By Sandra Stotsky
Teachers can't educate what they don't know. This nation has tolerated a susceptible licensing procedure for potential academics for many years. This vulnerable approach has been observed through an more and more emptier curriculum for many scholars, depriving them of the information and talents wanted for self-government.
An Empty Curriculum: How instructor Licensure exams result in Empty scholar Minds makes the case that the entire revision of the licensing method for potential and veteran lecturers in Massachusetts in 2000 and the development of recent or extra hard instructor licensing assessments contributed considerably to the Massachusetts “education miracle.” That “miracle” consisted of putting up with profits in fulfillment for college students in all demographic teams and in all local vocational/technical excessive colleges because 2005—gains proven by way of assessments autonomous of Massachusetts coverage makers.
The speedy function of this publication is to provide an explanation for what Massachusetts did in 2000 to bolster its instructor licensing and re-licensing process to make sure that all academics may possibly educate to rather robust K-12 criteria. Its higher function is to indicate that improvement of sturdy educational criteria in all significant matters may be through whole revision of a state’s instructor licensing approach, no longer, as has been the case for a number of a long time, the improvement of K-12 pupil tests—if this kingdom desires to advance public schooling.
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In states contracting with ETS, the PRAXIS I test is used for this purpose. In states contracting with NES, a skills test developed by NES for this purpose is used by the state. The subject area test, which often includes items on teaching methods, is increasingly being used to screen admission into student teaching in undergraduate licensure programs. However, both types of tests are usually required for admission into postbaccalaureate programs for the initial license. Ed. program) for a core subject, but cannot pass the subject area test, may be admitted conditionally until they pass it—certainly before they are allowed to do student teaching.
It differs from what is done in many states’ regulations with respect to specificity. It lists the major academic topics for each field—not as many as would be listed on individual syllabi, but enough to clarify the intellectual highlights of a field. The link in the following endnote leads to the topics listed for each field in the Bay State’s licensing regulations. 3 These lists for each licensing test identify, to the extent possible, those topics that candidates for a particular teaching license should study in their arts and sciences major and in other arts and sciences courses.
Licensure Tests for Secondary Teachers of a Foreign Language Spanish is the most frequently taught foreign language in Massachusetts public schools as well as in the country at large, followed at a considerably lower frequency by French. My first step was to seek advice from college faculty who taught foreign languages and supervised student teachers in K–12. What did they think was the appropriate academic coursework to assess on a licensure test for someone plan- 46 CHA P TER 6 ning to teach in the public schools, not coursework for a major or minor?
An Empty Curriculum: The Need to Reform Teacher Licensing Regulations and Tests by Sandra Stotsky