An Empty Curriculum: The Need to Reform Teacher Licensing by Sandra Stotsky

By Sandra Stotsky

Teachers can't train what they don't know. This kingdom has tolerated a vulnerable licensing approach for potential academics for many years. This vulnerable process has been observed by way of an more and more emptier curriculum for many scholars, depriving them of the data and abilities wanted for self-government.
An Empty Curriculum: How instructor Licensure checks result in Empty pupil Minds makes the case that the whole revision of the licensing method for potential and veteran academics in Massachusetts in 2000 and the development of recent or extra challenging instructor licensing checks contributed considerably to the Massachusetts “education miracle.” That “miracle” consisted of tolerating earnings in fulfillment for college students in all demographic teams and in all neighborhood vocational/technical excessive colleges given that 2005—gains proven through exams autonomous of Massachusetts coverage makers.
The speedy objective of this booklet is to provide an explanation for what Massachusetts did in 2000 to reinforce its instructor licensing and re-licensing method to make sure that all lecturers may well train to quite robust K-12 criteria. Its greater goal is to indicate that improvement of robust educational criteria in all significant topics might be via entire revision of a state’s instructor licensing method, now not, as has been the case for a number of a long time, the improvement of K-12 scholar tests—if this state desires to boost public schooling.

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Although education schools (which had unsuccessfully opposed the requirement in MERA) were under the impression that these were only pilot tests for prospective teachers and didn’t want the dismal results publicized, a close to 60 percent failure rate attracted national headlines. S. S. Department of Education. That provision compelled all states to require licensure tests for new teachers. Each state henceforth had to report annually on the pass rates on tests of its own choosing for each cohort of prospective teachers completing training programs in the state’s own teacher training institutions.

Each ETS state determines its own pass score, which may differ from that of another state using the same ETS test. ETS has tried to get states using the same ETS test to agree on a common pass score, but so far it has not succeeded. NES states also determine their own pass scores. Only pass scores on the tests prepared by ABCTE provide comparable information across states; they are predetermined for each test and states may not alter them. Fourth and far more problematic: No information is available for any state on any of its required tests on how many test items need to be correct (before the total number is converted to a scaled score) in order for a candidate to achieve a pass score.

None of this took place, as suggested by a 2002 Education Trust report on the effects of this Title II provision and by several studies on the content of preparation programs for elementary teachers, to be discussed in a later chapter. POINTS TO REMEMBER 1. Prospective teachers in most states in the 19th and early 20th centuries were expected to pass short but demanding tests of their academic knowledge and/or to provide a transcript of their course of studies in college or a teacher training school.

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