Recognizing the “Montessori Certificate” in Maryland

Ever since Montessori education entered into the popular culture, government and private business interests have sought to monopolize and control the hiring of teachers based on such means as recognizing a particular brand of “Montessori certificate”. In the State of Maryland, for example, this issue arose when legislation (HB 1002) was recently proposed to do just that.

The legislation was prompted by a business cartel in the Montessori com- munity, seeking government recognition for their brand of “Montessori certificate” over others in the hiring of teachers for government-run “Montessori” schools in the state. Since this preferential hiring would exclude International Montessori Society (IMS) and other certificate-issuing entities of the Montessori community, Lee Havis, IMS executive director, testified against this bill at a hearing held in Annapolis,the state capital, on March 8, 2018. At the hearing, Lee stated that the law “...would be contrary to the best interests of Montessori education, as well as to the quality and progress of public education.” As an alternative, he offered a more inclusive approach for hiring teachers that did not mention any particular brand of “Montessori certificate”.

In his testimony, Lee also pointed out the harm of the bill in that it “sets up special interest benefits to only certain private entities in the field, namely ‘MACTE’ and ‘AMI’, while excluding other training facilities and means in the Montessori community, such as IMS. The MACTE and AMI entities represent philosophies in Montessori teaching which are in fact contrary to and incompatible with that represented by IMS.”

For further information on this leg- islation and this general issue, contact: IMS, 9525 Georgia Ave., #200, silver Spring, MD 20910 301-589-1127.