You know we’re making some progress with technology when even a government bureaucracy can get it right. A couple weeks ago, one of the 67 reminders that popped up on my To Do List was “renew administrative credential.” I thought, “Oh crud.”
You don’t have to be that old to know this used to be quite a tedious process. First you had to get a special, oddly sized, multi-carbon form which was available only by mail or at your local county office of education. You had to fill it out on a typewriter. Then you had to go to the bank, to a real live human teller during banking hours, and get a certified check for the renewal fee. If you had a job as a school administrator, which presumably you did or you would not have to renew the darn credential in the first place, it could take weeks to get all those steps accomplished. Then, once you mailed your special form and special check to the Department of Education, it would take months before you would finally get your new credential in the mail, and you still weren’t done. You had to find the time to take the credential to your local county office of education to be duly “registered.” Fail to get all this done before the expiration date of your old credential and bad news: no paycheck this month.
Well, I had learned that teachers could renew their credentials on-line, so I decided to go look and see if maybe administrators could do the same. Sure enough. Divulge a bit of pertinent information and my record flashed on the screen. A few clicks to swear I was still a good person, a string of digits off my VISA card, and I was done. Amazing. And this is a government website.
I got an immediate confirmation e-mail. A few days later, I got the paper certificate in the mail. As I now work in a county office of education, I walked over to human resources to get the thing registered and was told, “Oh, we already got confirmation of your renewal.” As I said above, “Amazing!” Kudos to the Virtual Credential Officer.
And just in case you haven’t heard, as of January 1, on-line renewal will be the only way to renew.