Alabama’s Teacher of the Year has resigned after being told she was unqualified, following certification problems identified by state officials.
Ann Marie Corgill, who had been teaching for more than two decades in New York and Alabama, had been employed at Birmingham’s Oliver Elementary School, after three years at Cherokee Bend Elementary School.
She began the current school year teaching second grade pupils, but shortly afterwards she was transferred to a fifth-grade classroom instead.
Upon being informed of this situation, the Alabama Department of Education required Corgill, who is the state’s reigning Teacher of the Year, to provide further proof of her qualifications.
This request was prompted by the fact that certification records available at the state’s department of education only show that Corgill is fit to teach primary school kids, up to third grade. Her Class A and B certifications don’t extend to older school children, Alabama officials have claimed.
However, the highly appreciated tutor who was among the finalists at the National Teacher of the Year contest does in fact hold such qualifications.
In fact, Corgill has received National Board Certification, which grants her the right to teach schoolchildren aged 7 to 12, and this category includes the majority of fifth graders.
This authorization is still valid, and won’t expire until November 2020, data collected from the National Board Certification directory has revealed. However, it seems that despite possessing national certifications, teachers still have to follow requirements at a state level also.
The highly praised tutor felt it was unnecessary for her to jump yet again through bureaucratic hoops, and go through the strenuous process of providing evidence of her accreditation.
Therefore, Corgill has submitted a letter of resignation on Tuesday, October 27, which laments the fact that her expertise is still called into question.
She was being forced to pay unnecessary taxes for her certification papers to be considered up to par, despite her long string of accomplishments, which included having penned a book titled “Of Primary Importance”.
“After 21 years of teaching in grades 1-6, I have no answers as to why this is a problem now, so instead of paying more fees, taking more tests and proving once again that I am qualified to teach I am resigning”, declared Corgill.
In her letter, she also revealed that she hadn’t been paid for her work for 2 months, receiving her salary from the school district as late as October 23.
In response, representatives of Alabama’s Department of Education have declared that they had made no request for the teacher’s resignation.
In fact, what they did was simply point out the fact that her teaching certificate is only valid for primary grades, up to Grade 3, so she shouldn’t be lecturing older pupils.
Meanwhile, Chandra Temple, a spokesperson for the Birmingham City Schools district, has announced on Thursday that the issue is currently being investigated. No further comments have been made by the Board of Education.
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