CREDIT: iStock_Ryan-Balderas

California teacher candidates may soon be able to take fewer tests to prove they are ready to teach, if legislation approved by the Assembly Committee on Education becomes law.

In its only meeting scheduled this year, the Assembly Education Committee this week approved two bills that would temporarily give teacher candidates the option to use university coursework to replace the required California Basic Educational Skills Test, or CBEST, as well as the California Subject Examinations for Teachers, referred to as CSET.

A teacher candidate is required to prove proficiency in basic reading, writing and math by passing the CBEST or other approved exams before earning a credential. Candidates also are required to prove subject matter competence by passing tests that are part of the California Subject Examinations for Teachers or by completing coursework approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

The authors of the bills said the legislation is needed to help teacher candidates complete their credentials during the coronavirus pandemic, as most testing centers are closed, and to ensure a steady stream of new teachers into California classrooms. Both bills expire in three years.

Assembly Bill 1982 would exempt teacher candidates from the basic skills test if they earn a grade of B or better in coursework and tests approved by a university teacher preparation program. Assembly Bill 2485 would allow candidates for single- or multiple-subject credentials the option to use college courses in subjects related to the credential they are seeking — instead of taking the California Subject Examinations for Teachers — to prove they are competent to teach a subject.

“California is facing a significant teacher shortage and COVID-19 will only exacerbate the shortage across the state,” said Ash Kalra, D- San Jose, the bill’s author in a statement included in the analysis of AB 2485. “This pandemic will drastically affect all teaching positions, especially in the rural and urban areas where schools will be faced with many challenges. Credentialing programs are seeing a decline in enrollment, which only continues to increase the teacher shortage in our schools. As our state grapples with the impacts of this virus, we must come together to help Californians. Teachers and students will need all the assistance to overcome the impacts of COVID-19, so by expanding the pathways for teacher credentialing opportunities, we can move in a direction to address the teacher shortage in our California schools.” 

About 40% of California’s teacher candidates struggle to pass a gauntlet of standardized tests required for them to earn a credential, according to data from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Calls to reduce testing for teachers have gained momentum in recent years as the state struggles to put a dent in the persistent teacher shortage.

When students take those tests depends on the teacher preparation program in which they are enrolled. For instance, some teacher preparation programs require that students pass the CSET before admission, while some allow students to enroll first, then require they pass the test before they begin student teaching.

Recently the Commission on Teacher Credentialing temporarily suspended some testing requirements for teacher candidates who were unable to complete required exams because testing centers closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The commission does not have the power to eliminate or make substantial changes to tests mandated by state law. That must be done by legislation or executive order.

Assembly Bill 1982, authored by Jordan Cunningham, R-San Luis Obispo, also allows candidates to combine tests and coursework to satisfy the basic skills requirement. Cunningham called the CBEST “an impediment to recruiting qualified, quality teachers” and said there is no evidence that it correlates with classroom teaching performance. He said the legislation would allow teachers unable to take the test this year because of coronavirus closures to get into credentialing programs.

 “We can study and assess how it’s working in a couple of years out and look at whether it should be extended after that,” he said. 

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, expressed concern about the bill, but ultimately voted to pass it. “I know this is supposed to be a temporary fix,” Weber said. “But I would hate, as most things we do, we put things in for three years and we remove the sunset and it becomes a thing and we never discuss the critical issue of how we engage in the certification of teachers.”

Four members of the committee voted yes and three members abstained. It now moves to the Appropriations Committee where it must get majority support before it can be voted on by the entire Legislature. 

Assembly Bill 2485 would allow candidates the option to use college courses they have taken in areas related to the credential they are seeking to prove they are competent to teach a subject. Or they could use a combination of university coursework, a subject matter program approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and tests from the California Subject Examinations to prove competency in the subject matter. That would allow teachers to avoid having to complete all the tests in the CSET formerly required to earn a specific credential.

The California Subject Examinations are a catalog of required exams that offer tests for each credential. Elementary teachers earn a multiple subject credential by passing three tests: in science and math; reading, language, literature, history and social science; and physical education, human development and visual and performing arts. Middle and high school teachers earn single subject credentials in areas such as art, biology or English by passing at least one subject exam.

The bill passed by consensus and will move to the Appropriations Committee.

Making these tests optional could mean economic relief for some teacher candidates, especially those who have had to take a test multiple times. Tests can cost anywhere from $99 for a single subject exam each time it is taken to $247 for the three tests that make up the CSET: Multiple Subjects Test. The CBEST costs $41 if a paper test is taken and $61 if a test is taken online. 

“California is facing an unprecedented teacher shortage,” Cunningham said in a statement. “The hurdles that are needed to become a credentialed teacher in California have multiplied, increasing costs and burdens on candidates. One of the most arbitrary hurdles, the CBEST, is a costly and ineffective measurement of future teacher performance. Multiple peer-reviewed studies confirm that there is no association between the CBEST and teacher performance.”

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  1. Marta Rivas 4 weeks ago4 weeks ago

    I finally passed the CBEST but I really hope we change the testing. However, do I agree that we should take coursework within the subject and the required teaching/classroom management. I work as an aide right now just to get my credential but already have a Master's and none of that coursework is looked at which is really discouraging. If it weren't for the value of the schedule for me to be … Read More

    I finally passed the CBEST but I really hope we change the testing. However, do I agree that we should take coursework within the subject and the required teaching/classroom management. I work as an aide right now just to get my credential but already have a Master’s and none of that coursework is looked at which is really discouraging. If it weren’t for the value of the schedule for me to be a mom and go to school I would not be doing this. It is financial suicide for most educated people. I am sure glad these policy makers are working to change this. But it’s not soon enough, I had to drive 4 hours and pay for hotel to take the PRAXIS just to ensure that I keep up with my cohort at WGU. This cost me about $300 and the test center experience was just like being at TSA.

  2. Bree Satur 1 month ago1 month ago

    When is this gonna start?
    I’m about to clear my ed specialist credential but one subtest of the CSET hinders me. I couldn’t pass it. Can I clear my credential now without taking it?

    Replies

  3. Summer 3 months ago3 months ago

    I passed the math and the reading test and my total is 153 but I did not pass the CBEST writing because English is not my first language. I am teaching Arabic at a public school so I don’t teach English at all. Is the option to use university coursework to replace the required California Basic Educational Skills Test or CBEST there? I need to pass the writing to clear my teaching credential. My degree is from out of the United States.

  4. John 3 months ago3 months ago

    This is dead in the legislative assembly, I believe killed by one vote despite a largely bipartisan support. It was killed by California State Senator Connie Leyva. (D-Chino) I suggest those of us who were waiting for this to pass, to vote Leyva out of office. Kill her career just as she killed the potential careers of many others who were relying on this bill. It was also stalled by California Senate Republicans. Find … Read More

    This is dead in the legislative assembly, I believe killed by one vote despite a largely bipartisan support. It was killed by California State Senator Connie Leyva. (D-Chino) I suggest those of us who were waiting for this to pass, to vote Leyva out of office. Kill her career just as she killed the potential careers of many others who were relying on this bill. It was also stalled by California Senate Republicans. Find out who these people are and vote them out of office too.

    Do yourselves a favor and forget about this bill. The special interest lobby is too powerful to allow for any meaningful change. There is just too much money to be had by middlemen who administer this test. If you are truly serious about teaching move to a different state, one where you are not required to jump through so many hoops just to be a teacher.

  5. Ramon Gonzalez 3 months ago3 months ago

    Any updates on this? Last update I saw was that we would get an update on August 31st?

    Replies

    • John Fensterwald 3 months ago3 months ago

      As a matter of fact, Ramon, there is. We wrote about it this week. Here is the article. If you subscribe to our EdSource newsletter, you’d get the news daily. I recommend it. Go here.

  6. Sofia 3 months ago3 months ago

    I really do hope these bills pass! It would motivate me to pursue in the field I have been working in for over 18 years. I stand with the studies, “peer reviewed studies confirm that there is no association between the CBEST and teacher performance.” Neither does your education determine how you will perform in a classroom. I have come across so many teachers and I question how they still have have … Read More

    I really do hope these bills pass! It would motivate me to pursue in the field I have been working in for over 18 years. I stand with the studies, “peer reviewed studies confirm that there is no association between the CBEST and teacher performance.” Neither does your education determine how you will perform in a classroom. I have come across so many teachers and I question how they still have have their jobs. It takes passion to be a successful teacher.

  7. Carissa Canales 3 months ago3 months ago

    Can someone just tell me if I have to take the CBEST of not? They keep canceling paper-based testing and I want to apply to enter a credentialing program for Spring 2021. Someone please give me answers!! #SOS

  8. Shawn 3 months ago3 months ago

    Thanks for the posting, it relates so much to me. Math is no problem for me but English is a big hurdle. But I believe I can be a very good teacher with my BS degree in Science

  9. Chris Tasik 3 months ago3 months ago

    Covid-19 silver lining. This pandemic has forced people to get real about hiring good teachers. Earned my preliminary teaching credential, but could not clear having passed CBEST, CSET, but not RICA. Worked as full time sub teacher for over 20 years. This might be my chance.

  10. Irene Greenup 3 months ago3 months ago

    Test-smart people not necessarily make classroom smart teachers! In my experience of the last 11 years, I have come across some teachers who were able to pass the tests and become a teacher but their heart and passions weren't in teaching. By holding the bar so high by testing potential future teachers to death by these unbelievably hard and unnecessary CBEST and CSET testings, California is missing in having great teachers filling the teaching positions. Get rid … Read More

    Test-smart people not necessarily make classroom smart teachers!

    In my experience of the last 11 years, I have come across some teachers who were able to pass the tests and become a teacher but their heart and passions weren’t in teaching. By holding the bar so high by testing potential future teachers to death by these unbelievably hard and unnecessary CBEST and CSET testings, California is missing in having great teachers filling the teaching positions.

    Get rid of these silly test. They are just money maker for Pearson and others!

  11. Evan 3 months ago3 months ago

    California is the ONLY state that requires all of this nonsense testing! I understand the cbest! But it’s like you have to jump through all of the hoops to be a teacher here in California. You have to get your bachelors, take the cbest, cset, rica, get your credential, student teaching! It’s ridiculous, we’ve already spent four years taking English, math, science, and all of our other general Ed., then we have to go and … Read More

    California is the ONLY state that requires all of this nonsense testing! I understand the cbest! But it’s like you have to jump through all of the hoops to be a teacher here in California. You have to get your bachelors, take the cbest, cset, rica, get your credential, student teaching! It’s ridiculous, we’ve already spent four years taking English, math, science, and all of our other general Ed., then we have to go and take more test on That stuff again? Cbest is fine the rest of these test are not wanted, nor needed! A great teacher could be struggling pass all of these tests! Get rid of them!

  12. Alex W Palmer 3 months ago3 months ago

    If this happens, how would prospective teachers be able to take advantage? Would it be accessible via CTC, like current tests and information? Would it be like the STSP and DSC, which already rely on college coursework, or would it be done some other way?

  13. Renee Fortino 3 months ago3 months ago

    Thank you for writing this! I have taught in the private school system for 10 plus years, and worked for the public school system for less than half the pay I used to get as as teacher because I have a serious learning disability that has made it nearly impossible to pass the CBEST and CSET. I have taken multiple extra units and professional training to build my resume and my experience . I have … Read More

    Thank you for writing this! I have taught in the private school system for 10 plus years, and worked for the public school system for less than half the pay I used to get as as teacher because I have a serious learning disability that has made it nearly impossible to pass the CBEST and CSET. I have taken multiple extra units and professional training to build my resume and my experience . I have a BA and a career that has always been in education, but was told by the testing board there was nothing they could do for me if I can’t pass the tests in the subject that I have not enough training in due to my disability. Has anyone else had luck making progress with disabilities not covered in the testing accommodations?

    I am relieved to see that I am not the only one struggling, but something needs to give. Teaching is my passion, and it is the only thing I have wanted to due since I was a child. To think that a standardized test that 40% of people fail is blocking my path when I have already gone above and beyond to prove through classes, units and competency at the college level is incomprehensible . My area of CA does in fact have a teacher and substitute shortage that many of us could be a help in relieving. I would love to see a follow up to this story(ies) when the bills go up for final vote or decisions are made.

  14. michael kekel 4 months ago4 months ago

    Are the new laws being passed changing the requirement for passing the CSET before employment?

  15. manuel zaragoza 4 months ago4 months ago

    I’m curious what the update is right now because I’m planning on taking the CBEST next month. I feel it cost too much money for all these exams though.

  16. Michael Frazier 4 months ago4 months ago

    These “Basic skills” test are ridiculous. I have a bachelor’s in science and a master’s in physical education. Why do I need to demonstrate further competency by paying and taking these exams. It’s all about money (period).

  17. Deborah Hernandez 4 months ago4 months ago

    Why does everyone keep talking about "the California teacher shortage"? Unless you are teaching math, science or special ed, it is nearly impossible to get a teaching contract in SoCal. The profession is totally impacted. A year ago, I graduated from a master's and credential program at a UC school, and half the folks I know from that program cannot get a job in teaching. Exceedingly few job openings are posted on EdJoin, and the … Read More

    Why does everyone keep talking about “the California teacher shortage”? Unless you are teaching math, science or special ed, it is nearly impossible to get a teaching contract in SoCal. The profession is totally impacted. A year ago, I graduated from a master’s and credential program at a UC school, and half the folks I know from that program cannot get a job in teaching. Exceedingly few job openings are posted on EdJoin, and the ones that are posted are often given to district insiders before a real interview process can even be conducted. It was terrible last year, due to the fact that SoCal districts have declining enrollment. So far, this year, the job opportunities have dwindled to absolutely nothing, since the COVID situation is exacerbating the pre-existing problem.

    It is taking years for newly minted with master’s degrees, who have passed their TPAs, CSETs and more, who have completed all their student teaching hours, to find full teaching contracts or any work at all. Additionally, the new teachers I know (including me) are all scrambling to add additional credentials and authorizations to their resumes, all in the hope that it will help them secure employment.

    Why is no one talking about this?

    Replies

    • Jake 3 months ago3 months ago

      Wow, I have never heard of a teacher surplus in my entire county. Every school in my county is severely lacking teachers. Every single person in my credential program received a job offer post intern. As a whole, California is severely lacking teachers and enrollment in credentialing programs has dwindled to record lows.

    • Heather Rothstain 2 months ago2 months ago

      Hi Deborah,
      I completely agree with you. I am in Orange County and there are no teaching shortages. Substitute teaching is probably the way to go. I got through taking most of my tests and before jumping into a teaching program, I look to see if there are actually any jobs out there. I hardly found any so I’d rather continue teaching at the moment without the credential in other sectors. Good luck!

  18. Maria Lopez 4 months ago4 months ago

    I wanted to know if the CBEST had been waived. I would love to teach but have struggle with the test. I’ve finished my bachelors and have credits for my masters but have not pursued my career due to my struggles in testing. My passion is working in special education mild to moderate. Can you give me update in what has been waived for teaching?

  19. Dee 4 months ago4 months ago

    I really hope the CSET & RICA requirements get eliminated. I have successfully taught 2nd and 5th grade with an emergency credential. After spending a whole year studying, and $600 trying to pass the CSET, I decided to change careers. My principal didn't want to let me go because she saw how talented I was. I couldn't stay because of those terrible tests. Now I'm unemployed. I have the experience, what more do you want??? … Read More

    I really hope the CSET & RICA requirements get eliminated. I have successfully taught 2nd and 5th grade with an emergency credential. After spending a whole year studying, and $600 trying to pass the CSET, I decided to change careers. My principal didn’t want to let me go because she saw how talented I was. I couldn’t stay because of those terrible tests. Now I’m unemployed. I have the experience, what more do you want??? Let me teach! A test does not determine how effective you will be a teacher. The education system is so frustrating.

  20. Cyndee 4 months ago4 months ago

    I have over 25 years of experience teaching in the Illinois Public Schools and moved to California three years ago. I completely understand the shortage of teachers in California. Never, did I have to take 6-7 tests to become a teacher and be in a 2 year induction program. Is California still stuck in the negative attitudes about teachers from NCLB and teacher bashing? Why does the state mistrust teachers to the point … Read More

    I have over 25 years of experience teaching in the Illinois Public Schools and moved to California three years ago. I completely understand the shortage of teachers in California. Never, did I have to take 6-7 tests to become a teacher and be in a 2 year induction program. Is California still stuck in the negative attitudes about teachers from NCLB and teacher bashing? Why does the state mistrust teachers to the point of testing them to death?

    I have rarely met an ineffective teacher and when it has occurred, the school took care of it. Undergraduates are leaving California to teach elsewhere because it is next to impossible to take all of these tests. I say, go to Illinois (unfortunately, I moved here and really did not know how hard it was to teacher here),they just dropped the IBEST as they found it discriminated against people of color and had no bearing on the effectiveness of teachers. The state has no idea what teachers are doing in the classroom and tests are only knowledge, not empathy, flexibility, love of children, motivating and encouraging students.

    Once you are a teacher, you still have to study, all of the time, for your subject. Let the schools determine who is a good teacher through interviews and observations.. A test smart teacher does not make a classroom smart teacher. And the CTEL classes are horrible and extremely stressful. I took one University of Phoenix CTEL class and had no teacher input. You were required to figure it all out on your own. I am now studying on my own with tutors and if I had a choice, I would take the test. Each class was $779 and there is no economic advantage to taking 3 CTEL classes.

    I was a very accomplished and highly effective teacher and now I am downgraded to being a test and a number.
    Hey, California, do you want scholars or teachers? With COVID, many teachers are retiring or choosing online teaching. The ones who plan on going back are writing their wills. It is a sad day for teachers and students.

    Replies

    • Carrie 4 months ago4 months ago

      You got the nail on the head. We get tested to death and the only ones that are profiting is Pearson. I’ve had colleagues leave because after failing RICA up to 10x (219/220) at $172 a test, it’s just too much. People that say that we should have to take all these tests or leave, we are. We get vilified by everything we do and now we have to write wills to go into the … Read More

      You got the nail on the head. We get tested to death and the only ones that are profiting is Pearson. I’ve had colleagues leave because after failing RICA up to 10x (219/220) at $172 a test, it’s just too much.

      People that say that we should have to take all these tests or leave, we are. We get vilified by everything we do and now we have to write wills to go into the classroom? We will have millions of students left behind because of this.

  21. arbi 4 months ago4 months ago

    It makes zero sense to persecute potential teachers by making them jump through significant hurdles and obstacles, when they could be teaching, and learning on the job. Provide teacher training as part of their job. The costs incurred, plus this relentless examination culture has got to go. The financial costs and burdens of university education, plus further costs of things like credentials etc is ridiculous. Some admnistrators want to keep it to make big money. … Read More

    It makes zero sense to persecute potential teachers by making them jump through significant hurdles and obstacles, when they could be teaching, and learning on the job. Provide teacher training as part of their job. The costs incurred, plus this relentless examination culture has got to go. The financial costs and burdens of university education, plus further costs of things like credentials etc is ridiculous. Some admnistrators want to keep it to make big money. That’s about it. Ridiculous, and criminal in many ways. That’s what happens when education becomes big business. Perfectly employable people become unemployed also, along with creating an arbitrary shortage. Nonsense.

  22. Ingrid 4 months ago4 months ago

    I would like to know how this bill would help my situation. I passed CBEST and have more than 6 yrs of experience teaching elementary in private school. I haven’t passed RICA either, but all the other requirements have been met. I just need CSET and RICA. Does anybody know any update to this bill?

  23. Palak 4 months ago4 months ago

    Teaching is my passion. I am struggling passing the CBEST and it is bringing me down. I hope this passes through because I know a-lot of passionate students that are also in the same boat.

  24. Susan Ellis 4 months ago4 months ago

    I have been struggling with the CSET for years. Now I see that is being waived. How do I go about receiving my full credential.

    Replies

    • Diana Lambert 4 months ago4 months ago

      Hi Susan,
      The governor suspended the test this year for those who want to enter an internship program, but you will still need to pass it to earn a full credential. The bills mentioned in this story are in the Senate awaiting approval.

  25. Stephanie Mead 5 months ago5 months ago

    Hello, I completed a Master’s in Learning and Teaching program at U of R a few years ago and never was able to pass two of the three CSETs required. I am now stuck with student loans and no job. Are there any changes to the c-set requirements?

  26. Val Michailov 5 months ago5 months ago

    I am also an EU credentialed teacher with a dual master's degree in PE and Sports specific training. I passed the government exams in Europe in front of several members panels both verbally and in writing on all subjects. My diploma and credentials are translated and legalized in the US, granting me a dual BA degree in PE and Sports specific training; acrobatics. The way the CBEST test is designed with you having no … Read More

    I am also an EU credentialed teacher with a dual master’s degree in PE and Sports specific training. I passed the government exams in Europe in front of several members panels both verbally and in writing on all subjects. My diploma and credentials are translated and legalized in the US, granting me a dual BA degree in PE and Sports specific training; acrobatics.

    The way the CBEST test is designed with you having no way to look at the results or recommendations from the test, it is pure discrimination for foreigners and a scam, an illegal door they left for sifting out the ones they don’t want to give the right to teach. Let’s not forget: The credentialing company is a private company, the moral of which is questionable based on their exam systems. The more people they fail, the more exams they force people to attend, the more they profit.

    I also have passed the English language proficiency tests from two colleges: West LA and Rio Salado in AZ, as well as English 101 courses at Rio Salado, passing with 98%. Yet, the CBEST test tells me I cannot write a single sentence in English, therefore deeming the legitimacy of Rio Salado and West LA colleges as a phony such institution. Shame.

    CBEST is a pure scam: Give me your money, go test, sorry, you did not pass, and you can not see why.Now pay me again, so I can fail you again/ rip you off the money. These are practices unheard for in any other part of the world: illegal scheme for which I informed the credentialing institution and urged them to sue me for slander if I am wrong, as there was no way I can sue them. They make you sign the funny paper before you take the exam. I urged them to show me my exam results /essays and prove to me in court, that I have actually failed the “exam” based on their scoring system. So, please, do not go telling me how fabulous the CBEST test or the credentialing system is.

    It is not a test but a scam and it has nothing to do with one’s ability to teach. A university diploma shall be the sole legal document granting you the right to take upon employment in the field of expertise, such as education for example. I am not here to teach English, I want to teach PE. I am an accredited gymnastics coach, holding a Masters of Sport Degree and Honorable coach title in Sports Acrobatics, National level coach as per USAG, coached athletes to the highest levels in sports such as World Championships, European Championships, Indo-pacific games, and an alternate athlete here in the US to the 2004 Olympics, where gymnastics is the most complicated technically sport in the world.

    I am not mentioning the numerous State and Regional champions under my tutoring. I have also, as mentioned above, based on my formal studies, hold a dual master’s degree in PE and sports specific training. Yet, the CBEST tells me I can not teach a forward roll in school. Really?

  27. DAFRY 5 months ago5 months ago

    I was wondering if there was an update? Has the CBEST test been waived?

  28. Diana Lambert 5 months ago5 months ago

    Hello everyone,
    I’ve received numerous emails recently asking for an update on these bills. They have been sent to the Senate Rules Committee for assignment to a policy committee, which is expected to hear them in mid-July. This means it will be awhile before we know if they will pass the Senate and are signed by the governor. Keep watching this space.

    Diana Lambert

  29. Bethany 5 months ago5 months ago

    Thank you for writing this. I was feeling very alone in my struggles, and am having a hard time contacting anyone to help. The CA credentialing system, having come from teaching in multiple other states, is hands-down the most challenging one I’ve had to work through. It is also shaping up to be the most expensive as well. I’m all for holding teachers to high standards, but has there been any conversation about streamlining the … Read More

    Thank you for writing this. I was feeling very alone in my struggles, and am having a hard time contacting anyone to help. The CA credentialing system, having come from teaching in multiple other states, is hands-down the most challenging one I’ve had to work through. It is also shaping up to be the most expensive as well.

    I’m all for holding teachers to high standards, but has there been any conversation about streamlining the process? Not just due to COVID. It’s really hard to become an employable and effective (you’ve got to be able to teach more than one thing) teacher in this state. I am a science teacher with over a decade of experience and have now been hoop jumping for nearly a year trying to become employable, and COVID-19 has really exacerbated the situation. If CA needs more teachers, and it seems that they do, they are going to need to change their convoluted credentialing system.

  30. Dina 6 months ago6 months ago

    Thank you for reporting on this issue. I’m in a teacher preparatory program and am required to pass the CBEST and CSET prior to starting the student teaching portion, which at my school, is considered the last course. I am apprehensive about being able to pass the tests as I’ve heard from several people on various online forums who have taken the tests and cannot pass one portion of them. I’m looking forward to your followup article.

  31. Sal 6 months ago6 months ago

    That is awesome. I’m glad that California partisan political parties are taking a stand to set a course for future teachers that are passionate and determined to become good teachers. And theses obstacles that are not needed will hopefully be terminated.

  32. Liz 6 months ago6 months ago

    If a candidate cannot pass CBEST or CSET, they shouldn’t be teaching. It’s a basic skill assessment. My son took both passed both and is in the last semester of a credential program. An excuse that it’s too expensive because of taking it multiple times is an excuse. He had a BA, took the tests and went into the program. He worked full-time too. How low do you want to set the bar for … Read More

    If a candidate cannot pass CBEST or CSET, they shouldn’t be teaching. It’s a basic skill assessment. My son took both passed both and is in the last semester of a credential program. An excuse that it’s too expensive because of taking it multiple times is an excuse. He had a BA, took the tests and went into the program. He worked full-time too.

    How low do you want to set the bar for a person teaching your child? It reminds me of a teacher my other son had. He came home from school and told me his teacher was stuck on a math problem she was teaching but she was going to ask her husband and would tell them the next day how to do it. I moved him out of that class. I expect more from education and if you can’t pass the test you must have not learned what you didn’t learn what you should know to teach. Sorry.

    Replies

    • Michael 6 months ago6 months ago

      Liz there are 40% of prospective teachers who can’t past the RICA test. Your son passed the first two basic tests, which a lot of people have passed, but he hasn’t passed the RICA test.

      It’s not an excuse.

    • Zakia 6 months ago6 months ago

      Liz, I can totally understand your comment. I agree that the bar should not be set low. Our students deserve high quality education from highly skilled educators. However please allow me to provide you with another perspective. Prior to deciding to join the teacher program, I worked in special education mild/moderate and moderate/ severe as a highly trained Paraprofessional. Later I got my BA, passed two out of three subsets and passed the RICA with flying colors. … Read More

      Liz,
      I can totally understand your comment. I agree that the bar should not be set low. Our students deserve high quality education from highly skilled educators.

      However please allow me to provide you with another perspective. Prior to deciding to join the teacher program, I worked in special education mild/moderate and moderate/ severe as a highly trained Paraprofessional. Later I got my BA, passed two out of three subsets and passed the RICA with flying colors. I began teaching on permits until that last subset was passed.

      Fast forward, I missed just a few points on one of the subsets and boom, no job! There is no evidence that passing the test will make you a good teacher. My moderate/severe children were meeting developmental milestones under my teaching. I built positive reciprocal relationships with the families. The children’s IEPs were free of mistakes and all their goals were SMART goals. They flourished in early literacy and math.

      After losing my job as a public school teacher based on a few points on a test, the parents were highly upset, I decided to teach at a private school. My students who were preschool aged began to read on mid-kinder to early first grade levels. My parents all said that their kids were going to be bored in kindergarten because I had already taught them past the state standards.

      The tests are simply what they are, just tests. True teachers love to teach and will go to great length to provide equitable education for their students.

      • Rimelie Villarta 6 months ago6 months ago

        Agree 100%

        • Irene Greenup 3 months ago3 months ago

          Hi Diana, thank you so much for writing and bringing very much needed attention to the issue of teacher's credentials CBEST and CSET. Like many of these people who have left comments here, I can relate and have my BA in Education, 8 classes into my master's credential program, have passed the CBEST 2 years ago but I was stopped by my university from taking anymore classes unless I passed the required single subject CSET … Read More

          Hi Diana, thank you so much for writing and bringing very much needed attention to the issue of teacher’s credentials CBEST and CSET. Like many of these people who have left comments here, I can relate and have my BA in Education, 8 classes into my master’s credential program, have passed the CBEST 2 years ago but I was stopped by my university from taking anymore classes unless I passed the required single subject CSET test, or otherwise I can not start student teaching. Therefore, for the past 2 years my life goals of becoming a teacher has come to a halt because I keep taking the CSET test and miss by a few points.

          Honestly, I agree with many of the opinions left here because being a book smart does not necessarily makes you a qualified teacher! For example, I have 11 years experience as a very successful para-educator working passionately side by side to great teachers and as a result I have earned the experience that speaks louder than some silly tests to qualify me as teacher.

          Also, I think there is some kind of conspiracy going on here because if California has a shortage of teachers, then they should really consider making it easier not harder by getting rid of the testings for many potential and qualified teachers who are stuck at these ridiculous, unnecessary, and costly CBEST, CSET tests.

          Diana, if you can, you should take all of these comments and opinions from potential teachers to legislators and the governor so that they can see how negatively these tests are affecting the future of California and the students.

          Sadly, after working in the education system for many years I have learned that there are many unqualified people who were book smart and were able to pass the tests but they are terrible at teaching and they have no passion in teaching. On the other hand, there are many potentially great and passionate teachers who are held back from living their purpose because of some tests which have not even prove to make any difference in the ability and quality of teachings. Thank you (:

    • CJ 6 months ago6 months ago

      Do you understand that aspiring teachers may simply remember the information they need to for these tests before promptly forgetting it? These tests are not a measure of intelligence or ability to teach. Have you personally studied for these exams? Amidst a pandemic? Where unemployment is at an all time high and the tests cost $99 each? As someone who has been a top student all my life, who is currently pursuing a MA in … Read More

      Do you understand that aspiring teachers may simply remember the information they need to for these tests before promptly forgetting it? These tests are not a measure of intelligence or ability to teach. Have you personally studied for these exams? Amidst a pandemic? Where unemployment is at an all time high and the tests cost $99 each?

      As someone who has been a top student all my life, who is currently pursuing a MA in Education with a MS Teaching Credential, and once was supporting myself with a full-time job, the CSET is a barrier now more than ever. I have also worked in countless classrooms as an aide and have witnessed teachers with 10+ years experience googling information. You act as if these tests are all the knowledge teachers need to educate. I hope your son is a great teacher and does not carry the same poor attitude as yourself.

    • Jake 3 months ago3 months ago

      Highly disagree, I’m sorry. You are basing your assumption on what your son was able to do. If we consider the efficacy of tests, CA should have some of the highest test scores in the nation due to the excess of testing in CA for teachers. Clearly .. that is not the case. There is zero evidence that passing the CBEST and CSET make good teachers. Some of the smartest “book people” and “test people” … Read More

      Highly disagree, I’m sorry. You are basing your assumption on what your son was able to do. If we consider the efficacy of tests, CA should have some of the highest test scores in the nation due to the excess of testing in CA for teachers. Clearly .. that is not the case. There is zero evidence that passing the CBEST and CSET make good teachers. Some of the smartest “book people” and “test people” I’ve worked with in education make lousy teachers.

      As for your son’s teacher, she showed her human-ness in the classroom that day.

  33. Janette 6 months ago6 months ago

    I am in a teaching credential program for an elementary moderate/severe Education Specialist credential and need to pass the multiple subject CSET in order to take my student teaching course. I had to request a 2 yr leave of absence from the University in order to pass them. I have spent already $900 in the CSET exams and have not passed them and what's frustrating is that it has been by only 3 to 6 … Read More

    I am in a teaching credential program for an elementary moderate/severe Education Specialist credential and need to pass the multiple subject CSET in order to take my student teaching course. I had to request a 2 yr leave of absence from the University in order to pass them. I have spent already $900 in the CSET exams and have not passed them and what’s frustrating is that it has been by only 3 to 6 pts. I will need to pass all 3 subtests by end of this year due to my leave of absence ending and the need to to register to my student teaching course by Spring 2021, but only if I pass the multiple subject CSET.

    I hope that bill 2485 and also the one for RICA pass soon as these are the only things holding me back from getting my moderate/severe Education Specialist teaching credential.

  34. Kristyne 6 months ago6 months ago

    This isn’t the problem teacher candidates are having. How about the RICA, student teaching hours, the worse of them all – CalTPAs. With cut hours, a hold on testing, being filmed to prove teacher candidates can fulfill their job requirements leaves people with the inability to finish.

  35. Whitney taylor 6 months ago6 months ago

    Hello, did this already pass? I can’t seem to find that information. And I have reached out to two different colleges and no one seems to know the specifics. Thank you!

  36. Pat 6 months ago6 months ago

    The state of California needs to do away with the RICA test and allow those future teachers clear their credentials to meet the teacher shortage. Even more so now with Distance Learning and the use of technology in the classroom. Young teachers are the future of California. The RICA test is outdated and irrelevant in the classroom today!

  37. Marc Romero 6 months ago6 months ago

    I hear no mention of the RICA, reading instructions competency assessment. I heard of CSET and CBEST testing.Single subject testing for teachers in a limited way. I look forward to your future post!

  38. Diana Lambert 7 months ago7 months ago

    If you are still in a teacher preparation program and on track to graduate in 2020 your university can request a variable term waiver from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to allow you to move into the classroom without taking the RICA. This is a temporary waiver because of the coronavirus. You would then have a year to complete the RICA. A. Senate Bill that could eliminate or replace the RICA altogether is expected to … Read More

    If you are still in a teacher preparation program and on track to graduate in 2020 your university can request a variable term waiver from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to allow you to move into the classroom without taking the RICA. This is a temporary waiver because of the coronavirus. You would then have a year to complete the RICA. A. Senate Bill that could eliminate or replace the RICA altogether is expected to be heard by the Assembly later this year.

  39. Fariba Karimi 7 months ago7 months ago

    What about RICA? I have taken it a few times without passing. I am a special education intern teacher, If I don’t pass RICA, I will lose my internship.

  40. Tiffany Tarleton 7 months ago7 months ago

    More information concerning the temporary fewer tests. Please

  41. John 7 months ago7 months ago

    Spend four years at an accredited university, six if one were to count the two years spent trying to earn a teaching credential, earn a diploma, sink into several years of student debt and find out you're still not good enough to teach even as a substitute because you you failed one section of the CBEST by eight lousy points. What these tests are in fact saying is that college is a waste of … Read More

    Spend four years at an accredited university, six if one were to count the two years spent trying to earn a teaching credential, earn a diploma, sink into several years of student debt and find out you’re still not good enough to teach even as a substitute because you you failed one section of the CBEST by eight lousy points.

    What these tests are in fact saying is that college is a waste of time. That hard won baccalaureate you worked so hard for is not worth as much as a scarce toilet paper at a Walmart isle compared to these all or nothing tests. Just abolish colleges already and confer degrees and teaching positions based on these tests alone!

  42. Gur 7 months ago7 months ago

    I am an out-of-country prepared teacher and have acquired a preliminary credential. I have completed all the requirements except CSET to get a clear credential. I planned to take CSET in the month of July this year but now due to Covid 19, no date is available for testing. In this scenario, some coursework should be allowed in lieu of CSET. It would save time and money.

  43. Susana Suchowiecky 7 months ago7 months ago

    Thanks for your article. I am a Spanish teacher, I worked for 23 years and I have my Texas Certificate. I moved almost two years ago and I can't work because I have not passed the written part of the CBEST. I have taken it 7 times. More than $750. I am about to start a tutoring that is costing me $900. This is so illogical. I am a single subject certify Spanish teacher. Is this is … Read More

    Thanks for your article.

    I am a Spanish teacher, I worked for 23 years and I have my Texas Certificate. I moved almost two years ago and I can’t work because I have not passed the written part of the CBEST. I have taken it 7 times. More than $750.

    I am about to start a tutoring that is costing me $900. This is so illogical. I am a single subject certify Spanish teacher. Is this is going to go through? I need a job and I can’t get one at LAUSD till I pass the CBEST and the CTEL.
    Again thank you for addressing this issue. I have been in contact with CTC and LAUSD and they have not been able to help me.

  44. Sheila 7 months ago7 months ago

    Part of the problem with these tests is that they’re timed, which causes stress & is unfair to people whose first language wasn’t English. We fought & changed this for years which raised the passing rate. Then ETS took over & went back to a timed test. This is unnecessary & doesn’t reflect the true knowledge of the test taker. Plus the tests are too expensive!

  45. Lucy 7 months ago7 months ago

    Is there really a shortage of teacher jobs in California? Since when? And why? And in what areas of the state and what grades/subjects? I know a lot of certified teachers who can’t get jobs. Thanks for the info.

  46. Jibrhan Perez 7 months ago7 months ago

    I couldn’t take my CSETs because the testing centers are closed. I was able to petition to stay in the program. My GPA is about 3.4 and I already passed the CBEST.

    I am scheduled to student teach in the Fall. According to this article, the CBEST and CSETs are postponed until 2023?

  47. Michelle 7 months ago7 months ago

    I feel people should be given an option. To take a test or they should have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Theses tests are expensive and do not really reflect a person’s ability to teach. Let’s face it, some people are very intelligent but have high anxiety when it comes to taking tests. This will help so many who really desire to teach. By the fall, California will need teachers. Get ready…

    Replies

    • Mayker 6 months ago6 months ago

      I agree with you. I have high anxiety when it comes to tests. I’ve taken the test multiple times. I haven’t passed yet. I do have a high GPA and graduated from a private University. I can’t get into my teaching credential because I have to pass all those tests first, which gives me more anxiety. I hope that the state or university can do something about this soon.

  48. dennis wilson 7 months ago7 months ago

    Diana, has there been any movement regarding the RICA assessment? A successful score of 220 or more is the only hurdle standing in the way of being recommended to CTC for a multiple subject credential?

  49. Silvia Avila 7 months ago7 months ago

    What about the RICA? Will there be classes available to be equivalent instead of the test itself??? The CBEST is okay, since it is on BASIC skills. The CSET a nightmare and the RICA is traumatic. Many people have decided to go on another career since after several attempts of the RICA. I do not want to be that person that needs to choose another career, since it's taking too long to pass the RICA. But … Read More

    What about the RICA? Will there be classes available to be equivalent instead of the test itself???
    The CBEST is okay, since it is on BASIC skills. The CSET a nightmare and the RICA is traumatic. Many people have decided to go on another career since after several attempts of the RICA. I do not want to be that person that needs to choose another career, since it’s taking too long to pass the RICA. But I also don’t want to be the person who spends a major part of their life trying to pass a test.

    Replies

    • Diana Lambert 7 months ago7 months ago

      Hi Silvia, If you are still in a teacher preparation program and on track to graduate in 2020 your university can request a variable term waiver from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to allow you to move into the classroom without taking the RICA. This is a temporary waiver because of the coronavirus. You would then have a year to complete the RICA. A. Senate Bill that could eliminate or replace the RICA altogether is expected … Read More

      Hi Silvia,
      If you are still in a teacher preparation program and on track to graduate in 2020 your university can request a variable term waiver from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing to allow you to move into the classroom without taking the RICA. This is a temporary waiver because of the coronavirus. You would then have a year to complete the RICA. A. Senate Bill that could eliminate or replace the RICA altogether is expected to be heard by the Assembly later this year.

  50. Tina Rameriz 7 months ago7 months ago

    These tests should end!! I know someone in my credential program that passed these exams with flying colors, but once he entered the classroom he was all but qualified. A famous quote by Albert Einstein states: “Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid”. I pray and hope there are classes you can take in lieu of … Read More

    These tests should end!! I know someone in my credential program that passed these exams with flying colors, but once he entered the classroom he was all but qualified.

    A famous quote by Albert Einstein states: “Everybody is a Genius. But If You Judge a Fish by Its Ability to Climb a Tree, It Will Live Its Whole Life Believing that It is Stupid”.

    I pray and hope there are classes you can take in lieu of the CSET and RICA. The CBEST is a basic exam and should be passed. But beyond that, these exams do not adequately define your teaching skills. One important aspect a teacher must have is the ability to retain information and break it down for a student to understand it. Exams will not teach you that among other qualities you need to execute in the classroom.

    I took an expensive exam workshop and the instructor stated: if current teachers took these exams a good handful of them would not be able to pass it”.

  51. Roseanne 7 months ago7 months ago

    I would agree with putting these tests to an end or at least be free of charge. The RICA and CSETs should definitely end.

  52. Adam 7 months ago7 months ago

    RICA requirement should be removed first; it is ridiculous that everyone has to pass a test to teach reading - that's what specialists are for. Then if we need to move forward with watering down requirements further we should look at that. This reminds me of taking the LDS tests to qualify to teach ELD many moons ago. Each section was difficult, some more so than others. I passed but was increasingly dismayed to find … Read More

    RICA requirement should be removed first; it is ridiculous that everyone has to pass a test to teach reading – that’s what specialists are for. Then if we need to move forward with watering down requirements further we should look at that.

    This reminds me of taking the LDS tests to qualify to teach ELD many moons ago. Each section was difficult, some more so than others. I passed but was increasingly dismayed to find the LDS give way to SB1969 “training”, which allowed everyone and their mother to suddenly be qualified to teach ELD students, then you were ‘HOUSSEd’ under NCLB.

    By the time these tests were over, the trainings were free (you got a sub for the days) and the answers for the final were reviewed as the test was being given! All of these moves dilute the profession. You may be sweet and love children, but are you really smart enough and strong enough to be a teacher – know the pedagogy, prepare adequately, have a strong grasp of classroom management, be adaptable and flexible? We can do better, even in an emergency.

  53. Melissa 7 months ago7 months ago

    California should not be waiving these tests; this just further contributes to the de-professionalization of teaching as a career. I have taken the CBEST and the CSET and easily passed all of them on the first try without studying. The CBEST in particular is hardly rigorous or challenging for anyone with a grasp of basic middle school math. It is less onerous than the GED or the former CAHSEE, and if one is unable to … Read More

    California should not be waiving these tests; this just further contributes to the de-professionalization of teaching as a career. I have taken the CBEST and the CSET and easily passed all of them on the first try without studying.

    The CBEST in particular is hardly rigorous or challenging for anyone with a grasp of basic middle school math. It is less onerous than the GED or the former CAHSEE, and if one is unable to pass it than perhaps one is not prepared to be an effective teacher. Teaching should be a highly paid and highly respected profession that attracts the best and the brightest of our college graduates, as it is in the countries that perform well on the PISA, but we will never get there if we don’t expect teachers to perform at least as well as we want their students to perform!

    I have taught with too many teachers who had only a rudimentary grasp of the very subjects they were supposed to be teaching to think it’s a good idea to lower our standards even further.

  54. Kimberly A von Atzigen 7 months ago7 months ago

    How does the state plan on paying any teacher or offering an “education ” to any student during these current economic cutbacks?

  55. Kimmerli Walker 7 months ago7 months ago

    Please let this be true. I cannot pass the math section of the CBEST but I’m a music teacher. I’ve completed a BS and an MA in SPED. I’m a great teacher but I’m being forced into scraping for jobs with my CTE which most schools don’t accept for music.

  56. Irma 7 months ago7 months ago

    I agree and the RICA is a waste of time and money, when teaching everything comes easy, nothing like firsthand experience instead of multiple questions. Tests are not useful. College classes cover everything needed.

  57. Anne 7 months ago7 months ago

    Why give them 3 year extension on a pandemic that has been 3 months long?
    Especially when we see Cali kids rank 48th educationally in the country. There is obviously, already an issue here. This potentially just compounds the issue.

    But in Cali, it is never really about or for the kids. Hasn’t been for years.

  58. SoCal Teacher 7 months ago7 months ago

    How about doing away with BTSA while you’re at it?

  59. Erin Green 7 months ago7 months ago

    The RICA should also have this option to take courses versus the exam that has over a 50% failure rate

  60. Diana 7 months ago7 months ago

    I hope this bill passes! It is very discouraging to have to retake these test! All I want to do is get into a program get my credential and teach ❤️

  61. Will 7 months ago7 months ago

    Hmmm wave the CBEST, CSET, and 600 hours of student teaching in hopes of producing teachers? Or Wave the RICA and have thousands of better prepared teachers whom already completed a program, testing, and have experience begin in the fall? The choice is obvious! No longer going to hang onto false hope, reading these articles about what bill is currently being proposed, what test may be removed, etc. As a lady from the Commission told … Read More

    Hmmm wave the CBEST, CSET, and 600 hours of student teaching in hopes of producing teachers?

    Or

    Wave the RICA and have thousands of better prepared teachers whom already completed a program, testing, and have experience begin in the fall?

    The choice is obvious!

    No longer going to hang onto false hope, reading these articles about what bill is currently being proposed, what test may be removed, etc.

    As a lady from the Commission told me, “I’ve worked here a while. California has never removed a test, it has only added to the requirements.”

  62. Carina Jimenez 7 months ago7 months ago

    What about RICA? That’s the last exam teachers need to take before clearing their credential.

  63. Alina 7 months ago7 months ago

    I hope this passes!!! It is draining and discouraging to have to keep investing time and money on testing (after obtaining a degree!) when we could be in the classroom teaching!

  64. Megan 7 months ago7 months ago

    This article is very appropriate for my situation except I am needing to take the RICA and cannot due to the situation. I have a job opportunity for August but I cannot take the test, which is the only thing holding me back from receiving my credential. I have done all other requirements.

    Do you have any suggestions or other ways I can receive my credential in these trying times?

  65. Adrianna 7 months ago7 months ago

    When will we know if these bills have passed?

    Replies

    • Diana Lambert 7 months ago7 months ago

      It’s hard to say exactly when this bill will pass or fail, but all bills must be voted on by Aug. 31. I will be watching this bill and reporting back.

      • Gur 7 months ago7 months ago

        Thank you Dianna.

      • Gur 4 months ago4 months ago

        Hello Diana,
        The last hearing on this bill took place on July 7. No further hearings have taken place since then. If the last date to pass all the bills is Aug 31, then it looks like the chances for this bill to pass are very slim.

        Any hopeful news? Do you know if this bill would be heard again this year?

  66. Claudia Fernandez 7 months ago7 months ago

    I hope that these bill pass. I have spent $700 on these exams and have almost given up completely on becoming a teacher feeling like my passion for teaching was just not worth the burden on my family nor the mental health these exams create. It’s hurtful to think getting yourself through college with a degree and student loan debt, and you’re still not qualified to teach.

  67. Andrew Collins 7 months ago7 months ago

    Any word or discuss about the RICA? That is also an impediment and costly. The literature on that test also says it’s not a good indicator of of being a quality teacher. Have a course in lieu of test as well.