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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality
als who have completed the subject matter requirement or student teaching and/ or a credential program are not eligible for this program.
There are currently 58 approved preintern programs, funded with state grants. These programs serve approximately 300 California school districts. In the San Francisco Unified School District, the preintern program provides up to two years of support for teachers with emergency licensure. Teachers with preintern certificates attend MSAT preparation workshops along with workshops on classroom management and instructional strategies. Teachers with preintern certificates also receive classroom support and coaching from a mentor teacher.
Title II State Grant
California is planning to reform its licensure and certification requirements and has been awarded a Title II grant from the U.S. Department of Education to support this endeavor. The grant funding is being used to develop and implement standards-based teaching performance assessments for teaching credential candidates, to reduce the number of teachers working with emergency permits by expanding alternative preparation programs, to reduce teacher shortages in math by funding the preparation of math teachers, and to assist colleges and universities to align teacher preparation standards with standards for student performance.
MARYLAND’S LICENSURE SYSTEM
Over the past decade the state of Maryland has implemented an innovative and challenging educational reform program—the Maryland School Performance Program. The reform platform has dramatically altered the state’s student assessment program. Maryland has adopted a multifaceted assessment program that holds both schools and students accountable. The Maryland School Performance Assessment Program (MSPAP), adopted in 1990 and launched in 1991, is an assessment program whose primary goal is to provide information that can be used to improve instruction in the schools. MSPAP is administered annually to third, fifth, and eighth graders and assesses how well students solve problems cooperatively and individually, apply what they have learned to real-world problems, and relate and use knowledge from different subject areas. MSPAP results are provided at the school level in five content areas and are a high-stakes accountability tool for the state. Currently, nearly 100 of Maryland’s 1,298 schools have failed to improve their academic performance and are eligible for reconstitution by the state.
For individual students there are academic benchmarks that must be met in the third, fifth, eighth, and twelfth grades. The benchmarks are established in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies. Additionally, new high-stakes standards-based tests are being phased in as a requirement for high