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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality
single-subject authorization, the intern must have a major or minor in the subject to be taught or have passed the appropriate subject matter assessment. For the multiple-subject (self-contained classroom) authorization, the intern must have at least 40 semester units of coursework in language studies, literature, mathematics, science, social science, history, humanities, the arts, physical education, and human development and must have passed the MSAT. Additionally, the interns must pass the CBEST and possess a certificate of clearance verifying the personal identification and good moral character of the intern. This clearance process is required for the issuance of all California credentials, certificates, and permits.
In the Los Angeles Unified School District, the tuition-free program is available in elementary education, elementary bilingual (Spanish), secondary English, secondary science, and secondary mathematics. Interns receive 120 hours of preservice prior to classroom assignment, with subsequent classes held once a week during the school year (in English or Spanish). The interns also work with a mentor teacher during the program. An additional training component of at least 64 hours is held the second summer. District interns qualify for benefits and a salary during the two-year contractual period. Approximately 700 interns participated in the program as of August, 2000 <www.lausd.k12.ca.us/>. The Los Angeles Unified School District also has a district intern program for special education teachers.
The preintern certificate, an alternative to the emergency permit, is available only to individuals in approved preintern programs conducted by school districts and county offices of education that have received state grants to fund these programs. The preintern certificate program was designed to improve the effectiveness and retention of teachers with emergency certification. The goal of the program is to offer emergency licensed teachers support and training to meet the requirements of teaching intern and credential programs. To qualify for a preintern certificate, an individual must have a baccalaureate degree and must have passed the CBEST.
Additionally, to be eligible for a preinternship certificate for elementary teaching, an individual must show intent to complete the MSAT and show verification of successful completion of coursework (at least 40 semester units with a C grade) in four of the following areas: language studies, history, literature, humanities, mathematics, the arts, science, physical education, social science, and human development. To be eligible for a single-subject teaching preintern certificate, the candidate must show intent to complete the appropriate content assessment (Praxis and/or SSAT) and have completed 18 semester units in the subject to be listed on the certificate. At this time, the single-subject teaching preintern certificate is available in mathematics, science, and English. Individu-