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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality Appendix D Teacher Requirements in Six States IDAHO’S TEACHER LICENSURE SYSTEM The state of Idaho is in the midst of adopting a standards-based accountability system for students. The state board of education approved, and the legislature recently adopted, achievement standards in five content areas for students in grades 9–12. The state board is currently drafting achievement standards for students in K-8 that will be phased in over the next several years. There is also a movement under way to adopt new standards for teachers that are linked to the student standards. At this time, the standards for teachers seeking initial license are based on the standards of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The curriculum at teacher education programs in Idaho higher-education institutions is aligned with the NCATE standards. Presently, the state requires teacher candidates to have graduated from an approved teacher education program and to have met the state’s coursework requirements for initial teacher certification. There are no state-mandated testing requirements. The course requirements for elementary teachers include a minimum of 24 semester hours of professional education preparation and a minimum of 44 semester hours of general basic education classes. The course requirements for a secondary certificate include a minimum of 20 semester hours of professional education preparation and a minimum of a 30-semester-hour major and a 20-semester-hour minor, or a 45-semester-hour composite major for a secondary certificate. The state specifies that secondary education teachers must show competence to teach in two content areas for an initial teacher credential. Based on an institutional recommendation from an Idaho college or univer-
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality sity verifying that the teacher candidate has met the state’s course requirements for either elementary or secondary teachers, the candidate is granted an initial teacher credential. Idaho’s policy for granting initial teacher certification does not require candidates to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, or abilities to teach through any formal testing program (Educational Testing Service or National Evaluation Systems). However, because the state has spent a large amount of money in recent years equipping all schools with modern technology to advance student learning, the state, in 1999, instituted a requirement that initial teachers demonstrate computer competency. Teacher candidates can demonstrate computer competency through a passing score on the Idaho Technology Competency Examination, the Idaho Technology Portfolio Assessment, or the Idaho Performance Assessment. Idaho Teacher Preparation Programs In Idaho there are six higher-education institutions with state-approved teacher education programs (five of which are also NCATE accredited). The state grants liberty to the higher-education institution in structuring its teacher education program as long as the course requirements are fulfilled. For this reason the teacher education programs at the higher-education institutions in the state are not uniform in either their entry requirements or program design. Several of the teacher programs in the state are highlighted below. Teacher Education at Boise State University At Boise State, students apply for admittance into the teacher education program during their sophomore year. Entry into the teacher education program is based on several criteria, including a student’s professional documentation, academic standards, and professional standards. The first criterion—professional documentation—substantiates the student’s ability and desire to work with children. Students are asked to provide written evidence of prior work with children or young people in a formal setting, to write an essay describing the significance of the experience as it relates to the student’s professional goals, and to provide letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with the student’s work with children. To fulfill the second criterion—academic standards—students are required to have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5. Students are also required to have at least a C on each teacher education prerequisite class. Students applying for entry into the elementary education program are required to complete classes in English composition, math, and science as well as seven teacher education classes. They are also required to earn a set passing score on the math (175) and writing (172) portions of Praxis I. Students interested in becoming secondary education teachers have less specific course requirements for entry
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality into the teacher education program but must major in a content area (biology, math, Spanish, etc.). Students applying for entry into the secondary education program must receive a set passing score (172) on only the writing component of Praxis I. The final criterion for admittance into the teacher education program—professional standards—is based on faculty’s judgment of a student’s skills, behavioral characteristics, and disposition for being a teacher. The Teacher Education Professional Standards Committee reviews and approves each student’s application for admittance into the program by weighing his or her performance on each criterion. During their junior year, students must apply to student teach. For an elementary education major to be eligible for student teaching, the student must have a GPA of at least 3.0 in all teacher education classes and a 2.75 overall. The student must also have successfully completed a microteaching assignment in one of four elementary education curriculum and instruction courses and must have a recommendation from a faculty member. After the student has completed the bachelor’s degree in either elementary or secondary education and completed all teacher education requirements, the student provides the College of Education with all necessary paperwork, including the application for an Idaho Professional Education Credential. The dean of the College of Education will then recommend the candidate to the Idaho board of education for a teaching credential. Teacher Education at Albertson College The foundation of the teacher education program at Albertson College is the liberal arts, with students required to major in a content area. The teacher education program is a five-year program built around the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) standards. These teaching standards include subject matter knowledge, adapting instruction to individual needs, classroom motivation/management, and assessment of student learning. Students who are interested in being teachers are placed in a cohort as freshmen and remain with the same cohort for the duration of the program. Students interested in becoming teachers also have a team of mentors, including an academic adviser, an education professor, and a K-12 teacher, who guide their development throughout the program. Students apply for formal admittance into the teacher education program during their sophomore year. To be considered for admission into the program, students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75. Students must also submit the portfolio they maintain throughout the program for consideration. The portfolio must show evidence of a reflective attitude toward teaching, an understanding of how children learn, and an involvement in the education community. The final factor is a successful interview with the student’s mentors.
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality After elementary and secondary education students have graduated, the students must complete a fifth-year internship in the schools in order to be recommended for an Idaho teacher certificate. A formal review of the student’s portfolio must also occur prior to approval for entry into the internship program. At this time, the student’s portfolio must show some evidence of each teaching standard. The portfolio should also emphasize the student’s knowledge of the subject matter and ability to plan instruction. Specifically, the portfolio should highlight the student’s ability to integrate technology into instruction and to use multiple instructional strategies. The portfolio is formally reviewed for a final time at completion of the internship program, prior to the student receiving an institutional recommendation for an Idaho teacher certificate. During this final review, the portfolio should show evidence of mastery of all teaching standards and should include the candidate’s philosophy of teaching, a resume, and other items helpful in obtaining a teaching position. With an institutional recommendation to the state by the college, students are granted an Idaho teaching credential. Teacher Education at Lewis-Clark State College The faculty in the education division at Lewis-Clark believe that a qualified teacher must demonstrate knowledge, skills, and disposition related to seven main areas or qualities of professional competence—appropriate professional conduct; knowledge of the foundations of the profession; content mastery; skills as an educational designer, facilitator and evaluator; and capacity for reflective practice. As such, the faculty has designed a comprehensive evaluation process for deciding which students are admitted into the program. The criteria for admission to the teacher education program include satisfactory completion of prerequisite coursework with a grade of B or better in each course, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 (secondary education teacher candidates must have at least a 3.0 in their major teaching field), professional experience working with children, three faculty references, a passing score on all four sections (writing, interview, technology, and math and science) of the education division’s entrance examination (an institution-developed test), and an application to the program. There is a systematic weighting of the criteria, with greater weight assigned to scholarship. After submitting an application with all relevant information, a student is formally interviewed and required to write an extemporaneous essay. The interview and essay are given numerical weights by the interview panel, which makes the final recommendation for admission. Students lose points during the admission process for paracompetencies and moral turpitude. The elementary and secondary teacher education programs have three phases. Students complete phase I, Pre-Professional Studies, prior to admission to the program. Phase II, Professional Studies, begins once students are admitted into the program and includes evaluation strategies and theoretical foundations.
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality The final phase, Professional Internship, lasts a year and includes student teaching and seminars. At the completion of the teacher education program and prior to being recommended for state certification, students must pass a final review of their work. Each student must complete a formal oral evaluation by at least three faculty members at which time the candidate’s teaching portfolio is evaluated. After the candidate passes the final oral review, he or she submits the requisite paperwork to the college’s education division. The college will then endorse the student with an institutional recommendation and forward all paperwork to the state’s education agency for the graduate’s teaching credential. Changes In Initial Teacher Licensure System Idaho is in the process of adopting new teaching standards based on the INTASC model: knowledge, disposition, and performance. The standards will be aligned with the newly adopted K-12 achievement standards and will reflect a move to performance-based standards. The new teaching standards were adopted by the state’s board of education in the fall of 2000. The state’s MOST (Maximizing Opportunities for Students and Teachers) program, which is overseeing the revision and adoption of new teaching standards, is focusing on four components: teacher preparation, certification, professional development, and the teaching environment. In August 2000 the MOST program received a Title II grant from the U.S. Department of Education to further the state’s process in implementing aspects of the program, specifically to assist the state in revising initial teacher certification and certification renewal requirements, to hold institutions with teacher education programs accountable for preparing quality teachers, and to improve alternate routes to teacher certification for highly qualified individuals from other fields and professions. WYOMING’S TEACHER PREPARATION SYSTEM Wyoming is one of the latest states to adopt a statewide standards-based student testing program—the Wyoming Comprehensive Assessment System. WyCAS was designed to measure how well students in grades 4, 8, and 11 are mastering the recently developed state standards in reading/language arts and mathematics, with student performance on the WyCAS reported at the state, district/school, and individual student levels. The results of WyCAS are used not only to assess student performance but also to provide information to the schools and districts for evaluating their teaching and curriculum. Yet Wyoming is one of the few states that has not adopted teacher testing requirements for candidates seeking an initial teaching license. To receive an initial license in the state, a teacher candidate must complete an approved teach-
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality er preparation program at a regionally or nationally accredited institution or complete a successful portfolio verifying competence of the Professional Teaching Standards Board (PTSB) standards. A teacher candidate must also complete either a course or test on the U.S. Constitution and the Wyoming Constitution. There are no state-specified testing requirements. The state has established program approval standards for teacher education programs. The PTSB oversees program approval in the state. It also delineates teaching standards that must be included in an approved teacher education program pertaining to both coursework and field practice. Currently, there are only three higher-education institutions (four-year colleges/universities) with state-approved programs, with only one program—the University of Wyoming—residing in the state. The other two institutions with approved and accredited teacher education programs are in neighboring states—Black Hills State University in South Dakota and Regis University in Colorado. All teacher candidates trained in the state matriculate through the University of Wyoming at some point in their teacher preparation program. Students can either attend the University of Wyoming for their entire degree or start the teacher preparation program at one of the state’s seven community colleges, graduate with an associates degree in elementary or secondary education, and then attend the University of Wyoming at Laramie, the Casper College Center, Powell College Center, or one of five professional development schools to complete their degree. Teacher Preparation Program The University of Wyoming’s teacher education program has four levels. Students in the first level take an introductory course on teaching and spend supervised time in a school setting working with a mentor teacher while fulfilling general education requirements. The first level of the program (called “Becoming a Teacher”) can be fulfilled at either a community college or the university. At the end of the sophomore or second year after completing the two introductory education courses and obtaining a first aid certificate, all students in the state must apply for admittance into the university’s teacher education program. To be admitted into the program a student must have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA in the first two years of school. Though the state does not have testing requirements for teacher licensure, the University of Wyoming requires teacher education students to have an ACT-composite score of 21 (if the composite score is 18 to 20, a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA is required). Similarly, though neither Wyoming nor South Dakota requires testing for initial licensure, Black Hills State requires students to have successfully completed Praxis I (formerly the Pre-Professional Skills Test) with set passing scores in all three areas (mathematics, writing, and reading) for admittance into the teacher education program.
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality After a student has been admitted to the University of Wyoming’s teacher education program, he or she is considered to be at the second level of the program, called “Teacher as a Decision Maker.” At this level students take more coursework on the principles of teaching and learning and gain additional educational experience in the classroom at their grade of choice. Students also fulfill requirements for coursework in their majors at this time. The elementary education program requires majors to select a concentration (21 credit hours) in cultural diversity, environmental studies, creative arts, interdisciplinary early childhood, and special education, while the secondary education majors have content requirements to fulfill. All students must then apply for admittance at the end of their junior year to the third level called “Methods in Humanities, Literacy, and Math/Science.” To be admitted to the third level, students must have at least a 2.5 GPA and have completed all specified prerequisite coursework for enrolling in the level three methods courses. During level three, students spend approximately 11 weeks attending classes and 4 weeks in the schools applying what they are learning. In the final level, called “Residency in Teaching,” students spend a full semester in residency at a school setting completing a student teaching experience. Initial Certification Upon graduation, a teacher candidate applies to the PTSB for a Standard Teaching Certificate (one type of certificate for all teachers). Each candidate provides the PTSB with a transcript verifying completion of the teacher education program. The PTSB reviews the transcript (for a fee of $175) along with a form signed by university personnel documenting that the candidate graduated from a state-approved program and endorsing the candidate as possessing the requisite knowledge and competencies to be a teacher. There is one alternative route to certification in Wyoming for those students who have not completed a teacher education program but who have completed a bachelor’s degree and have experience working with school-age children (in lieu of student teaching experience). Certification decisions in such cases are made based on a portfolio the candidate submits to the PTSB. ALASKA INITIAL TEACHER LICENSURE SYSTEM The state of Alaska adopted a statewide educational reform effort, the Quality Schools Initiative (QSI), in 1998. The four key components of the QSI are high academic standards for all students; quality standards for educators; family, school, business, and community partnerships; and excellent schools. The QSI established new performance standards in reading, writing, and mathematics as well as content standards in history, science, geography, citizenship, the arts, world languages, and healthy life skills.
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality The standards for educators adopted by the Alaska Board of Education in 1994 outline the skills and abilities that Alaskan teachers should possess for effective teaching. The standards are for all teachers, including beginning teachers, and include content knowledge, knowledge of how students learn, and knowledge of how to facilitate, monitor, and assess student learning. The goal is for teaching to be directly linked to student achievement in a results-based accountability system. Another aspect of the state accountability system involves setting high standards for candidates seeking an initial teacher license in the state. The state added a requirement that all candidates must take Praxis I (Reading, 175; Writing, 174; and Math, 173) prior to receiving a license. Candidates must also complete an approved teacher education program and have earned a bachelor’s degree. Candidates must submit an institutional recommendation prior to being granted an initial license and must fulfill a recency requirement. Candidates must also complete a course in Alaska studies and multicultural or cross-cultural education. Candidates apply directly to the state for initial license ($165 application fee). As part of the accountability system, the state has recently adopted NCATE standards for program review of all teacher education programs. Hence, all programs (public and private) are required to obtain NCATE accreditation. There are five higher-education institutions in the state with approved teacher education programs. A major redesign of the teacher education program offered at the state’s universities is now under way. A brief description of the redesign follows. Redesign of Teacher Education The University of Alaska offers three of the five teacher education programs in the state in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Southeast (in Juneau), respectively. In 1999, the president of the University of Alaska statewide-system designated teacher education as one of his top priorities for the university system, and this has resulted in increased funding for the schools of education. One result of the focus on the teacher education programs has been to strengthen the subject matter preparation of prospective teachers. Accordingly, both the president and the university regents have supported the development of postbaccalaureate teacher education programs. All students who apply for admission to postbaccalaureate programs must have completed a four-year content degree. All campuses currently have postbaccalaureate programs for elementary and secondary teacher education. Additionally, new undergraduate degree programs for future elementary teachers are being designed. The new four-year degrees in education include liberal studies components that provide future elementary teachers with a breadth of coursework across the disciplines. The Alaska Partnership for Teacher Enhancement (APTE) was formed to guide and oversee redesign of the teacher education programs at the University
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA). Two of the goals are to assure that the teacher education components are aligned with both the Alaska student and educator standards and to assure that graduates of the programs are effectively prepared to meet the unique needs of students in the state. The APTE is a partnership involving urban and rural school districts (three of the poorest in the state), the Alaska Board of Education and Early Development, private business, and the university. University partners include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Education, the UAA Provost’s Office, the UA Office of the President, and the Institute of Social and Economic Research. The inclusion of multiple partners within the university is a demonstration of the understanding that the preparation of teachers is an integral part of the entire university community. Under APTE vision, the postbaccalaureate teacher education curriculum is based on strong content preparation. Also, teaching candidates will complete a year-long internship in the schools, and a supervision team for each prospective teacher will include a K-12 mentor, a UAA College of Arts and Sciences tutor, and a faculty member from the UAA School of Education. Several new institutional structures will be put in place to monitor and guide changes in the teacher education program. For example, the Teacher Education Council will be an advisory body that will evaluate the progress of the UAA in making appropriate program modifications and assuring the involvement of all relevant parties. Multiple teams will develop teacher education courses and plan the clinical experiences and internships. There will also be a curriculum coordinating committee that will be responsible for development of the curriculum in a manner that assures maximum curricular coherence. Post Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation at the University of Alaska In July 2000 the UAA began a new postbaccalaureate program for future elementary and secondary education teachers. It is a one-year integrated program that combines 36 credit hours of coursework and field experience. Admission requirements include completion of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0; GRE minimum scores of 400 in the verbal, mathematics, and analytical sections; Praxis I scores that meet Alaska state requirements; and appropriate Praxis II scores. Applicants must also provide evidence of experience with school-aged children and three letters of recommendation that highlight the applicant’s qualifications to teach. After applications have been screened, strong candidates are interviewed and final admission decisions are made. The program follows a cohort model and students begin the program in June. Summer coursework includes nine credit hours of education foundation content and an introduction to educational technology. During the fall and spring semesters, students take six credit hours of methods coursework and receive six credits for school internships. Students complete the certification program the following June with a three-credit course entitled “Internship Capstone Seminar:
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality Analysis of Teaching and Learning.” Upon completion of the teacher certification program, candidates can apply to the state for an initial teacher’s license. To complete the master’s of education degree, students must complete an additional 12 credits of coursework. The other two University of Alaska campuses, Fairbanks and Southeast, also have suspended admission into their bachelor’s teacher education programs and have adopted similar fifth-year teacher certification and master’s of teaching programs. Admission into the programs on both campuses is contingent on an applicant completing a bachelor’s degree (3.0 GPA), obtaining Alaska passing scores on Praxis I, and providing three letters of recommendation. At the University of Alaska, Southeast, applicants also must submit a portfolio of written materials. At the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, applicants must submit a vitae/resume, a four- to five-page statement of goals highlighting why the applicant wishes to study in the education program, and their qualifications and educational experience. Applicants must also submit GRE scores for the secondary program, while GRE scores are required for admission to the elementary program only if a candidate’s GPA is less than 3.0. Finally, applicants must complete an extemporaneous writing sample in person on campus. Teacher Education at Alaska’s Private Schools Sheldon-Jackson College is one of two private higher-education institutions in Alaska that offer an undergraduate teacher education program. Sheldon-Jackson has an open admissions policy and largely serves native Alaskans. All students are required to meet competencies in reading, writing, and mathematics and to fulfill general course requirements. To be admitted to the four-year traditional teacher education program, students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. To remain in the program, students must maintain a 2.5 GPA in all education courses and obtain a first aid/CPR certificate. Students must also take Praxis I, with student teaching contingent on passing at the 50th percentile or higher on all subtests. Alaska Pacific University is a small private institution located in Anchorage that also has a Rural Alaska Native Adult (RANA) program. The university offers an undergraduate major in K-8 education at its home campus and through RANA. Students apply for admission into the teacher education program during their sophomore year after meeting the general university course requirements. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better to be admitted. Several field experiences are built into the program, and students complete the teacher education program with a 15-week practicum in the schools.
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality NEBRASKA’S TEACHER LICENSURE SYSTEM The Nebraska Board of Education establishes the state’s standards for teacher education program approval and initial teacher licensure. There are four rules that guide the approval of teacher education programs and licensure of teachers in the state. The four rules describe the regulations that govern the approval of teacher education programs in the state (Rule 20), outline the general guidelines for granting teaching licenses in the state (Rule 21), refer to the basic skills test requirement for all teacher education majors and include the passing scores that have been in effect since 1989 (Rule 23), and outline the specifications for content majors or endorsements for teachers (Rule 24). The rules are generally reviewed and revised every five years with guidance from the Nebraska Council on Teacher Education, an advisory group established by the board to monitor and make recommendations to it about issues pertaining to teacher education and teaching standards. The members of the council are appointed by the state board and represent teachers, the higher-education community, administrators, school board members, and the state department of education. To be granted an initial teacher license in Nebraska, a teacher candidate must fulfill certain criteria. The teaching candidate must be a graduate of an approved teacher education program, with institutional verification provided for each candidate. All prospective teacher education majors must meet the basic skills requirement in reading, writing, and mathematics by passing either the Content Mastery Examination for Educators or Praxis I. Nebraska legislative statute requires students to pass the basic skills exam prior to being admitted into a teacher education program; hence, all candidates from state-approved teacher education programs have previously met this certification criterion. Legislative statute also mandates that candidates complete a special education course requirement as well as a requirement for human relations training prior to being granted an initial teacher license. In 1967 the Nebraska legislature authorized development of standards of conduct and ethics that all teachers, including initial teachers, must adhere to as well. Nebraska’s certification rule also has a recency requirement that can be met through two consecutive years of teaching experience in the same school system in the previous five years or by taking at least six semester hours of approved credit within the past three years of the candidate’s application date. The Nebraska Board of Education requires all students seeking admission to teacher education programs (and those seeking licensure in the state) to provide evidence that they have no felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions involving abuse, neglect, or sexual misconduct. Students/licensure applicants with such convictions are automatically rejected and can only be approved for admission to the program or licensure following a successful appeal to the commissioner of education and the Nebraska Board of Education.
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality programs acquire field experience in both public and parochial school settings. Student teaching occurs during the senior year. Title II State Grant Nebraska is exploring different methods to assess the strength of its teacher education programs and was awarded a Title II grant by the U.S. Department of Education to support this endeavor. The grant will be used to pilot the use of teacher tests as a possible accountability measure of teacher education programs. The state will pay the testing costs for students who will be student teaching in elementary, middle, and high schools during the 2000–2001 and 2001–2002 academic years. All students will take the Principles of Teaching and Learning test, an Educational Testing Service product. Students seeking an endorsement in elementary education will also be required to take the ETS’s Elementary Education: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. There is no plan to incorporate the use of these tests as additional requirements for an initial teaching license. The state intends to explore the use of student’s scores on these tests as one measure of the strength of its teacher education programs. CALIFORNIA’S TEACHER PREPARATION SYSTEM The state of California is currently experiencing a significant shortage of teachers, with a predicted need for an additional 250,000 to 300,000 teachers in the next decade. The demand for new teachers is fueled by changes in state policy regarding class size reduction, a high number of teachers seeking retirement, and significant growth in the student population. The state anticipates that 1 million more students will be attending California schools by 2005 than did in 1998–1999. The greatest need for teachers is, and will be in the near future, in elementary education, special education, language acquisition and development, mathematics, and science. Urban and rural areas are experiencing the most significant teacher shortages. To address the demand for new teachers, a variety of teacher preparation programs have been developed in the state to provide multiple opportunities for individuals to seek teacher licensure and accelerate the time line for certification. There are three general pathways to gaining preliminary teacher licensure in California: traditional teacher preparation programs, district internship programs, and university internship programs. California has also established a preinternship program that assists emergency teachers in meeting prerequisites for entry into one of the three formal teacher preparation programs. Each program is highlighted below.
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality Traditional Teacher Preparation Programs Traditional teacher preparation programs are part of higher-education institutions. Currently, there are over 70 higher-education institutions offering teacher education and certification programs in California. During the 1997–1998 academic year, 19,156 teacher candidates were prepared by higher-education institutions in the state and received initial licensure. Among the teachers earning initial licensure, 4,654 obtained their first credentials. Over 14,500 had previously held certification such as a long-term emergency permit or substitute certification that authorized them to serve in classrooms. In the 1997–1998 school year, California state universities prepared 55 percent of the teachers, private or independent institutions prepared roughly 40 percent, and University of California institutions prepared 4 percent (California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, 2000). There are several basic requirements for enrollment in California teacher preparation programs. To enroll, an individual must take the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) for diagnostic purposes. Some institutions require individuals to pass the test prior to formal enrollment. All individuals must pass it in order to earn the teaching credential. CBEST assesses a candidate’s proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics in the English language. Separate scores are provided for each of the three sections. All three sections must be passed, and a test taker may take one, two, or three sections at a given administration. There is no limit to the number of times a candidate may sit for the test. CBEST is offered six times a year and costs $40 each time. The testing time is approximately four hours for the entire test (50 questions each for reading and math and two writing sections). An individual taking only one or two sections of the test may use the entire four-hour period to complete the section(s) taken. In most cases an individual must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university prior to formal enrollment in a teacher preparation program. Many institutions allow individuals to complete some of the teacher preparation courses in their undergraduate program but do not allow them to formally enroll in the program until they have earned a degree. California has begun to allow universities to develop “blended” programs that integrate a bachelor’s degree program with a teacher preparation program. Candidates in these programs earn a preliminary credential at the time they earn their degree in an academic area. Currently there are 31 institutions of higher education with such approved programs. State standards do not specify a GPA requirement for admittance to a teacher preparation program. However, a GPA requirement may be established within the program developed by a particular institution. For admittance into most California State University programs, a GPA at the median for the candidate’s major is typically required. To enter programs at University of California
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality schools, a GPA of at least a 3.0 is required. Some private institutions permit conditional admittance into their teacher preparation programs with a GPA lower than 2.5. There are additional requirements that must be met for a candidate to be granted a California teaching license, including completion of either a course or an examination on the U.S. Constitution, completion of a “teaching of reading” course, and passage of a test on reading instruction—the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment (RICA). Candidates who seek a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential (elementary school teachers) or an Education Specialist Instruction Credential must take the RICA, which assesses a candidate’s knowledge and skills of effective reading instruction. A candidate can pass RICA by taking either the written examination (paper-and-pencil assessment, including a constructed-response section and a 70-item multiple-choice section) or the video performance assessment (candidate-created videotapes of the candidate teaching reading). The written examination is offered six times a year, at a cost of $122 per administration. There are three times in the year that a candidate can submit a video performance assessment for review, at a cost of $220 per administration. The requirements also include demonstration of subject matter competence by one of two options: (1) completion of a program of subject matter coursework at a commission-approved institution or (2) passage of the commission-approved examination(s) for the credential area. Elementary teachers must pass the Multiple Subjects Assessment for Teachers (MSAT), which measures knowledge in seven content areas: literature and language studies, mathematics, history/social sciences, science, visual and performing arts, human development, and physical education. There are two sections to the MSAT: a multiple-choice content knowledge section (testing time is two hours, 120 items) and constructed-response content area exercises section (testing time is three hours, 18 questions). A candidate can sit for either or both sections at one of the eight test administrations. If both sections are taken at one time, the cost is $215 ($70 for the content knowledge section, $110 for the content area exercises, and $35 for registration). If the sections are taken separately, the cost is $105 for the content knowledge section and $145 for the content area exercises. Depending on the subject matter, secondary school teachers choosing the examination option to meet the subject matter requirement must pass either the Single Subject Assessment for Teaching (SSAT) exams or a combination of SSAT and Praxis content tests. For example, teacher candidates seeking licensure in health science must pass only the SSAT, while a teacher candidate seeking licensure in mathematics must pass the SSAT in general mathematics content as well as two Praxis tests—Proofs, Models, and Problems (Parts I and II). There are six testing dates for Praxis; the cost is $105 to $120 ($70 to $85 plus $35 for registration), depending on the tests taken. There are four testing dates for the SSAT; the cost ranges from $100 to $145 depending on the test taken. The majority of higher-education institutions seek candidates who have com-
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality pleted their baccalaureate and meet the other stated requirements prior to admittance to the teacher preparation program. Several of the state’s universities do allow undergraduates to enroll in teacher education programs with the provision that these requirements be met prior to formal enrollment in a program and student teaching. Upon completion of most teacher preparation programs, candidates are awarded a preliminary license that is valid for five years. There are several different kinds of preliminary teacher licenses in California, and most institutions offer preparation for several of the licenses. The most common licenses granted by the state are the Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and the Single Subject Teaching Credential. The Multiple Subject Teaching Credential authorizes public school teaching in a self-contained classroom in preschool, kindergarten, grades 1 through 12, and classes organized primarily for adults. Secondary school teachers are granted a Single Subject Teaching Credential, which authorizes teaching in a departmentalized classroom. Single subject credentials are issued in 13 different subject-areas, and the holder is authorized to teach only in the subject area(s) listed. Due to the diversity of student enrollment in California, the state has also instituted a multiple- and single-subject certification with either a cross-cultural, language, and academic development emphasis (CLAD) or bilingual, cross-cultural, language, and academic development emphasis (BCLAD). Although the higher-education institutions have enhanced/added to their teacher preparation programs, there continues to be a shortage of teachers. To assuage the need for licensed teachers, the state of California granted initial licensure to some 5,000 teachers from out of state in the 1997–1998 school year. The same year the California legislature passed a number of provisions that eased the transition of teachers from other states into California. The state also granted 31,061 emergency permits and 4,791 waivers in the 1997–1998 school year (out of the total 63,418 initial licensures granted by the state). Teachers must be working toward receiving initial licensure while on internships, emergency permits, or waivers. Several programs have been developed to support teachers with emergency or internship certification while they seek initial licensure. Each type of program is highlighted below. University Internship Programs Many higher-education institutions in the state have entered into a partnership with local school districts and established university internship programs. The programs are designed to provide participants with classroom experience while they are enrolled in the academic teacher preparation program. A candidate is issued a “university internship credential” once enrolled in a California Commission on Teacher Credentialing-approved internship program, with verification of employment from the relevant school district. University internship credentials are offered in several areas, including Multiple Subject Teaching,
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality Single Subject Teaching, Multiple Subject Teaching with CLAD and BCLAD emphases, and Single Subject Teaching with CLAD and BCLAD emphases. Enrollment requirements for university internship programs vary depending on the type of credential sought and the requirements established by the respective college or university in tandem with the respective school district. All require possession of a bachelor’s degree, passage of the CBEST, and completion of at least 80 percent of the subject matter competence requirement. Currently, there are 20 California state universities, 7 Universities of California, and 22 private institutions with approved internship programs. In the 1997–1998 academic year, 2,306 individuals were issued internship credentials to teach through university partnership programs across the state. The university internship can be based on several different models depending on the needs of the districts that the universities are serving. Institutions such as California State University, Hayward, determine in partnership with the respective school districts (Alameda and Contra Costa counties and Oakland, Concord, and Hayward school districts) whether a student participates in the program as a student teacher or a full-paid intern. Depending on the partnership and the needs of the district, the program might be community based with the intern teaching all day and enrolled in classes at night. Under this kind of program, such as with the Oakland Unified School District, interns seeking a single-subject credential complete the program in seven quarters. In other partnerships, students may spend considerable time in the schools gaining student teaching experience prior to taking full leadership of a classroom. For example, students enrolled in the School-University Partnership Internship Program at San Jose State attend school for two summers, with a full paid internship for two academic years, though the student remains in the role of a student teacher throughout the program. District Internship Programs During the 1997–1998 school year, there were 103 districts with 20 percent or more of the teacher staff on emergency permits or waivers. The majority of the districts with high numbers of teachers on emergency permits or waivers are in urban areas. For example, in the Los Angeles area, some districts report that 30 to 50 percent of the teachers in their schools have emergency permits or waivers, with three out of four new hires uncredentialed in the Los Angeles Unified School District as of August 2000 (www.lausd.k12.ca.us/). To decrease the number of teachers with emergency permits and waivers, six large urban districts have established district intern programs taught by school district employees. The teachers participating in this program are granted a “district intern certificate,” valid for two years, from the state. To qualify for a district intern certificate, an individual must have completed a baccalaureate or higher degree from a regionally accredited college or university. To receive the
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality single-subject authorization, the intern must have a major or minor in the subject to be taught or have passed the appropriate subject matter assessment. For the multiple-subject (self-contained classroom) authorization, the intern must have at least 40 semester units of coursework in language studies, literature, mathematics, science, social science, history, humanities, the arts, physical education, and human development and must have passed the MSAT. Additionally, the interns must pass the CBEST and possess a certificate of clearance verifying the personal identification and good moral character of the intern. This clearance process is required for the issuance of all California credentials, certificates, and permits. In the Los Angeles Unified School District, the tuition-free program is available in elementary education, elementary bilingual (Spanish), secondary English, secondary science, and secondary mathematics. Interns receive 120 hours of preservice prior to classroom assignment, with subsequent classes held once a week during the school year (in English or Spanish). The interns also work with a mentor teacher during the program. An additional training component of at least 64 hours is held the second summer. District interns qualify for benefits and a salary during the two-year contractual period. Approximately 700 interns participated in the program as of August, 2000 <www.lausd.k12.ca.us/>. The Los Angeles Unified School District also has a district intern program for special education teachers. Preinternship Program The preintern certificate, an alternative to the emergency permit, is available only to individuals in approved preintern programs conducted by school districts and county offices of education that have received state grants to fund these programs. The preintern certificate program was designed to improve the effectiveness and retention of teachers with emergency certification. The goal of the program is to offer emergency licensed teachers support and training to meet the requirements of teaching intern and credential programs. To qualify for a preintern certificate, an individual must have a baccalaureate degree and must have passed the CBEST. Additionally, to be eligible for a preinternship certificate for elementary teaching, an individual must show intent to complete the MSAT and show verification of successful completion of coursework (at least 40 semester units with a C grade) in four of the following areas: language studies, history, literature, humanities, mathematics, the arts, science, physical education, social science, and human development. To be eligible for a single-subject teaching preintern certificate, the candidate must show intent to complete the appropriate content assessment (Praxis and/or SSAT) and have completed 18 semester units in the subject to be listed on the certificate. At this time, the single-subject teaching preintern certificate is available in mathematics, science, and English. Individu-
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality als who have completed the subject matter requirement or student teaching and/ or a credential program are not eligible for this program. There are currently 58 approved preintern programs, funded with state grants. These programs serve approximately 300 California school districts. In the San Francisco Unified School District, the preintern program provides up to two years of support for teachers with emergency licensure. Teachers with preintern certificates attend MSAT preparation workshops along with workshops on classroom management and instructional strategies. Teachers with preintern certificates also receive classroom support and coaching from a mentor teacher. Title II State Grant California is planning to reform its licensure and certification requirements and has been awarded a Title II grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support this endeavor. The grant funding is being used to develop and implement standards-based teaching performance assessments for teaching credential candidates, to reduce the number of teachers working with emergency permits by expanding alternative preparation programs, to reduce teacher shortages in math by funding the preparation of math teachers, and to assist colleges and universities to align teacher preparation standards with standards for student performance. MARYLAND’S LICENSURE SYSTEM Over the past decade the state of Maryland has implemented an innovative and challenging educational reform program—the Maryland School Performance Program. The reform platform has dramatically altered the state’s student assessment program. Maryland has adopted a multifaceted assessment program that holds both schools and students accountable. The Maryland School Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP), adopted in 1990 and launched in 1991, is an assessment program whose primary goal is to provide information that can be used to improve instruction in the schools. MSPAP is administered annually to third, fifth, and eighth graders and assesses how well students solve problems cooperatively and individually, apply what they have learned to real-world problems, and relate and use knowledge from different subject areas. MSPAP results are provided at the school level in five content areas and are a high-stakes accountability tool for the state. Currently, nearly 100 of Maryland’s 1,298 schools have failed to improve their academic performance and are eligible for reconstitution by the state. For individual students there are academic benchmarks that must be met in the third, fifth, eighth, and twelfth grades. The benchmarks are established in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. Additionally, new high-stakes standards-based tests are being phased in as a requirement for high
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality school graduation. By 2005 students must pass exams in government, English, and either geometry or algebra to graduate. By 2012 students will be required to pass 10 exams to graduate. The exams will include algebra, geometry, U.S. history, world history, government, English (1, 2, and 3), and science (passage on two tests—earth and space science, physics, chemistry, biology). As the state seeks greater accountability from its K-12 schools and students, it also now requires greater accountability from its colleges of education. In the late 1980s the Maryland Higher Education Commission established the improvement of teacher education programs in the state as a major objective. A teacher education task force was formed by the commission and charged with the redesign of teacher education programs in the state. The final report of the task force was released in 1995 and contained many principles and recommendations. The main components of the report call for a strong academic background for all teacher candidates; preparation of teacher candidates based on extensive clinical experience in the schools, especially professional development schools; a comprehensive monitoring and performance assessment of candidates; and linkage with K-12 priorities and standards. The work of the task force has been, and continues to be, the driving state policy for teacher education reform in the state. The desire for increased accountability is evident in changes in the approval and accreditation process for colleges of education in Maryland. The changes in approval and accreditation requirements for colleges of education are rooted in What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future (1996). After release of the report, 12 states, including Maryland, volunteered to evaluate the level of alignment between their current systems and the recommendations of the report. The work of a state task force during the summer of 1997 caught the attention of state representative Howard “Pete” Rawlings of Baltimore (District 40), who sponsored a bill before the Maryland General Assembly calling for national accreditation of teacher education programs in the state. House Bill 733 was passed by the Maryland General Assembly in 1998 requiring institutions in the state that offer teacher education programs to seek national accreditation, and Governor Glendenning signed it into law. The statute requires all colleges and universities that offer undergraduate or graduate teacher education programs to be accredited by a national accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and endorsed by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). For Maryland the national accrediting body that meets the state’s criteria is the NCATE. The Accreditation and Eligibility Determination Division of the U.S. Department of Education verified that NCATE is the only teacher education accreditation agency it currently recognizes. The statute required that by July 1, 2000, each college or university must either file its intent to seek national accreditation or certify to the state (MSDE) that it already had achieved national accreditation. An institution can be waived from meeting the NCATE requirement if its enrollment is less than 2,000 full-
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality time equivalent or it is a nationally recognized professional school of fine arts specializing in music or art. The institutions affected by the statute have until July 2004, to receive NCATE certification. The statute also specifies that the state will assume payment of fees incurred in conjunction with the accreditation process and provide partial coverage of costs incurred by the on-site review. At the time of the law’s enactment requiring NCATE accreditation, four of Maryland’s 22 colleges of education were already NCATE accredited. Initial teacher licensure in Maryland is contingent on candidates completing an approved teacher education program. The state also requires teacher candidates to meet the qualifying scores on Praxis I and II prior to being granted an initial license, although it does not specify when candidates must take the tests during their preparation for initial licensure. The Maryland State Board of Education recently adopted high qualifying scores on the Praxis assessments as part of the state’s school reform initiative. Passing scores for Praxis I are 177 for mathematics, 177 for reading, and 173 for writing. As state superintendent Nancy Grasmick said, “Our qualifying scores [on Praxis I] are among the highest required for certification among the states. Our plan includes both high qualifying scores and periodic reviews of those scores so that we maintain the level of quality instruction in our schools” (news release from MSDE, Feb. 23, 1999). The state also selected new Praxis II content and pedagogy tests and set the qualifying scores at high levels. Traditional Undergraduate Teacher Preparation Programs For undergraduates, admission to most Maryland teacher education programs occurs at the end of the sophomore year. Requirements for entry into the programs are similar across institutions and include a minimum GPA of 2.5 (Coppin, Frostburg) to 2.75 (Salisbury State). Students must have completed several prerequisites, including coursework in English and math. Many institutions also require students to meet the state’s qualifying scores on Praxis I prior to admittance into the program. Some programs have additional requirements such as completing a speech course or test, 20 documented hours of working with diverse populations in different settings, and completion of an entrance portfolio. Programs in the state require students to complete 120 credits (University of Maryland) to 128 (Frostburg) credits. The coursework is similar across programs, is guided by state-recognized national standards, and currently meets the MSDE reading course requirements. Most programs either require or strongly advise that elementary education candidates have either a specialization or a minor in a content area to fulfill the department’s requirements. In addition to the requirements of most education majors, the Maryland State Board of Education recently regulated additional courses in reading instruction for licensure. Poor performance on the state assessment (MSPAP) in eighth grade and on the
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality National Assessment of Educational Progress led the board to establish the new regulations that require regular and special education teachers at the early childhood and elementary levels to complete 12 semester hours (four courses) in specific reading content, such as language development, phonics, and reading assessment. Regular and special education teachers at the secondary level must complete six semester hours (two courses) in reading instruction. Maryland has also sought to improve the quality of its teacher candidates through the establishment of a network of professional development schools (PDS) throughout the state. PDSs are a collaborative effort between a school system and a higher-education institution and are formed to increase the amount of time teacher candidates spend in the school and to intensify their training prior to licensure. In several models teacher candidates arrive in August and have a full-time internship in a school for the academic year. Being in the school for the entire academic year provides teacher candidates with the opportunity to participate in all aspects of a teacher’s life at school. Each school may have a unique emphasis, such as technology, career preparation, or reading. Classes for teacher candidates are taught in the school by resident teachers and faculty members (much like university teaching hospitals). PDSs are mostly sponsored by the state, with additional funding from school systems and higher education institutions. As of July 2000, there were 150 PDSs in Maryland, some of which are multisite. As a part of the state’s teacher incentive program, the state announced that an additional $1.2 million will be used to increase the number of PDSs in 1999–2000. The state’s goal is to have all preservice programs be performance based and include an extensive internship in a professional development school by the end of 2004. Along with the required field experience, candidates have to also complete Praxis II before graduation. Some institutions require students in teacher education programs to only take Praxis II prior to graduation (Morgan State University), while others specify that graduation is contingent on passage of Praxis II (Coppin State University). Upon graduation from an approved teacher education program, students apply directly to the state for an initial license. Alternative Certification Program Most teachers in Maryland receive initial certification after completing undergraduate programs, but the state has encouraged all higher-education institutions to also establish programs for initial teacher certification at the postbaccalaureate level for career changers. The master’s program is typically a one-year full-time program. Numerous programs include two summer school sessions and two academic semesters, while others are part time and may take two to three years. Candidates entering the program must have a baccalaureate degree and appropriate content course work in the area in which they are seeking licensure. Maryland has also established a resident teacher program in two school
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality systems—Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. These two systems have the highest percentage of teachers with emergency/provisional certification. The resident teacher program is an alternative route into teaching and was designed for arts and science college graduates and individuals seeking a career change. To enter the program, candidates must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution in the area of the classroom assignment, have received a B or better in courses related to the area of assignment, submit qualifying scores on Praxis I and II, and completed 135 hours of study (aligned with the Essential Dimensions of Teaching—Maryland’s standards for teacher candidates). Once the requirements are met, the teacher candidate receives a resident teacher certificate and may be employed by a state school system as a resident teacher. During employment, a resident teacher must complete an additional 45 hours of study (for secondary teachers) or an additional 135 hours of study (for elementary teachers) and receive mentoring for each year employed as a resident teacher (four-year limit to employment with this certificate) and provide verification of satisfactory teaching performance (for every year spent teaching). Pending budget approval, the state will allocate additional funds ($1 million per year for three years) to establish resident programs statewide. Title II State Grant Maryland is strengthening its school-based preservice and continuing professional development programs and was awarded a Title II grant by the U.S. Department of Education to support this initiative. Funds from the grant are also being used to strengthen teacher education programs through a focus on state and national K-12 student standards and high-level teacher certification requirements and to increase the state’s accountability system for teacher preparation programs.
Representative terms from entire chapter: