By Sandra Stotsky
Teachers can't educate what they don't know. This nation has tolerated a vulnerable licensing procedure for potential lecturers for many years. This vulnerable approach has been followed via 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 bring about Empty pupil Minds makes the case that the whole revision of the licensing procedure for potential and veteran lecturers in Massachusetts in 2000 and the development of latest or extra not easy instructor licensing assessments contributed considerably to the Massachusetts “education miracle.” That “miracle” consisted of putting up with earnings in success for college kids in all demographic teams and in all neighborhood vocational/technical excessive colleges because 2005—gains proven through assessments self sufficient of Massachusetts coverage makers.
The speedy function of this publication is to provide an explanation for what Massachusetts did in 2000 to reinforce its instructor licensing and re-licensing procedure to make sure that all lecturers may possibly train to particularly robust K-12 criteria. Its higher goal is to indicate that improvement of sturdy educational criteria in all significant matters will be by way of entire revision of a state’s instructor licensing process, now not, as has been the case for numerous a long time, the advance of K-12 pupil tests—if this state desires to increase public schooling.
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Extra resources for An Empty Curriculum: The Need to Reform Teacher Licensing Regulations and Tests
At the time I left the department in September 2003, drafts of strands and weights for the template of a revised foreign language test had begun circulating, and a few advisory meetings had taken place devoted to Spanish. They were attended mainly by Spanish language teachers and specialists in the schools who, it turned out, were not aware of the complaints about the existing Spanish test by college faculty (so they claimed). These school people did not want a new test to stress cultural knowledge—literary, historical, intellectual (#2, #3, and #4)—or to confine cultural knowledge to the country of origin of the 48 CHA P TER 6 target language (Spain) and to only one other Spanish-speaking country (#5).
But teacher educators then, as now, were not interested in assessing either the teachers’ or the students’ content knowledge. 5. In 1998, a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act required all states to submit test scores annually for each cohort of prospective teachers completing their teacher preparation programs, H I ST ORY OF T E AC H E R LI CENSURE TESTS IN THE UNITED STA TES 31 in effect requiring all states to develop or provide licensure tests. But the federal government did not specify what should be on the tests, where the cut score should be, or when the tests should be given.
The dilemma faced by superintendents was how to narrow down the pool to select the best teachers. From that dilemma, the American Council on Education gave birth to the National Teachers Examinations (NTE). The first examinations, administered in 1940, assessed basic intellectual and communicative skills, cultural and contemporary background, and professional information. Only about 30 percent of a very long examination—well over eight hours—was on pedagogy and professional knowledge. Aspiring high school teachers also took a separate test on the content of the subject they hoped to teach.