AM News: Teachers Face Higher Standards

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Aspiring teachers must master the basics
Kane County Chronicle:  Under new rules that took effect last year,
teacher candidates no longer have unlimited chances to pass the
four-subject exam. Now their tries are capped at five.. Madigan, Cross Compromise on IL Budget
Fox:  In a compromise at the Illinois State Capitol, Democratic House
Speaker Mike Madigan and Republican leader Tom Cross have agreed on an
outline for a new budget... Little support for Quinn school consolidation plan
AP:  Since shocking educators and parents last month by calling for a
complete overhaul of Illinois school districts' sizes and boundaries,
Gov. Pat Quinn has yet to provide detailed proposal, draft
legislation or build support in the General Assembly... Wave of pink-slips comes amid state education reform discussion
Daily Herald:  More than 1,200 people crammed into the gym at
Westfield Community School in Algonquin, with overflow crowds in
adjoining rooms... MORE NEWS BELOW

Rahm, Maggie Daley take an 'After School' field trip
Sun Times:  The arts program she started with 260 kids in 1991 on
downtown's empty Block 37 now serves 20000 Chicago Public Schools
teen... Teaching Little Fingers New Math Tricks
CNC:  A program developed by the Erikson Institute is helping public
school teachers introduce mathematical concepts like measurement to
preschool students...Several area schools called low achieving, but not low enough
Courier News:  Several schools in Elgin School District U46 and
Carpentersville area Community Unit School District 300 have been
identified by the U.S. Department of Education as some of the country's
persistently lowest-achieving schools...State's top educator tries to keep focus on kids
Tribune: Koch, 48, the pinochle-playing son of dairy farmers from
tiny Mt. Sterling, Ill., taught in a psychiatric ward and even a youth
jail but never a traditional classroom...
Teachers, students see texting lingo popping up in school writing Sun Times:  The
increased use of communication via text messages has resulted in a
language full of abbreviations, something that at times has crossed over
to the world of academics. Via Catalyst.

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  • catalyt's story about the charter cap's likelihood of being lifted is here:

    http://www.catalyst-chicago.org/notebook/index.php/entry/1045/Bill_to_create_new_charter_commission_likely_to_pass

  • What professional educator wants to teach with someone who can't do very simple math, know foundational elements of science and civics, and understand something of literacy?

    If you can't pass an easy test after 5 tries, you need seriously to reconsider whether you can teach something that you clearly don't understand.

  • Since everyone who wants to enter a teacher ed program must pass the basic skills test, it won't be THAT long since high school that most candidates will be taking the test. And for older career changers, there are sample tests and test prep classes people can take. Maybe they are saying 11th grade material is on that test, but I wouldn't believe it. I used to be that any reasonably bright 5th grader could pass the old test. So, I'd place its level right around 8th. Not hard people. Get over it.

  • Actually, a number of studies demonstrate that teacher IQ is closely correlated with teacher effectiveness.

    If anything, the Basic Skills tests and other exams required for certification are far too easy.

    I absolutely do not want to be teaching third grade with team members who can't subtract, who don't know how to identify the main idea of passages, or who can't write a basic essay.

    Teachers cannot honestly expect to be taken seriously as professionals in an academic realm while complaining that the public wants teachers who know something.

  • If that person from that unspecified university could not pass an exceptionally easy test, then yes. Under the law and in accordance with the basic common sense definition of what it means to be a professional, a person who cannot pass the required exams for certification is indeed unqualified to teach.

  • Perhaps the Basic Skills Test, the Content Area Test, or the Assessment of Professional Teaching exams aren't 'easy' for everyone, but then again, perhaps not everyone ought to be a teacher.

    Lowering the bar for certification cheapens the hard work done by people of any number of backgrounds who study, work hard, and learn what they need to be successful. What we do in classrooms everyday is too important to allow space in our profession for people who cannot demonstrate basic proficiency in the content we purport to teach.

  • Actually, having passed all three with nearly perfect scores on all exams, I know the content of the tests very well.

    In fact, if anything, I left the exams offended at how simple becoming a teacher really is, considering how complex the actual task of teaching is in the classroom.

    If I'm expected to teach math, reading, science, and social studies, then I should at least be able to demonstrate some minimum skills and knowledge in those disciplines. If I can't, then what on earth am I doing teaching? If I can't after five tries, then shouldn't I consider some other career that might not require that knowledge?

  • The quick rush to the exit door has already begun for those who might have been thinking about going into teaching...and it is projected to get worse.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-teaching-20110404,0,3739990.story

  • The topic of this particular post is whether teachers should be able to pass their licensing tests in 5 tries or less. Allowing teacher candidates more than 5 tries to pass a test meant to measure the basic floor of what teaching requires certainly does not help Excelencia ensure that our teacher candidates are vetted.

    In fact, most of my colleagues in TWI classrooms are extremely concerned that someone with limited proficiency in Spanish can pass the Type-29 exam fairly handily.

    Low standards for teacher licensure do not honor our profession.

  • You raise a valid point. Why are educators of considerable experience resisting the notion that teachers should demonstrate a broad knowledge base? Why should it take a decade of experience to know how to do my job? (Research suggests 3 with current teacher prep programs.) How many years does one have to watch schools continue to fail children year after year before deciding to do something about it?

    As to posting links, resumes, etc. that prove that I will, all on my own, change the educational landscape of the universe, I must respectfully suggest that you're creating a false choice. No one asked me to change the world. The only charge I'm taking on is that of finding as many committed people as I can to help build a new option for parents of all backgrounds who think that a new choice might serve them better.

    I'm not sure what I've done to wound you personally to the point that you'd attack me instead of attacking the content of my postings, but I'd encourage you to think about what we can actually do today that might make a child's day in school more productive. That's a better place to begin.

    And thanks for calling me a pedigreed youngster! I'm touched!

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