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After months of complaints over the state’s trainer certification tests, which have can charge hundreds of educators their jobs, the Florida Board of education agreed to cut back the fee teachers pay for retakes.
among the many adjustments:
• Registration to retake some of the four accepted potential subtests will drop from $a hundred and fifty to $32.50.
• First-time registration for all area area checks will drop from $200 to $one hundred fifty, and retakes will drop from $220 to $a hundred and fifty.
• First–time registration for the full battery of Prekindergarten/simple or basic training assessments will drop from $200 to $150.
The stream comes not long after the outdated administration declined to exchange the testing gadget, and whereas lawmakers agree with the opportunity of putting off one of the exams altogether.
linked coverage: Florida condominium takes steps to eliminate controversial teacher test
“here is this sort of small thing the board can do to help their academics, and it’s so normal experience as smartly,” said board member Ben Gibson, who has informed Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Chairwoman Marva Johnson referred to she favored that the change would assist lecturers “devoid of reducing the rigor.”
The circulate found assist from Brevard County English trainer Vanessa Skipper, a member of the Florida schooling affiliation executive cupboard, who became the handiest member of the public to communicate to the board.
“here is one nice step within the direction of holding notable educators,” Skipper noted.
She agreed with Gibson that small however meaningful changes are needed to proceed enhancing Florida schooling. She additionally outlined the deserve to increase trainer pay, suggesting that additionally might aid stem the scarcity of applicants for educating vacancies throughout the state.
In connected news, deputy chancellor Paul Burns instructed the board that the branch has made a significant dent in the backlog of instructor certification and recertification functions that had piled up over a couple of months.
Burns mentioned commissioner Richard Corcoran had licensed six everlasting and three temporary assignments to the certification bureau to capture up on the 15,000 requests and then continue to be up to this point afterward. He predicted clearing the list through may additionally 31.
“I’m certain the school districts are excited to hear that,” Johnson talked about.
Two years after they begun investigating a big raise in disasters on Florida's expensive instructor licensing exam, FL's Board of education votes to decrease checking out charges on the state's instructor licensing exam. Full story: http://bit.ly/2FmBmW5
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — a brand new rule proposed by way of the Florida department of education (FLDOE) aims to greatly reduce prices to take and retake parts of Florida's mandatory however expensive teacher certification examination, also referred to as the FTCE. The proposal represents the primary large rate alterations made to FTCE costs for the reason that the state improved checking out prices through up to 800% lower back in 2008. [In 2014, fees were modified for retaking some tests containing subtests but there was no overall changes in cost]Proposed payment changes to the "common competencies" verify
based on the concept , the most significant rate reductions will influence examinees who need to retake the controversial familiar advantage (GKT) component of the exam.
The GKT consists of four sub-checks: essay, English language abilities, analyzing and mathematics. A public college instructor ought to pass all four sections of the GKT before they can earn a permanent educating certificates in Florida. expenses to take the battery of four assessments is $130.
besides the fact that children, if an examinee has to retake a portion of the test, the charge jumps to $150 notwithstanding the examinee has to retake only one subtest. due to the fact the examine become revised and made tougher in 2015, screw ups on the GKT and other parts of the FTCE have extended as much as 30% on some elements.
the brand new notion reduces retake expenses on the GKT to $32.50 per subtest. So, if an examinee has to retake just one component of the GKT, the retake fee may be $32.50 in its place of $150. If an examinee has to retake two sections, the charge will be $65 and the like. The decrease charges characterize a seventy eight% reduce in charges for the exam.Proposed price adjustments to the "skilled education" test
prior to 2009, the state legislature used to aid fund testing prices for examinees and all assessments and subtests were $25 without a further retake fees. nowadays, parts of Florida's instructor certification check charge examinees as much as $200 per part and retakes are an additional $20 more.
The more difficult exams mixed with expensive testing expenses have brought about many annoyed examinees to question if the state is profiting off those who again and again fail the look at various. Over the the remaining two years, they have spoken to dozens of annoyed examinees who spent heaps of dollars to take and retake portions of the look at various.
One exchange studying instructor lately told us she had taken and failed the maths section of the GKT 20 instances. A state spokesperson noted checking out charges cowl charges to oversee and administer every a part of the exam together with trends, administration, scoring, reporting and quality control of the FTCE, based on an FLDOE spokesperson.
The FLDOE shriveled these initiatives to trying out huge, Pearson Inc in 2011. in accordance with the state's record of govt contracts, the state's contract with Pearson Inc changed into worth greater than $58 million as of the conclusion of 2017.Proposed fee alterations to the "Pre-Kindergarten simple PK-3" verify
The proposed new fee agenda has to be authorised by way of the State Board of schooling on March nineteenth. If permitted, the new prices will take impact April 22, 2019.
click on here to evaluation the proposed new rule, prices and down load the observe document.Proposed charge adjustments to the "elementary training k-6" verify Proposed price adjustments to the "English 6-12 and middle Grades Englis 5-9" look at various
Copyright 2019 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This fabric may also no longer be posted, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
information shops suggested late remaining week that Gov. Ron DeSantis introduced a plan to invest $422 million in instructor bonuses. the brand new governor also declared that a program aimed at recruiting academics with bonuses, in response to their previous SAT or ACT ratings, could be scrapped.
both proposals would, with caveats, signify growth.
The Florida schooling affiliation applauded the elimination of would-be academics' standardized verify rankings as criteria for further pay.
The FEA, whose members consist of dues-paying lecturers in Manatee County however not those in Sarasota County, additionally gave a favorable response to the bonus theory — in the context that raises can be welcome in light of the indisputable fact that Florida has trainer-pay scales among the many lowest within the united states.
That spoke of, neither the FEA nor the Sarasota categorized/teachers association has supported the state's criteria for teacher critiques that have been used to verify bonuses. among the complications: teachers who do not teach courses field to Florida's aggressive trying out regime are basically graded and rewarded according to their college students' performance in other courses; the teacher-grading device nonetheless fails to keep in mind the demographics and success ranges of students.
in accordance with DeSantis' initiative, about 45,000 academics would acquire a $9,000 annual carry if they are rated as “enormously helpful” and work at a college that grows by means of 1 p.c in the faculty grade calculation. That scheme doesn't address the legitimate considerations of not simplest unions but individual lecturers in addition to parents.
a far better choice, in their view, would return Florida to awareness of the value of certification through the countrywide Board for professional standards. The board has developed a rigorous software of instruction and assessment; educators who profit certification earn what may still be considered a useful seal of approval that goes past the price of superior college levels and years of service.
The certification method requires collaborating academics to move subject-matter assessments, publish an excellent portfolio of their work, have interaction with mentors and be evaluated (either in person or by the use of video) all the way through their lecture room guide.
Florida academics as soon as certified for thousands of bucks in annual, supplemental pay if their accomplished and maintained board certification. It became a rigorous, purpose and informative technique that rewarded positive lecturers, even with whether they taught struggling or a hit students.
but it's no surprise that the Legislature ended the monetary incentives for gaining and preserving certification, citing the costs. That became a mistake, one that should still be corrected as a part of compensation reform and instructor evaluation.
There are two considerations. One is normal pay, including starting salaries; the different is proposing economic advantages to academics who operate past expectations within the school room, regardless of their college students' advantage and backgrounds.
We agree with all schoolchildren deserve a superb education from dedicated, useful teachers.
but they additionally recognize that now not all infants arrive at college equally prepared and equipped with the substances to achieve long-term success. The present instructor-contrast formulation does not sufficiently make that attention.
Florida should re-investigate whether a rigorous certification software produces enhanced consequences than the fame quo, wherein so many lecturers are rated "highly constructive" below a improper device.
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Florida has a well-documented teacher shortage. It also has a test that many aspiring teachers have found to be a stumbling block as they try to enter the profession.
State lawmakers say they want to help fix both problems.
They’ve proposed giving teachers more time — three years instead of one — to pass the general knowledge exam after they are first hired. And for those who just can’t pass, they’ve called for a two-year mentorship program, after which a mentor teacher and the school principal could deem the newer teacher competent and qualified for certification anyway.
“We don’t want to have a situation where they have people who simply can’t get into the profession just because of a test, which, to be frank, doesn’t test the area they’re going to be teaching,” said state Rep. Byron Donalds, a Naples Republican who is sponsoring the legislation (HB 7061 / SB 1576).
RELATED: Florida Board of Education cuts costs of teacher certification tests
He noted that teachers still would have to pass content and professional practices tests.
The sentiment has gone over well with many teachers, after seeing colleagues — mostly career changers on temporary licenses — lose their jobs because they failed the test or a portion of it (usually math).
But the idea of a workaround to the exam of basic math, reading and writing skills isn’t winning support in all corners. Not even in some you might expect.
“I don’t know that I support doing away with the test,” said Fed Ingram, president of the Florida Education Association, the state teachers union. “I do support taking the time to look at why teachers are having such a difficult time passing the test.”
Ingram agreed with the notion that some educators, particularly those in career and technical fields who haven’t attended school in several years, might face problems with some of the test material.
That doesn’t mean they can’t be a good teacher, he said.
“But it also doesn’t mean they should retreat on their values of what a teacher should know,” he added.
Sharing that view is none other than Patricia Levesque, chief executive of Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education, which is often at odds with the teachers union.
Levesque said the general knowledge test is intended to ensure that the person standing in front of a classroom of children has good communication skills, can use proper grammar and has enough critical thinking skills to help students solve problems.
Teachers should have those abilities regardless of the course they teach, she suggested. And if they don’t remember them all right on their first attempt, she said, they should at least have the aptitude to study and learn them.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Tutoring the teachers — School districts work to coach those who struggle on state tests
“If even after three years this person has not been able to train himself or herself, that is troubling to me,” Levesque said. “It’s one thing to give people more time to pass. It’s another thing to waive (the test) completely.”
Two former state education commissioners have concerns, as well.
Pam Stewart, who retired in December, long fought pressure to change or eliminate the exam amid criticism it was hurting teachers’ careers. During her tenure, the Department of Education toughened the test that some teachers previously derided as way too easy.
“Demonstrating a command of ‘general knowledge’ is one step in verifying an educator’s level of knowledge,” Stewart said via email.
She, too, offered support for the compromise of providing more years to pass the test. But giving a mentor teacher and principal waiver authority was too much for Stewart.
“I don’t believe it is appropriate to add subjectivity into the process,” she said.
That concerned former commissioner John Winn, as well.
Winn applauded many of the recommendations in the legislation, such as surveying college of education students for feedback on their preparation programs and lowering retake fees, which the state recently did through a rule change.
But he also saw a potential burden being placed on mentor teachers and principals in the waiver program proposed in the legislation.
“Who wants to mentor this teacher who failed the test?” Winn asked. “It puts them in a situation where they work side-by-side in a classroom, then after two years you’re in a situation of saying you have the right to work or you don’t.”
He also listed other concerns, such as the accountability of a principal or mentor who vouches for a teacher who turns out to perform poorly.
“There are many situations that may not have been contemplated,” Winn said.
He suggested the state might want to start with extending the testing window, and requiring districts to provide added supports to struggling teachers. That intervention might be successful enough to not require any sort of waiver, he said.
Robyn White, a high school principal in Pasco County, said she has seen some “very phenomenal” teachers labor over the general knowledge test, and even lose their jobs because they couldn’t pass.
She agreed that it’s critical for schools to find a way to keep such teachers around.
But the Wiregrass Ranch High leader also shared the concerns about possible inconsistency among school-based decision makers, as well as the chance that subjectivity might sneak in.
“I don’t know if I would agree if it was a math teacher and they couldn’t pass the math portion,” White said. “If I have a school counselor who really doesn’t use that math, why am I going to hold them to the same standard? … I’ll be interested to see more.”
Florida is not alone in contemplating such changes to its teacher certification process.
Many states have basic skills or general knowledge exams, either created specifically for them or through a standardized testing company. The goal, as Levesque noted, is to have a standard way of determining whether teachers have certain abilities needed in their classrooms.
“This is a common question that a lot of states are thinking about in the face of teacher shortages,” said researcher Desiree Carver-Thomas of the California-based Learning Policy Institute.
Some are looking at assessing teachers in different ways, such as portfolios and written reflections, she said.
Some accept alternative qualifications, such as an SAT, a graduate school test like the GRE, a master’s degree or National Board certification.
Indiana officials are considering doing away with their basic skills exam, which they have noted does not predict teacher classroom ability, said Risa Regnier, the state’s director of educator licensing.
Already, Indiana changed its test once so that students take it at the beginning of their college teaching programs, not the end. That way, they don’t go through a four-year program only to learn they cannot get certified. But now, Regnier said, the universities are saying they have enough other criteria in place to select students that the tests seem unneeded.
Still, she said, the state hasn’t gone so far as to eliminate the exam for career-technical teachers coming from outside the traditional training route.
If those teachers need help getting up to speed on basic skills, “the state has supports to provide for them,” Regnier said, citing completion of certain community college courses as an example. “They’re teaching their students and they should have some level of proficiency in those basic skills.”
EDUCATION MATTERS: From Tallahassee to your local school board, the Times education page keeps you informed.
Patrick Riccards, chief strategy officer for the New Jersey-based Woodrow Wilson Foundation, a nonprofit organization that offers several teaching fellowships, found it ironic that Florida would consider lowering its criteria to become a teacher at the same time it touts its efforts to fill classrooms with the “best and brightest.”
In Texas, he said, some teacher preparation programs have become adept at reducing expectations as a way to find more educators. The problem, Riccards said, is those new teachers don’t always last very long.
Then schools have to go look again.
Teachers want to be treated as professionals, he added. Not passing a basic skills test doesn’t seem to match up with that goal.
If large percentages of teachers are being excluded because of the exam, Carver-Thomas said, “the question isn’t, How do they lower the bar? But, How do they know they have the right bar?”
Donalds, the bill’s sponsor, said he has heard questions and concerns he hadn’t thought about when he first proposed the legislation. He told colleagues last week that he plans to continue refining the measure as it moves forward.
The key, he stressed, is to get and keep as many good teachers as possible into the schools. And with no substantial data showing completion of the general knowledge exam affects a teacher’s ability to teach, he said, perhaps its time has passed.
His bill next heads to the House Education Committee. Its Senate companion has not yet been heard in any committee.
Contact Jeffrey S. Solochek at [email protected] Follow @JeffSolochek.
Testing the teacher
With minor editing for clarity, here are five sample questions from Florida’s general knowledge test for teachers. The correct answers are in italics.
1.) In the following sentence, choose the correct word to fill in the blank: John prefers ________ art to the classics.
2.) In this sentence, which of the following means the same as the word printed in bold?
To support her contentions, in her speech she alluded to the presidential elections of 1972.
3.) A building 51 feet tall casts a shadow 48 feet long. Simultaneously, a nearby statue casts a shadow of 16 feet. How tall is the statue?
• 17 feet
• 19 feet
• 23 feet
• 153 feet
4.) Solve the following problem for x:
4x-1 / 5 = 2x+1
5.) The regular price of a computer is $1,200 and the regular price of a printer is $300. An electronics store has a promotion that offers a 40 percent discount on the printer when the computer is purchased at the regular price. What is the total cost of the computer and the printer at the promotional price?
Paul Cottle, Your Turn Published 12:00 p.m. ET April 6, 2019
Paul Cottle (Photo: My View)
Re: “Don't lower the bar to become a teacher in Florida | Opinion,” April 1
Florida’s parents want and deserve to have confidence that their children’s teachers have a strong understanding of the subjects they are teaching. The state’s subject-specific teacher certification exams provide an admirable method for making sure that is the case.
But Florida also requires teaching candidates to take a second exam, called the General Knowledge test, that doesn’t provide any additional assurance that teachers understand the subject they are teaching. In fact, the General Knowledge test deprives the state’s students of access to many teachers who are experts in their fields – especially those who have previously had careers outside the K-12 schools and who would like to share their professional experience with students.
According to Tampa Bay-area journalist Katie LeGrone, more than 1,000 individuals who were already teaching in Florida’s classrooms and who had demonstrated their subject competence by earning temporary certifications, were terminated in the summer of 2018 alone because they did not pass the General Knowledge test.
In her recent op-ed, Kate Walsh defends the duplicative General Knowledge exam. She argues that removing the requirement for passing the General Knowledge test would allow “teachers in the classroom who can’t demonstrate the very skills they are asked to teach.” This argument is just wrong. Every teacher must pass a subject-specific certification test that adequately demonstrates competence in her or his field. For example, high school physics teachers must pass the states Physics 6-12 certification exam. Dropping the General Knowledge test wouldn’t change that at all.
The case of Escambia County teacher Emily Mixon, reported by LeGrone and the Pensacola News Journal, provides an excellent example of the way in which the General Knowledge test deprives Florida’s students of access to individuals with professional expertise in their fields.
After spending more than a decade in Pensacola’s performing arts community, Mixon decided to teach theater and dance at Escambia High School. She had been teaching with a temporary certificate and had been evaluated by her principal at Escambia as an effective teacher.
But last summer, Mixon was terminated because she could not pass the math portion of the General Knowledge test, which tests algebra and statistics skills. That is, Mixon was fired because she lacked math skills that were not relevant to the subjects she was teaching. As a result, Escambia High School’s students lost access to Mixon’s deep well of professional experience in the performing arts.
The General Knowledge test is a classic example of the over-regulation of a profession that is hurting that profession’s clients – in this case, Florida’s students. It is not surprising that those with a stake in the teacher regulatory apparatus would defend this test, even though there is no evidence that maintaining the test improves the learning of the state’s students.
Florida’s teacher shortage is intensifying. The Florida Department of Education and the state’s school districts are devoting resources and effort to helping teachers pass the General Knowledge test that could be used in more constructive ways.
The Legislature should pass House Bill 7061, which would provide a workaround for the General Knowledge test, so that it no longer deprives the state’s students of fine teachers.
Paul Cottle is a professor of physics at Florida State University and past chair of the Forum on Education of the American Physical Society.Join the conversation
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Two bills proposed by the Florida Legislature are attempting to address the ongoing teacher shortage in St. Johns County and around the state by making it easier to pass the general knowledge test required to become a certified teacher.
Senate Bill 1576 aims to give teachers more time to pass the general knowledge exam required to become a teacher. For teachers unable to pass the exam, a change proposed in House Bill 7061 would give teachers the chance to enter into a mentorship program that would give school principals or fellow teachers the ability to deem teachers qualified for certification, among other proposed changes.
In St. Johns County, there are 19 teachers who are in danger of being let go due to the general knowledge exam as of last week, according to the district. It's part of the reason that St. Johns County School District Superintendent Tim Forson said Friday that he's in favor of the proposed changes, including giving teachers up to three years to pass the general knowledge exam instead of one year, as is the current required time frame.
"I am all for it," Forson said. "If a new teacher comes in, that first year is hard enough all by itself. It's hard to get prepared and the exam is not easy. The idea of three years makes sense. They want them focusing on teaching."
Proponents of the bills say the general knowledge exam has at times acted as a roadblock for teachers, especially those transitioning from other careers. St. Johns Education Association president Michelle Dillon said a lot of the time it's because the incoming teachers struggle with the math portion of the exam.
"I hear about some teachers are missing it by one point," Dillon said.
Dillon said she also supports the proposed changes to give teachers more time to pass the test, and recent changes that lowered the cost of taking the test, but would like to see the state make specific changes that takes into account what the teachers will teach instead of having one test for every teacher.
"Teachers who are going for a K-6 certification have calculus on the test. Why?" Dillon said.
Not everyone agrees with the push to make getting a certification easier.
"Florida, considered a leader in the nation on its efforts to strengthen teacher quality, now appears poised to undermine the quality of its teacher workforce," Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality, wrote in a recent op-ed published in the Tallahassee Democrat. "If the law does pass, Florida would join 13 other states, none of which serve as standouts for their educational performance, allowing teachers in the classroom who can’t demonstrate the very skills they are asked to teach."
Even Dillon said she doesn't support the idea of doing away with the general knowledge test altogether.
"We want their teachers to have basic skills like communication. I don't think the bar needs to be set any lower," Dillon said, adding that leaving it up to a principal or mentor to decide if a teacher is qualified, as proposed in HB 7061, could bring bias into the picture.
“This is a common question that a lot of states are thinking about in the face of teacher shortages,” researcher Desiree Carver-Thomas of the California-based Learning Policy Institute told the Tampa Bay Times. Some states have alternative ways of certifying teachers like the GRE exams or portfolios, she said, as some argue the general knowledge test isn't always the best indicator of future success.
Although Dillon said she doesn't agree with everything proposed in the bills, she's encouraged that the state legislature is making an effort to address the teacher shortage.
Naples republican Rep. Byron Donalds, sponsor of the legislation, said whatever changes, the goal of the proposed legislation is to keep good teachers in schools.
Donald's bill was unanimously approved by the House Education Committee this week and placed on the legislative calendar while the Senate companion bill has yet to be heard by a committee.
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