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Beleaguered Teacher-Credentialing Board Improves, Auditor Says

California's independent teacher-standards board appears to be mending its ways after the embarrassing attention it garnered in the wake of a scathing review by a state auditor earlier this year, the Sacramento Bee reports.

The audit report, which came out in April, found the board had a major backlog in processing cases dealing with allegations of teacher conduct, on the order of 12,600 or more. Many other charges, including a pattern of nepotism, were also lobbed at the body.

One employee, who cooperated with the audit, lost her job along the way; the commission's general counsel and executive director left shortly after.

The commission now has a new executive director, and the state auditor, Elaine Howle, said at a state legislative hearing that there appear to be signs of progress in 11 of the 12 areas of deficiency she identified, the newspaper reports.

Not all states have a separate teacher-credentialing body, but other states' education agencies have come under similar scrutiny in terms of their oversight of the teaching force.

Reporters in Hawaii took over a year to get that state's education department to release information about teacher discipline and dismissals. The upshot: Very few teachers were disciplined or fired because of misconduct.

And in April, the Minnesota Star Tribune found that the state Board of Teaching had stopped enforcing license violations.

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