(By Bill Kautt, MSBA representative to the Teacher Licensure Task Force)
The Teacher Licensure Advisory Task Force held its last meeting Thursday, January 16, 2014. During the meeting, the task force approved three recommendations that will be included in its report to the Commissioner, the Board of Teaching, and the legislature. The recommendations essentially (some changes may be made by the department’s proof readers) are the following.
- The task force recommends repealing Minnesota Statutes 122A.09, Subd. 4 (b) and 122A.18 Subd. 2 (b) that require a teacher licensure candidate to pass a skills examination in reading, writing, and mathematics. These three subtests have been commonly referred to as the “basic skills” test. The task force supports the continuation of the requirement that a teacher licensure candidate pass examinations in pedagogy and content areas as approved by the Board.
- The task force recommends that the Board of Teaching develop requirements as part of its approval process for teacher preparation programs that include assurances that prior to graduation and upon successful completion of an accredited teacher preparation program, teacher licensure candidates are proficient in reading, writing, and mathematics at a college entrance level.
- The task force recommends that the Board of Teaching develop requirements for teacher licensure candidates who do not graduate from a Board approved teacher preparation program to demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics at a college entrance level. The Board of Teaching may consider the following ways:
- Through a portfolio
- Other nationally-normed tests
- Licensure from other state
- Consideration of prior teaching in other states/countries
- Other alternative (non-test) pathways
The final report, which will include the above recommendations, is due February 1, 2014. The report should be posted at http://education.state.mn.us/MDE/Welcome/AdvBCT/TeachLicenTaskForce/index.html after it is given to the required parties.