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

By Sandra Stotsky

Teachers can't educate what they don't know. This kingdom has tolerated a vulnerable licensing approach for potential lecturers for many years. This vulnerable approach 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 exams bring about Empty pupil Minds makes the case that the entire revision of the licensing approach for potential and veteran lecturers in Massachusetts in 2000 and the development of latest or extra not easy instructor licensing checks 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 neighborhood vocational/technical excessive colleges for the reason that 2005—gains proven by means of assessments self sustaining of Massachusetts coverage makers.
The rapid objective of this publication is to give 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 train to rather robust K-12 criteria. Its greater function is to signify that improvement of sturdy educational criteria in all significant topics will be by means of entire revision of a state’s instructor licensing approach, no longer, as has been the case for a number of many years, the advance of K-12 scholar tests—if this nation desires to boost public schooling.

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Extra info for An Empty Curriculum: The Need to Reform Teacher Licensing Regulations and Tests

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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. However, each state was allowed to decide what licensure tests it would require, what it would assess on them, their pass scores, and 30 CHA P TER 4 when the tests could be taken. The expectation was that a requirement to report pass scores on state licensure tests annually would upgrade the quality of the teacher preparation programs in each state or perhaps cause some to go out of existence.

So far as I could tell, the implication was that K–12 students were not expected to learn much, if anything, about the history and literate culture of any Spanish-speaking country, especially the country of origin of the language itself (since it was the home of the oppressive Spanish empire). The final profile of strands and weights that emerged by 2009 after a six-year battle simply ignored what was in the 2001 regulations. Below is the current template for the strands and weights for the grades 5–12 licensure test in Massachusetts for French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian, and Portuguese: Multiple-Choice (70 items) Approximate Test Weighting I.

The development of teacher tests, especially for those seeking a high school position, was further stimulated by the Great Depression when school superintendents found a surplus of highly educated people available for teaching positions because of a lack of other jobs in their discipline-based specialties. 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).

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