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Indiana Licensure Overhaul Promotes Content, Alternative Routes

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With all this wrangling over teacher effectiveness and the best ways to measure it, you'd be forgiven for thinking we'd all moved on from old teacher wars (traditional vs. alternative certification, content vs. pedagogy) to the new ones. Well, think again.

In Indiana, the state's professional-standards board advanced a plan to overhaul the state's licensing system. The proposal would require teachers to pass a basic-skills test before entering a preparation program and to take more content coursework. It also would allow mid-career professionals to become teachers and administrators by passing tests rather than completing programs.

But it's caught a lot of pushback, especially from state colleges of education and those who say it would weaken entry standards. And those groups will have a chance to promote changes to the elements as the rules go out for public review.

Anyone want to guess what the result will be?

1 Comment

I find it interesting that the state of Indiana would allow mid-career professionals to become teachers and administrators by taking what seems like the easy way. As a someone who took the required courses in an education program and then had to pass the required tests, I am insulted. It would be unfair for mid-career professionals to have an easier route to obtaining their license and to make others go through the more traditional route. There are many complaints about incompetent teachers and I think the state of Indiana is not helping by proposing tests in place of courses. These mid-career professionals should have to go through the same courses as those who take the traditional approach to getting a license.

I can only guess that if the colleges of education have their say that this test-based route to getting a license would not fly. I do not have a problem with more content-based classes because that adds to the depth of knowledge that a teacher has. What I have a problem with, aside from the alternative license route, is the basic skills test. That is essentially Praxis I. What does graphing, right angles, and the quadratic equation have to do with my ability to teach language arts? I learned all of that in high school and promptly erased it from memory once I realized that I would not need it for the rest of my life.

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