Lara Optimistic of Expeditious Changes at the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

June 03, 2011

Gross Mismanagement Led Lara to Call for Commission Member’s Resignation After an Earlier Joint Legislative Audit Committee Hearing

SACRAMENTO – Serious concerns found in State Auditor Elaine Howle's report on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing prompted Assembly Member Ricardo Lara (D- Bell Gardens) to request the dismissal of Commission Chair Ting Sun, Executive Director Dale Janssen and Director of the Division of Professional Practices, Mary Armstrong. Today, Dale Janssen and Mary Armstrong announced their resignation. Governor Brown appointed Michael Cooney and Nancy Ramirez as new members of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing earlier this week. Their appointment is pending Senate Approval.

"I appreciate the urgency in which Governor Brown and the Commission took my recommendations. This immediate action is necessary to restore trust with the public and ensure that the Commission is operating in the best interest of teachers and children," said Assembly Member Ricardo Lara "I have faith in the new appointees and expect a speedy confirmation from the State Senate."

The main purpose of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing is to serve as a state standards board for educator preparation for California’s public schools, licensing and credentialing professional educators, enforcing educator’s professional practices and discipline of credential holders in the state. The Commission is required to issue teacher credentials and revoking them when a teacher has engaged in misconduct that threatens the safety and well-being of California’s school children.

State Auditor Howle's report found the Commission had been grossly mismanaged and had an ongoing backlog of approximately 5,000 cases for review since 2005. These cases of misconduct ranged from distributing of pornography to students to kidnapping and rape.