BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The state is making it easier to become a teacher. Students and those with certain degrees can now skip some of the requirements. The change comes as California's persistent teacher shortage has been compounded by the pandemic.
“Essentially what these changes did was allow multiple additional options for future teachers to meet these requirements for basic skills.” said, Mary Vixie Sandy, executive director of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Now instead of taking the CBEST and CSET exams candidates can prove they are proficient through coursework. Teacher preparation programs can assess your transcript to determine if you fulfilled the basic skills requirement.
For those working towards a single subject credential, they may be eligible to skip the exam by completing a major in the area they want to teach. For a multiple subject teaching credential, which is needed for elementary school or a special education credential, candidates may be eligible to skip some exams if they complete a liberal studies program or a major that covers certain content areas. Candidates may also use a combination of courses and tests, to prove they are competent to teach a subject.
“This change in law will allow them to take the test. If they don’t pass the test or pass portions of the test, but they’ve got coursework the they can blend,” said Sandy.
Magda Lopez has spent the last ten years working to get her credential which has been stalled by the inability to pass these tests.
“I wish I would have been able to have that opportunity,” said Lopez.
She estimates she’s spent around $4,000 on previous attempts.
“During those 10 years I would always ask myself if I majored in Liberal Studies, why do I still have to take the CSETs?"
While she worked towards her credential Lopez was lucky enough to begin student teaching. Which she said was a better test of her teaching ability than the exams.