CSET Multiple Subjects Exam now being waived?

Discussion in 'Multiple Subject Tests' started by Jammy, May 23, 2019.

  1. Jammy

    Jammy New Member

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    May 23, 2019

    I was simply curious as to how some educators who had to pass the exam feel about a new wave of aspiring educators now being able to waive the exam. I have personally heard of students in teacher preparation programs who can not even pass the CBEST and try to get it waived and I wonder if the teaching profession is even right for them. I understand if I am coming across as judgemental but I wonder if by waiving the exam and substituting it for more course work on elementary general education subjects is enough to make sure that capable individuals are being awarded teaching credentials. At times I feel the CSET is necessary but, then there's the RICA which is largely known to be an outdated exam and yet is still required as far as I know.
     
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  3. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    May 24, 2019

    “The CBEST, for example, can be waived if a student scores at least a 500 on the SAT English exam and at least 550 on the SAT math exam, or scores a 22 or higher on the ACT English exam and a 23 or higher on the ACT math exam. The test also can be waived if a student passes the CSET: Multiple Subjects test, plus a related writing examination, or earns a 3 or above on specific high school Advanced Placement tests.

    In some cases, the CSET can be waived if students pass commission-approved coursework, aligned to each test, while they are earning their undergraduate degrees.”

    https://edsource.org/2019/required-tests-roadblock-for-many-california-teacher-candidates/607239
     
  4. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    May 24, 2019

    I think this is a slippery slope that we should not be treading on. Most aspiring teachers pass their certification tests on the first try, so I don’t see why the CTC is changing it’s licensure requirements to accommodate a minority of people who cannot demonstrate their subject-matter competency.
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 24, 2019

    Let me interject some historical perspective. Waiver of the CBEST requirement on the strength of SAT or ACT scores (both tests are more challenging than CBEST) is relatively recent, and became policy along with waiver on the basis of passing either the ELM (math) and EPT (language) placement test package or CSU's in-house placement tests; all of these are more rigorous than CBEST. Waiver of CBEST on the basis of passing CSET: Multiple Subjects plus CSET: Writing has been available since shortly after the 2003 inception of the CSET program (the rationale is that CSET-MS Subtest II explicitly tests math at a more sophisticated level than CBEST does, and reading comprehension is implicitly and more rigorously tested in the whole of any subject-matter CSET with the possible exception of CSET Math, which doesn't generally feature passages to unpack). Waiving teacher subject-matter tests on the basis of completing a CTC-approved subject-matter preparation program was more frequent before CSET: fewer universities have CTC-approved subject-matter programs.

    I'll add that CBEST or CSET: Writing, CSET-Multiple Subjects, and RICA are the tests of record not only for a standard elementary-education credential but also for a full special education credential, whether mild-to-moderate or moderate-to-severe. While the moderate-to-severe population can include students who are physically or emotionally challenged but intellectually capable of handling the standard curriculum, the majority of the students are not: a significant number of them will never reach Piaget's concrete operational stage and simply can't manipulate symbols well enough to learn to read. The mismatch between subject matter tested and subject matter taught has been a point of complaint among special-education credential candidates for years; it would be unsurprising to find that some of the renewed impetus for waivers to testing has special education in view.

    Genuine test anxiety - where someone who's skilled and competent outside of a standardized-testing situation freezes up mentally in the presence of a standardized test, and cannot unfreeze - is a terrible thing. It's also fairly rare. Because it does exist, I'm not against some reasonable alternatives to teacher tests.

    With that said, however, what most struggling test takers who claim test anxiety experience is what most good test takers experience before a test - that is, pre-performance jitters, with the fluttery stomach and the accelerated pulse and, in the case of very bright test takers, a hefty dose of impostor syndrome. The difference is partly that, while the good test takers have stumbled into ways to manage those sensations for the time it takes to succeed, the less skilled test takers have learned - and, entirely too frequently, have been taught explicitly - that only bad test takers feel that way and that so feeling is (further) proof both that one is incompetent as a test taker. All of this can be remedied, but regarding those who struggle with testing as contemptible for struggling is both wholly counterproductive and at least potentially unteacherly.
     
  6. LorixC

    LorixC Rookie

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    Jun 15, 2019

    If it is being waived in the future I think I would be a bit upset, just finally finished up two of the CSETs and CBEST.
     
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  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Jun 15, 2019

    Right, I’m all for giving test takers a fee waiver after a certain number of attempts and free or discounted test prep and such, or even extending the deadline from 1-3 years, but not an exemption. How is that fair to those who were required to take it/them and passed?

    After all, there is no exemption for an MD/DO passing their medical boards or a JD from having to pass the State Bar, so why should teacher licensure be any different? It only dilutes the profession.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
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  8. Jammy

    Jammy New Member

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    Jul 8, 2019

    Although I appreciate everyone's responses to my poorly posed question, I have to say that your opinion on this is the most popular I have encountered when asking veteran teachers. They are unsure what this will mean for future teachers and question how prepared they will be to teach without passing such exams and I am also upset that I have encountered students in teacher preparation programs complain and say they would rather take more classes than have to pass CSET and I found that attitude "unteacherly" they really saw it as taking the "easy way out" so to speak but I just hope the commission-approved coursework is adequate enough to prepare future teachers.
     
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  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Jul 8, 2019

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