Where Does Cultural Competency and Quality Fit into CA’s Teacher Credential? A Black Teacher Wonders

A guest post by Oakland teacher Marquise Evans, aka “Quis,” on the challenges of getting the technical teaching credential and how little it tends to mean for students

“Quis, does a credential make one a qualified educator for scholars of melanin descent?”

*Then the background choir beautifully sings… “H********* NAWWWW!”

Absolutely, Not! I ask myself this question all the time, while maneuvering through a plethora of mayonnaise covered obstacles to complete my credential. Nope, I don’t have the full California Credential yet; but place me in any classroom and #WatchABlackEducatorCook and #AmazeTheWorld. 

Getting a California teaching credential is a time consuming process that is becoming even more stressful. 

What More do you Want from me?

Dear, Mayonnaise Warriors and Guilt Raiders (Refer back to the article, “What I Need As A Black Educator”)

Is my degree in Middle Grades Education from THEE Fort Valley State University not enough?  

Passing the GACE (Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators) basic skills and Middle Grades Math Assessments not enough either? 


Sincerely, An Educator who would like to end each school year knowing he has a contract to return based off his performance, rather than his credentials.  


Being that the state of California have strict requirements to become a licensed educator, you’d think it would have the best of the best schools K-12. Sadly, this is not the case. Scholars are grade levels behind, the school culture is on “What thee Fuck”, and many scholars are not even prepared to complete high school with all a-g requirements (another discussion for another day). 

I’m witnessing so-called “highly certified teachers” give a straight disservice to our young scholars daily, and still able to slither into leadership positions. I’m witnessing teacher aids take over classrooms because the youngins don’t respect the lead. I’m witnessing teachers without California credentials have the highest scholar growth on major assessments, while maintaining a strong classroom culture and excellent rapport with students. 

Instead of focusing on, “who’s certified” and “If a Charter School is compliant”,  the state should shift that energy towards the needs of scholars. Can yall focus on who’s a legit educator? Doesn’t matter how many certifications and degrees, working in schools packed with scholars of melanin descent require something that possibly cannot be taught. 

What does it mean to be a licensed and credentialed educator? Does it mean that you’re equipped with the advanced pedagogy to be a proficient educator? Does it mean that you’re capable of stepping into any classroom and perform effectively? All of this may be true for some, but there are many out there who clearly thought that mastering a subject and learning how to teach scholars of melanin descent through a text book was going to be all. 

Cultural Awareness and Experience > Credentials. 

MarQUIS “Malachi siuQ” Evans is a native of Warner Robins, GA. and a graduate of Fort Valley State University with a B.S. in Middle Grades Education. After graduation, he worked in multiple schools in Georgia, before moving to Indiana to teach. In Summer 2016, he moved to California to elevate career in entertainment. Currently in 4th year teaching at KIPP BRIDGE ACADEMY in Oakland, CA., while pursuing modeling and entertainment opportunities part-time. 
Social Media:IG: @malachi.siuQ      @amaze_knowledge

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