naturalized United States citizen, she is most certainly a guest, and her resident status can be revoked at any time if she fails to follow the guidelines for keeping it.
     
  16. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Thank you for the job advice. I don't need a job...I'm blessed to work in a high performing district...high standards, good pay, professional development opportunities, supportive parents...yeah, think I'll stay where I am, but thank you so much for your concern.

    As a member of my school's hiring committee, I may have a different view of the hiring process than you do as a non-educator, red...I've also worked in the business world, Including a stint as an actuarial assistant...whining doesn't tend to work in either world. Good luck to you...:|
     
  17. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    From the USCIS website:

    Bolded text done by me. In other words, a green card is a work permit.

    From the same website:

    You've stated earlier that your wife has been working in Canada for eight years. That's far longer than the one year maximum without extenuating circumstances. Also, trips of less than one year can get green cards revoked. In determining eligibility for re-entry they look at a variety of factors, some of which are:

    On absences longer than a year, a green card holder can apply for a re-entry permit before leaving, however, the USCIS has a little more to say about absences longer than two years:

    In other words, even if your wife had a green card at one point, after 8 years it is no longer valid and she has no more rights than any other foreign national.

    It seems you have an ax to grind with the US teachers' licensing system. You wouldn't be alone in that, however, constantly whining about a system that doesn't directly affect you raises all sorts of red flags. Posting situations that are easily proven false raises even more red flags.
     
  18. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    I had to complete a fingerprint and FBI clearance for my teaching license. I then have to complete the same in each district I am hired to teach in. I also had to pay for both when I was student teaching, and for any job I get outside the current school district.


    If I want to go to another state, I may have to take classes and will have to take more tests. My certifications are good in the state I live in. I'd also have to pay for the fingerprint/FBI too.

    I will gradute in the beginning of April and my clearance is expired. It will cost over $200 for licensure and the updating fingerprint and clearance.

    Check with the states your interested in. Your wife may need to take a test to teach French. I know people who are 100% bilingual (Spanish/English) however, they are not qualified to teach a "Bilingual" classroom until they pass the test to certify they are "fluent." Here, I believe, you have to take the test in the area you want to teach (and sometimes classes) to prove you are highly qualified to teach that area.

    Good luck to you and your wife. She can also check private and charter schools.
     
  19. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    I don't question your quoting of the law, but you have really jumped way too far in making assumptions about the facts.

    You seem to assume that she has had her green card for 8 years and has not reentered the USA in that time. She has in fact had her green card for 1 1/2 years and has entered the USA about 40 times in that interval.

    Perhaps we are engaged in a semantic distinction. I hold a document called a "work permit" which allows me to work in the country I'm in, but does not allow me to reside there indefinitely nor to obtain citizenship. If I lose my job, I am required to leave the country. My wife has the legal right to live in and work in the USA forever, unless it is revoked. There is a cosmic difference between the document she holds from the USA and the one I hold from Bermuda.

    She does not have to renounce her Canadian citizenship in order to obtain USA citizenship. She also cannot apply for USA citizenship until the earlier of (a) 3 years after issuance of the green card or (b) when she has spent 548 days in the USA since issuance.

    USCIS is entitled, at any time, to challenge her continued residency. Taking one extreme, if she were to have no connection to the USA other than coming here once every 51 1/2 weeks to spend a night in a hotel, she would almost surely lose her residency. As is, she goes there frequently to meet me, sometimes on her own, and is actively looking for full-time permanent work in the USA. I am not an attorney (but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night) but I think it is likely that as long as she is actively applying for jobs in the USA in her field of speciality and coming to the USA regularly, they will not challenge her residency.

    And I will continue to hold my position and to express it, that the licensing rules are stupid and inconsistent. They seem to be based on the idea that no one would ever actually think of looking for a job in another state. Our latest conumdrum is that the state of Massachusetts apparently will not let her teach there unless she takes their French test. She has already passed the Praxix II, and has a Masters degree in French from one of the best universities in the world. This test is given only in Massachusetts, and only a few times a year. We would have not the slightest objection to her being required to pass this test within a reasonable time after beginning to work in Massachusetts, as is the case for example in New York. But requiring her to make a special trip to Massachusetts on one of their chosen days, merely to apply for jobs, when her credentials to teach French are beyond question, seems to serve only the testing industry and those people already living in Massachusetts.

    Likewise, New York's insistence that she obtain a police clearance through their process, at an artificially inflated cost, is similarly silly. When I needed a police certificate for my work permit, I got it myself from the FBI for $18 and submitted it as part of my application package. The same was true of my wife's certificate from Canada for her immigration. What is most absurd is that New York will find, to their everlasting comfort, that my wife has not been arrested nor abused a child in the USA. They would never know if she had in Canada.

    Can someone tell me what Massachusetts will learn by her passing their French test, that they don't already know from her Praxis II and her degrees?
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    At the very least, they will learn that this is a candidate who did what it takes to meet their requirements.
     
  21. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    :thumb:
     
  22. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Fact: This is how it's done.

    Fact: We are a group of teachers, not licensing policy-makers, so we don't have any power to effect change. Furthermore, it looks like few people are as outraged about this as you are, so we probably wouldn't be stepping up to find a way to effect change even if we could.
     
  23. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    :thumb:
     
  24. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    By that standard, they could require her to serve as a crossing guard for a day, or to repair the leaky faucets in the staff room.

    You could develop a million meaningless requirements to allow somene to "prove" they will do anything to get the job.

    I noted on another site that some Massachusetts school districts have declared French to be a "critical shortage" area which justifies waiving certain requirements.

    Economists have a term for this, it's called "artificial barriers to entry" and it generally benefits a small segment at the expense of the larger group. In this case, it appears to benefit the testing companies and individuals local to Massachusetts, at the expense of students, school systems, and out-of-state teachers.
     
  25. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    The thing is that to teach in the US ( and speficic requirements vary by state) one has to go through the hoops like all of us here have done.
     
  26. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I totally agree. I was so willing to jump through those hoops to get my job. I am sure that there are people on this site that would jump through a few more just to INTERVIEW for a job. And in my community (small town Oklahoma), the local school board looks at the teacher and their spouse. They don't want to hire anyone connected to someone that might complain about their school in the community. When my spouse was hired, they asked that I come to the board meeting with him to meet the board the night that they voted on him. Later when I applied to the district, my supt. contacted the principal and put in a good word for me because of my support of my husband's FFA Chapter. It is all connected.
     
  27. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    redtop, you certainly do have a right to your opinions about teacher licensure and teacher testing in the US. Whether you have a right to express them relentlessly on A to Z is, of course, another question; it's a privately owned forum, and while the site owner's a pretty laissez-faire lady, her patience isn't infinite.

    In any case, your persistence here is surely of a piece with the rest of your life. That being the case, the rest of us have an equal right to feel sympathy for your wife and coworkers.
     
  28. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    The fact of the matter comes down to-how badly does she want the job? If she does want it, then she has to be willing to do what the rest of us are willing to do. I've lost track of the number of times I've been fingerprinted. It's no big deal and is required of every license I've held that relates to my teaching. In fact, I had to do it just to get into the classroom and observe during college.

    If she doesn't like the process, then she has the option NOT to become a teacher here. However, you continuing to insult our education system is probably not helping her.

    I know many people who are willing to jump through hoops just to get an interview because they've been out of school for years and are still just subbing.
     
  29. ravinraven

    ravinraven Companion

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    I agree with the prevading sentiment here. It's best to think of the US as 50 semi-autonomus nations. *That's* how difficult applying for jobs here is for either a permenant resident or naturalized citizen.

    Canada is a great country. Why is she so eager to come teach in the US?
     
  30. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Let me explain this to you in business terms...there is NOT a high demand for teachers in most subject areas. Even in areas of relative demand, there is generally a high supply.... Low demand, high supply...economics will tell you that allows for a market adjustment...in education this allows for 'choice' among a large pool of candidates...these barriers may be artificial in your view, but allow schools to pare down the pool...I admire your respect for and support of your wife, but the truth is that she is one small fish in a big pool and states/districts /schools need ways to legally decrease the pool of candidates...licensure is one way...whine all you want..there's probably a nice cheese to complement that...but that's the way it is and you (your wife) are in competition with highly educated and experienced candidates who are more than willing to meet those requirements and hurdle the barriers without whining...
     
  31. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Those would be valid requirements for a crossing yard or a custodian/maintenance person....valid requirements for professional educators include various security and knowledge screenings.
     
  32. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    :thumb:
     
  33. HOPE-fulTeacher

    HOPE-fulTeacher Comrade

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    YES.

    Also, I can't help but wonder why the wife isn't the one on the forum? It seems odd that the husband is the only one that can do the talking..... :2cents:
     
  34. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    I thought I should report, that Georgia appears to be fairly easy to get licensed in.

    It only cost $20, they did not require original copies of documents, and takes only a few weeks.

    I'm basing this on a conversation with them today, where they said that as soon as I sent in Mrs. Redtop's Praxis scores, they'd issue the license. We don't have the license in our hands yet. Hopefully I won't have negative information to post as a followup.
     
  35. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    Why the heck would YOU send in your wife's scores?
     
  36. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    It seems your wife has something to hide in her background?
     
  37. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    His wife is in Canada...red top is doing a lot of the 'research' regarding his ife's job search.
     
  38. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    You might just as easily ask why I don't launder my own bedsheets.

    It's just our division of labor in the marriage.

    Are there any of you who wish your spouse was available and willing to help you out on a huge project, but your spouse isn't?

    It's not like I am taking the tests for her!
     
  39. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Interesting division of labor...

    I'd personally prefer to do my own career planning and building, especially since my dh is not well versed in education policies, as you also are not. And as a member of our school hiring team, I know my district wouldnt think highly of a 'helicopter' parent or spouse contacting us...
    But if it works for you and mrs red top, good for you. Different strikes, as they say.
     
  40. redtop

    redtop Companion

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    Obviously there is a lot I can't do. She recently got an invitation for an interview written in French. I can't reply to those.

    She hates sitting in front of a computer. She also can't make phone calls during the workday.

    This is kind of a natural extension for us of the immigration process, which I also handled. And the travel arrangements, about which I could write a whole book.

    But it's none of the Department of Education's business who submits her licensing applications and writes the checks. And I surely don't write her essays for her. I can't imagine a bigger train wreck.
     
  41. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Just curious...Do you reply to school communications written in English?
     

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