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 susceptible procedure has been observed 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 scholar Minds makes the case that the total revision of the licensing approach for potential and veteran lecturers in Massachusetts in 2000 and the development of recent or extra hard 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 local vocational/technical excessive faculties on the grounds that 2005—gains proven via assessments self sustaining of Massachusetts coverage makers.
The rapid function of this publication is to provide an explanation for what Massachusetts did in 2000 to bolster its instructor licensing and re-licensing procedure to make sure that all lecturers may possibly educate to fairly powerful K-12 criteria. Its greater objective is to signify that improvement of robust educational criteria in all significant topics can be by means of whole revision of a state’s instructor licensing process, now not, as has been the case for a number of a long time, the advance of K-12 scholar tests—if this state desires to advance public schooling.

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Additional resources for An Empty Curriculum: The Need to Reform Teacher Licensing Regulations and Tests

Sample text

Licensure tests of teacher’s subject area knowledge may be given at different times in the professional education of a prospective teacher, unlike licensure tests for other professions, which can be taken only after completion of a professional training program. 4. The most comprehensive study of the content of teacher licensure tests, published in 1999, concluded that most are likely at the high school level in difficulty, despite the requirement that prospective teachers must have completed a four-year college degree program.

But the pass rate is between 80–90 percent annually, suggesting that the pass score is not high enough. A relatively low pass score (leading to a high pass rate) could mean that questions drawing on presumed coursework in classic texts from American or British literature may not be answered correctly but, because of compensatory scoring, won’t matter for the final score. Nevertheless, the specificity of the topics in licensing regulations can make a difference in the college curriculum. A professor of English at a state university in Massachusetts casually commented at a conference for literary scholars in April 2014 that the demands of the topics on the licensure test for prospective English teachers in the Bay State had led to a stronger set of course requirements for these undergraduates than for the English major itself at her university.

It is apparently politically incorrect to assess on a licensure test a prospective foreign language teacher’s knowledge of the intellectual and artistic culture of the language’s country of origin, especially if it is Spain. It may also be politically incorrect to teach about Spain’s intellectual and artistic culture in K–12, as well. Although no research on the cultural content of the elementary and secondary school Spanish curriculum in this country can be found, American students may be learning little about the development of the language and the literary, artistic, and intellectual history of its country of origin when they study any European language in K–12.

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