Because we are a little shorthanded here at work with a reporter out on medical leave, I have been dipping my toe back into education reporting.
I noticed that the state Education Department on Monday proposed eliminating the deadline by which teaching candidates must complete all their certification requirements to be eligible for the “safety nets” on teacher certification examinations.
This issue is somewhat convoluted, but it goes back a few years when the Common Core standards came into vogue. In addition to the state tests for grades three through eight and the Regents exams changing, the teacher certification exams were made more difficult.
Education advocates and others criticized the state for how the process was handled and wanted a safety net for prospective teachers who met the other requirements but had not yet passed the new exam.
Last year, the Board of Regents decided to reset the passing score for the required exam and phase it in over a period of years. There was a deadline of June 30 of this year in which teaching candidates had to complete all other requirements to be eligible for the safety net.
This change essentially eliminates that deadline.
“We must give future teachers the opportunity to meet certification requirements at a realistic pace,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said in a news release. “The Board and I have worked to ensure that safety net regulations are in place to support teaching students and that content of certification exams is appropriate. We need well-prepared candidates to teach our children, while providing a reasonable path to certification.”
Public comment on this rule will take place from Feb. 7 through April 9.