CREDIT: iStock_Ryan-Balderas
This story was updated to include the 2019-20 passing rates for both the CBEST and CSET.

California’s newly approved state budget allows teacher candidates to skip two of the tests that had been required to earn a teaching credential if they take approved coursework.

Teacher candidates no longer have to take the California Basic Skills Test, or CBEST, or the California Subject Matter Exams for Teachers, referred to as CSET to earn a credential.

The CBEST tests reading, math and writing skills and is usually taken before a student is accepted into a teacher preparation program. The CSET tests a teacher candidate’s proficiency in the subject they will teach. Teacher candidates must prove subject-matter proficiency before earning a credential, but many teacher preparation programs require the test be taken before a student enters its teacher preparation program.

Nearly half of California’s potential teachers struggle to pass the four standardized tests required to earn a credential, according to data from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Nearly 66 percent of the people who took the CBEST in 2019-20 passed it on the first try and 83 percent passed after multiple attempts, according to commission data. The CSET, which is actually a suite of tests, had a first-time passage rate of about 67 percent in 2019-20. About 81 percent of the teacher candidates who took the test multiple times passed.

“This is a game changer for those who have dreamt of becoming a teacher only to find their paths blocked when they couldn’t pass the Basic Skills or Subject Matter entrance exams,” said Mary Vixie Sandy, executive director of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. 

“These tests are meant to accurately measure readiness to begin teacher preparation, not to be a barrier that keeps potentially great teachers from learning to teach,” Sandy said. “We are eager to move forward with this shift in state policy. As alternatives to high-stakes testing these measures will right-size the role of testing and allow a broader and more diverse array of people to make a career out of teaching.”

The changes are effective immediately, she said.

Silvia Salgado, who resides in Corona, spent three years as an instructional assistant before she passed all sections of the CBEST and was eligible to take long-term substitute assignments. But what she really wanted was to be a kindergarten teacher, which required that she pass the multiple-subject CSET. After struggling to pass the CBEST, Salgado said she began to question herself and never found the courage to take the multiple-subject test.

“This bill passing means I can finally have my own classroom, teaching a grade level I love, and I am passionate about,” Salgado said. “Like many aspiring teachers like me, who want to teach kindergarten, an exam like the CSET was an obstacle that did not allow our career dreams to come true.”

The state already offered other alternatives to the CBEST, including the SAT, College Board Advanced Placement Examinations, California State University placement examinations, American College Testing or parts of the CSET. About 90 percent of teacher candidates have opted to take the CBEST, according to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. 

Instead of taking the CBEST, the new law allows teacher candidates to prove they are proficient by earning a B or better in college coursework in reading, writing and mathematics. Eligible classes to fulfill the reading requirement include critical thinking, literature, philosophy, reading, rhetoric or textual analysis. Eligible writing courses include composition, English, rhetoric, written communications or writing. Eligible math classes include geometry, mathematics, quantitative reasoning or statistics. Closely related subjects may also be accepted.

Teacher candidates who want to skip the CBEST can have their transcripts reviewed by their teacher preparation program to see if coursework they have taken fulfills the basic skills requirement. If they are applying for a credential from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, they can submit their official transcripts along with the completed application packet, Sandy said. 

If the teacher candidate wants to use a combination of coursework and tests to meet the basic skills requirement, the candidate will have to receive approval from their teacher preparation program, according to the trailer bill

In the past teacher candidates also have been required to pass tests that are part of the California Subject Examinations for Teachers or to complete a subject-matter program at their university. Elementary school teachers have been required to pass three tests to earn a multiple-subject credential and middle and high school teachers earned single-subject credentials in areas such as art, biology or English by passing at least one subject exam. 

Now a teacher candidate who takes approved coursework, or who earns an academic degree in the subject they will teach, does not have to take the test.

If a teacher candidate is seeking a single-subject credential the major must be aligned to the credential they are seeking. If they are seeking a multiple-subject credential, a liberal studies major or other degree that includes coursework in language studies, literature, mathematics, science, social studies, history, the arts, physical education, and human development can be accepted. Special education teachers can major in subjects covered in the CSET examination for the education specialist credential or in coursework covered by the multiple-subject test. 

A teacher preparation program will evaluate the major to see if it is acceptable, but the Commission on Teacher Credentialing will make the call for candidates who are applying to the commission directly for credentials, such as those seeking emergency-style permits, Sandy said. 

Candidates can demonstrate subject-matter competency by using any of the options or a combination of options, for example passing two of three CSET subtests and using prior coursework to meet the requirement, according to the commission.

The Commission on Teacher Credentialing may have to pass some regulations to clarify the process and will need to communicate with teacher preparation programs and teacher candidates about the new legislation, Sandy said.

Candidates who began teacher preparation but who did not complete the program should contact their program for more information on how this new legislation may affect them, Sandy said.

With a persistent teacher shortage in California, officials at the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing have been looking at ways to reform teacher testing for several years. The issue became more urgent during the pandemic as testing centers closed, teacher retirements increased and the number of teachers earning credentials declined.

Although teacher candidates are still required to take the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment and the California Teaching Performance Assessment in order to earn a full credential, the state is allowing teachers to continue to postpone the assessments for a while longer.

The reading instruction assessment, which measures the ability to teach reading, is required for candidates for multiple-subject credentials as well as for special education credentials. The budget extends a current suspension of the test for candidates who were unable to complete the exam between March 19, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2021 because testing centers were closed or had limited capacity. The budget gives the Commission on Teacher Credentialing the power to extend the suspension of the tests until June 31, 2022 if it deems it necessary.

The Teaching Performance Assessment measures how well teacher candidates assess students, design instruction, organize subject matter and other skills. It is required for all but special education teachers.

The budget allows teacher candidates who can’t complete the Teaching Performance Assessment next school year because of Covid-19 related school closures to earn a preliminary credential. The candidate must have completed all other preliminary credential requirements. They must complete the assessment before earning a full credential.

The goal of testing is to ensure teacher candidates are ready to begin preparation,” Sandy said. “We have to reduce the size of the roadblock.”

 

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  1. John 17 hours ago17 hours ago

    What are the current requirements to get a 30 day emergency credential to substitute in grades 1-12? Is it just a bachelor’s degree now? Thanks

  2. Sarah 2 days ago2 days ago

    I will be obtaining my BA in psychology in December but I have now decided I want to be an elementary school teacher. I’m extremely confused about how to get my license. Every website tells me a different story. Does anyone have any advice? Do I have to do more schooling or am I able to just pass the required tests?

  3. Fenicia Jacks 3 days ago3 days ago

    Would this apply to School Social Workers (SSW)? I don’t understand why SSW needs to take the CBEST. It’s a ridiculous barrier and unnecessary money being spent on a test that doesn’t assess the knowledge need for our field and scoop of work in schools.

  4. William 4 days ago4 days ago

    I only have a high school diploma and was in special education through most of my education. I currently work as a teacher in a Charter school. I don't think teachers should have to have a college education to teach, as long as you passed the grade level or course you want to teach then you should be eligible to teach soon after passing the course and or grade level. Most of use agree that … Read More

    I only have a high school diploma and was in special education through most of my education. I currently work as a teacher in a Charter school. I don’t think teachers should have to have a college education to teach, as long as you passed the grade level or course you want to teach then you should be eligible to teach soon after passing the course and or grade level.

    Most of use agree that the CBEST test which measures ones understanding of 8th grade level math, reading and writing, is not necessary to be a teacher. So if one can’t pass an 8th grade basic skills test then why in the world would you require a college degree? Let’s remove the requirement for college education. Doesn’t make sense that me a high school graduate that was labeled learning disabled can pass the CBEST but denied teaching, but a person with a college degree who can’t pass CBEST is allowed to teach, it seems elitist to me.

  5. Terrence Holloway 5 days ago5 days ago

    Then can I have my $300 back since I took the test a few years back. How are they just now understanding the overtesting for becoming a teacher? Someone owes me money!

    Replies

    • ShyAnne 8 hours ago8 hours ago

      I feel the same way since I had just taken them and the news of this happened to be released an hour after completing my last test. SMH

  6. Irmita 7 days ago7 days ago

    I have a degree in Business Administration and I completed my classes in the Area of Special Education. I consider myself very knowledgeable, but my testing anxiety does not allow me to go forward. Does somebody know or have an idea how this new law can affect my case? I have been calling to my college, and they do not want to answer any question about it, their argument is “there is not enough information.”

    Replies

    • Jacob 6 days ago6 days ago

      I’ve been trying to get answers from my university as well. They gave me the same response. For whatever reason, they are still discussing the matter with the credential program how to issue with this new law in place. I have passed the math and writing sections, and the reading section is giving me issues. I am trying to use my coursework to as the bill states that acceptable coursework is allowed with a B or higher.

    • Díana 19 hours ago19 hours ago

      I finished my single subject credential classes but have been struggling to pass the CSET. I called my school where I did my credential classes because they are the ones that have to help me with CSET validation and once that’s in place they will assign me to do the student teaching. They were able to help me but they said they are working on the new regulation. I should have a response by Aug. 8. Good luck.

  7. John P 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    To everyone complaining that this somehow "lowers" standards for teachers, it does not. Either way, a potential teacher still has to show a high degree of competency. The only difference is, they have rightly chosen to open other opportunities for teacher candidates to meet the basic skills requirements through a combination of approved college coursework in addition to sections of the CBEST one has already passed. For example, a candidate who has passed the CBEST … Read More

    To everyone complaining that this somehow “lowers” standards for teachers, it does not. Either way, a potential teacher still has to show a high degree of competency. The only difference is, they have rightly chosen to open other opportunities for teacher candidates to meet the basic skills requirements through a combination of approved college coursework in addition to sections of the CBEST one has already passed.

    For example, a candidate who has passed the CBEST subtest in reading and writing but not math, is allowed to show math competency by attaining a grade B or higher in a college Mathematics course. If you took one of those classes in community college before transferring the a four year university that works too. This by no means lowers the standards in any way shape or form.

    Also to all those interested in applying for a 30-day substitute permit, the new policy also applies to you. So I suggest you contact your university teacher prep department and get their approval for any pertinent courses that you can use to combine with the sections of the CBEST you have already passed. In my opinion, I would still take the CBEST and do well in sections you are naturally proficient in. Some people do well in reading and writing, some people do well in Math, and some people do well in all three subtests. If you don’t pass one section, you can make up for it by passing an approved college coursework. That is the basic gist of the new policy. I hope that clarifies things a bit.

  8. Anais 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    Does anyone understand how the CSET requirement can be fulfilled? I have taken courses at the university and community college years ago now that I think fulfills what they want but it’s not part of my major, it was all general education classes. Does that count? Even though some would come from community college and some from the university..

    Replies

    • Jeason Wong 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

      The CSET requirement can be fulfilled via an appropriate subject matter preparation program through the Liberal Studies dept at some Cal States and UCs. CSUN, CSULB, CSULA, for instance, are examples of schools that offer this kind of program to waive the CSET. I’m currently in the midst of completing this program through CSULB.

  9. Angela Calderon 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    This a awesome news! I am so excited to see if I qualify! My goal is to teach, but I’m not the best test taker.. so excited about this!

  10. Alma 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    What about students whose degree is not in the subject area they want to teach? Example, if my degree is in sociology but want to teach Spanish is there going to be an option for those students?

  11. David 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    I have been working in the Education field since 2015. I started off as a paraeducator before becoming a substitute teacher. I have been in different classrooms and worked with different grade levels the last few years from elementary to high school, including a couple long term sub assignments. Currently, I am working as an instructional aide at a learning center for special needs students (middle school). I have filled in as head teacher here … Read More

    I have been working in the Education field since 2015. I started off as a paraeducator before becoming a substitute teacher. I have been in different classrooms and worked with different grade levels the last few years from elementary to high school, including a couple long term sub assignments. Currently, I am working as an instructional aide at a learning center for special needs students (middle school). I have filled in as head teacher here as well due to teachers leaving, finding a new school, etc. This job lead me to go back to school to obtain a special education mild/moderate credential. I passed the CBEST before becoming a substitute and have passed two of the Multiple Subject CSET Subtests during the past two years. (I am actually waiting on the results for my third one at the moment).

    In my opinion, these exams just don’t correlate at all to actually being in the classroom and teaching these kids. Maybe it is little different for Single-Subject, but I haven’t taught any of the information from the CSETs in the classroom except maybe some of the English and History. They just seem like an unnecessary money grab for the most part. Even without the CBEST and CSETs, you still have to earn a B.A. degree, go through a teaching program (usually 1-2 years of additional classes relating to your teaching subject), student teaching, and pass the RICA (usually the exam I hear is the most difficult for teachers to get through). That should be enough to qualify someone to be a teacher.

    For individuals saying this is bad news for the students and will make a teacher incompetent to teach, give me a break. I have already met a few teachers who are credentialed that leave me wondering why they are even in the career. Some people are just good test takers, and some aren’t. Get as much experience in the field as you can before student teaching. To me, that is more beneficial than a few exams you forget about once you’re done with them. Just my two cents.

    Replies

    • Daniel 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

      David, your comments are spot on. Teaching is my second career after working in the insurance industry for almost 27 years. I earned my bachelor's degree in computer science during that time. Now I'm pursuing my single subject English credential as well as a master's degree in teaching. I started subbing in 2018 and have gained much experience during that time. I have tried numerous times to pass the four parts … Read More

      David, your comments are spot on. Teaching is my second career after working in the insurance industry for almost 27 years. I earned my bachelor’s degree in computer science during that time. Now I’m pursuing my single subject English credential as well as a master’s degree in teaching.

      I started subbing in 2018 and have gained much experience during that time. I have tried numerous times to pass the four parts of the CSET English exam but to no avail. I feel my work experience, success with the English subject in high school and college, and my people skills qualify me without taking these useless exams. Will they make me a better teacher? No, not at all. Knowing your subject front and back is one thing, but people skills are another. No exam prepares you for that.

      These exams are a money grab, in my opinion. I also say to those who don’t think this is good news, sorry. This is good news to those qualified to teach yet but keep hitting these roadblocks. I’m convinced the naysayers are those who already took them and are upset they didn’t have this opportunity.

      David, I wish you well in your career path.

  12. Cindy 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    This is very upsetting. Lower teacher standards because interest in teaching is declining? How about boost the profession with a positive workplace culture and better pay? Then maybe there will be an increase in candidates.

  13. Adriana 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    Reading this just made my day! 🙂 I am a very knowledgeable person but when it comes to quizzes or tests my brain goes blank. I can’t wait to have my own classroom and be a productive Special Education Teacher.

  14. Lisa Phillips 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    When does the waiver/exemption of the CBEST/CSET go into effect? My daughter graduated from Concordia University Irvine with a Liberal Studies/Childhood Development degree this May, 2021. She passed the CBEST and has passed 1 section of CSET so far. Due to financial reasons (covid) she will student teach in January, 2022. Before she spends another $100/$200 on taking tests, does this apply to her? Her university said it does not … Read More

    When does the waiver/exemption of the CBEST/CSET go into effect? My daughter graduated from Concordia University Irvine with a Liberal Studies/Childhood Development degree this May, 2021. She passed the CBEST and has passed 1 section of CSET so far. Due to financial reasons (covid) she will student teach in January, 2022. Before she spends another $100/$200 on taking tests, does this apply to her? Her university said it does not due to they applied to this in 2018 and my daughter started her degree in 2017.

    I’m confused, why does the date of when they started their degree matter. I totally understand that there may be courses that need to be taken and she will take the additional classes if needed.
    Thank you.

    Replies

    • Diana Lambert 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

      Hi Lisa,
      The law is in effect now.

  15. Randy Lollar 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    God forbid that a teacher be actually competent in their job. Every other place in the world requires competence why not the classroom?

  16. Lanlee Long 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    What about the RICA? Shouldn’t this be exempted too? I have been teaching for 3 years now and completed the induction program but was unable to take the RICA due to COVID-19. I am unable to clear my credential. Thus, I am placed on a different salary scale. Is it fair?

  17. Connie 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    Why would anyone want a teacher who could not pass basic tests that demonstrate they have the knowledge it takes to successfully teach? Should other occupations (doctors, nurses) lower the bar as well because some cannot pass tests? Scary thought! We should strive for excellence not settle for less. Study harder to pass the test and if you still cannot pass, an alternate profession should be considered.

    Replies

    • Wendy 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

      Connie, I understand your argument. See here though ... I graduated with a BS in Physics and passed the CSET Physics exam but did not pass the CSET General Science which I unfortunately only had 2 courses outside of physics under my belt to support the plethora of topics within the General Science exam. To study, I used the study guide provided by the CTC, bought books, and worked on practice tests, yet the exam looked … Read More

      Connie, I understand your argument. See here though …

      I graduated with a BS in Physics and passed the CSET Physics exam but did not pass the CSET General Science which I unfortunately only had 2 courses outside of physics under my belt to support the plethora of topics within the General Science exam. To study, I used the study guide provided by the CTC, bought books, and worked on practice tests, yet the exam looked nothing like the practice tests nor was the content similar to the study guide.

      Does this mean I am incapable of being a High School Physics teacher? No. I am fully capable of teaching physics yet I am required to pass the General Science test. It is evident that I could have used my university courses to show mastery of Physics. Unfortunately I am still deterred from teaching high school Physics because I have not fulfilled a second exam. This is where I support ridding tests. Also, my passion for teaching and my abilities to create outstanding lesson plans intended for students’ success are not demonstrated by taking a subject test. I hope this shines some light on a different POV.

      Thanks for reading.

      • Matt 6 days ago6 days ago

        But how can any science teacher not understand subject matter outside their area at least enough to pass a CSET? I teach high school chemistry & earth science & I passed all 4 of my CSETs on my 1st try. Any scientist worth their salt can easily refresh or acquire a basic understanding of other fields of science.

  18. Brenda Lebsack 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    Tessa and SD Parent, thank you for your response to my comment. Standardized tests of proficiency provide objective measures, where grades (depending on the teacher and the school) can be more subjective. I had a young teacher, who just finished her elementary credential program from UCI, come to me in tears saying the program did not prepare her to teach students reading, writing or math. Instead her college classes focused on Gramsci, Hegemony, … Read More

    Tessa and SD Parent, thank you for your response to my comment. Standardized tests of proficiency provide objective measures, where grades (depending on the teacher and the school) can be more subjective. I had a young teacher, who just finished her elementary credential program from UCI, come to me in tears saying the program did not prepare her to teach students reading, writing or math. Instead her college classes focused on Gramsci, Hegemony, Zinn History, social activism, and the importance of using gender neutral language.

    This floored me. If this is how our colleges are preparing future teachers, then no wonder they want to lower objective measures of proficiency. The goal for education apparently now reflects the CTA teacher conferences. Rather than academic learning, the focus is on social justice, social emotional learning, human rights, analyzing your personal and emerging intersectional identities, mindfulness, creating safe spaces (that are only safe for people who agree with their radical ideologies). The direction education is going alarms me.

  19. Tomasita Romero 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    I have my AA /BA on liberal arts and most of my credits for teaching but I can’t further my education because I can’t pass the tests that are required. How can I get more information?

  20. MYRNA 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    Keep testing them.

  21. Mary S 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    For the past 2 years, I have been in this boat. Passing the CBEST back in 2020 and struggling to pass the CSET - English for the better part of a year, this is not news. It has been near impossible to land a full-time teaching position thanks in large part to these exams and the ramifications of Covid regulations against student teachers. Knowing I am not alone in this, is a comfort. However, as … Read More

    For the past 2 years, I have been in this boat. Passing the CBEST back in 2020 and struggling to pass the CSET – English for the better part of a year, this is not news. It has been near impossible to land a full-time teaching position thanks in large part to these exams and the ramifications of Covid regulations against student teachers. Knowing I am not alone in this, is a comfort. However, as a state/society that places more roadblocks instead of opportunities in front of prospective teachers is beyond frustrating. All I want to do is teach theater to the youth of America, a job I have been training for my entire adult life.

    I cannot teach theater without a credential in English (go figure). I graduated with a degree in Theater Education back in 2016 from CSUF. Having been Life-Scanned/fingerprinted, done every (necessary) Mandated Reporter requirement, completed First Aid training, and over 50 hrs worth of ABA training, plus years of actual acting/directing experience, it is still not enough in the eyes of the state. Not a single professor, counselor, or rep from CSU has been able to accurately help me plan to take over a classroom. Setting up their graduates to flounder in this bureaucratic mess alone.

    I cannot wait to see what the changes are so I may be able to achieve my dreams of running my own theater department and give students the same gift I have received. Time will tell.

    I should have become a plumber.
    If anyone else is in this boat with me or can help, please reach out to my email

    Replies

    • Mary K 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

      Hi Mary – I’m in a very similar situation and would love to talk to you about how I was able to become a teacher of record in a classroom. I’m not able to see your email address. Please respond and let me know how to get in touch!

  22. Kelley 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    Good to know . I tried to take the CBEST test 3 times but Covid canceled the test to maney times I just gave up. Until further notice.

  23. Ward 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    This is great news! I never understood how passing these test were an indication of how prepared and qualified a teacher was. However, individuals with out a credential were allowed to become substitute teachers. Many substitute teachers are allowed to substitute in schools and classrooms for months at a time. It’s not fair to allow a person to do the job of a certified teacher. Yet, receive none of the benefits.

  24. Panagiota Davaloumis 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    I have my BA in Psychology, Masters in History, Masters in English Literature, now I am working for my Masters in Sociology, and also, most of my credential classes from National Universty. Have tried 3 times to pass the CBEST and I cannot. My GPA in all Universities has been from 3.5 to 3.94.
    My question where it leaves me to have my own classroom?

  25. Dimitric Roseboro 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    This article is timely. As an educator for over 30 years, relocating to California has been challenging to say the least. The testing obstacles have prevented me from obtaining credentials, although I have current licenses in other states. Hopefully, with the new requirements, I can move forward in acquiring my credentials to lead in California.

  26. Chiara Drake 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    I think the tests are a protective factor for the children. The exams ensure that the students are covered by the state to ensure they have a proficient teacher. The Multiple Subject tests/CSETs are hardly a road block as they are based on 7th and 8th grade math, writing and reading. Those tests ensure specific content-knowledge so that children, who have no voice in politics, get the best there is. I passed them with proper … Read More

    I think the tests are a protective factor for the children. The exams ensure that the students are covered by the state to ensure they have a proficient teacher. The Multiple Subject tests/CSETs are hardly a road block as they are based on 7th and 8th grade math, writing and reading. Those tests ensure specific content-knowledge so that children, who have no voice in politics, get the best there is. I passed them with proper study tools. But it was worth it. I know now that I am qualified.

    The tests ensure objectivity in determining who gets to be a teacher in that if you passed these exams; regardless of race, sexual orientation, previous profession, work experience etc, you’re in. There is too much opportunity now for subjectivity. Are an adults dreams of becoming a teacher more important than a child’s right to a proper education from a qualified adult?

    Replies

    • Bob 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

      The CSET for mathematics is not "based on 7th and 8th grade math" because it covers statistics and calculus (although the CBEST is at a middle school level). I have a degree in mathematics, but because I didn't take the CTC-approved slate of classes, I have to take the CSET. One of the CTC required classes is History of Math, yet none of the three CSET subtests cover this subject. It's ridiculous. The rule should … Read More

      The CSET for mathematics is not “based on 7th and 8th grade math” because it covers statistics and calculus (although the CBEST is at a middle school level). I have a degree in mathematics, but because I didn’t take the CTC-approved slate of classes, I have to take the CSET. One of the CTC required classes is History of Math, yet none of the three CSET subtests cover this subject. It’s ridiculous. The rule should be: You can prove your competency in a subject by earning a degree in that subject or taking the CSET.

      Requiring me to take three tests (at $100 per test) is more of a racket than an educational standard.

    • Vivian Cheng 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

      I completely agree with you. How are we expecting our students to become scholars if we ourselves are making excuses and exceptions when we cannot pass a standardized assessment.

  27. Rigo 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    I don't believe it is a move to increase the number of teachers. California is in a pension funding problem. Many people leave teaching in California and do so within the first 5 years. These are the percentage who did pass the exams, but teaching is just so dang hard sometimes that they leave anyway. I can only imagine that the state is banking on a lot of the new less invested teachers to leave … Read More

    I don’t believe it is a move to increase the number of teachers. California is in a pension funding problem. Many people leave teaching in California and do so within the first 5 years. These are the percentage who did pass the exams, but teaching is just so dang hard sometimes that they leave anyway. I can only imagine that the state is banking on a lot of the new less invested teachers to leave the profession. When they leave if they do so in the first 5 years they will not become vested. They probably will take whatever money was accumulated in the CalSTRS account and exit the profession. However, districts contribute 16% on a teacher’s behalf for retirement; that money is not for individuals, individuals pay around 10%, that money is for the teacher pension not to run out of money. So when the new teachers leave (I believe many will) that 16% does not go with them, but it helps all of the people who are vested and will retire someday. This just my 2 cents, but I think that is why they are doing this.

    I tell my students that many questions always boil down to one answer… $$$$$.

  28. Susan 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

    I passed CBEST, CSET, National Exam and have my M.ED, but I didn't complete BTSA in two years, I have one year done and was not granted an extension. So, I will never be able to teach in CA state policy . It's completely frustrating that the state says "they can't find people to pass the exam" and a position I could hold is given to someone less qualified. They would … Read More

    I passed CBEST, CSET, National Exam and have my M.ED, but I didn’t complete BTSA in two years, I have one year done and was not granted an extension. So, I will never be able to teach in CA state policy . It’s completely frustrating that the state says “they can’t find people to pass the exam” and a position I could hold is given to someone less qualified. They would rather put someone in the head of the class who can’t pass the exams or have a M.ED than me because I didn’t do BTSA by the deadline. It’s a complete joke.

  29. John P 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    What about for people that want to be substitute teachers?

  30. Valerie 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    If you are interested in becoming a substitute teacher do you have to take the CBEST?

  31. Elinesa E. Abamonga 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    An opportunity to welcome more teachers to practice their profession in the classroom setting.

  32. Joey 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    I don’t see an issue with the CBEST and the CSETs because the CBEST is basic writing, math and reading at an 8th grade level. The CSET is everything that you could have possibly learned through your TK/K through 12th grade and courses through college. If anything the CSETs should be after you are done with almost all of the credential program after taking Peak, English, Math and Science and all that is left is … Read More

    I don’t see an issue with the CBEST and the CSETs because the CBEST is basic writing, math and reading at an 8th grade level. The CSET is everything that you could have possibly learned through your TK/K through 12th grade and courses through college. If anything the CSETs should be after you are done with almost all of the credential program after taking Peak, English, Math and Science and all that is left is student teaching.

    When I went through the program the CSETs were not required in 2015. Having them completed only guaranteed you entrance to the program compared to someone that has not completed them. They were put on a waitlist. If anything, the RICA should be changed which luckily they are now separating them, but that is not enough because the RICA is the true barrier from having more teachers in the system.

  33. Teresa Borders 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    I read about teachers not having to take the CBEST or the CSET. Does this information apply to Educational Counseling also, because I signed up to take the CBEST in March 2021, and they cancelled the testing due to Covid 19. I had trouble passing the CBEST, the CBEST is holding me up from getting my PPS, I cannot work unless have those two.

  34. Lisa Ravalli 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    What about the RICA? It’s the most challenging of all the tests to obtain a teaching credential. I think there should be modifcations to this one. I know many peope who have completed all requirements other than this one (myself included). It can be a make it or break it for many of us.

    Replies

    • Matt 6 days ago6 days ago

      Try taking the chemistry, math, or physics CSETs, then tell me how hard the RICA is.

  35. Mayra 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    Wow! I am so glad about this since, coming from a sped student and gifted as well as this has been my goal to teach TK or kindergarten. It’s true standardized tests don’t define us who we are. What defines who we are is by being able to be yourself hands on etc.

  36. Char 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    Shame on the Department of Education! I have sat for the exams. They assess the floor, not the ceiling. They are rudimentary basic skill exams. It is beyond scary that a child will be taught by someone who cannot pass basic reading and basic arithmetic tests!

    Replies

    • Gean 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

      I can definitely see where you’re coming from as a teacher more than likely. However, this is not necessarily the case. As a teacher you should know that not everyone tests well. Likewise, not everyone who passes them is a good teacher. I know some horrible teachers who passed it. In my case, I have two masters degrees, but always missed them by a couple of points. These tests don’t prove who will be a … Read More

      I can definitely see where you’re coming from as a teacher more than likely. However, this is not necessarily the case. As a teacher you should know that not everyone tests well. Likewise, not everyone who passes them is a good teacher. I know some horrible teachers who passed it.

      In my case, I have two masters degrees, but always missed them by a couple of points. These tests don’t prove who will be a good teacher. Although I agree that the relaxing of testing will probably open doors to potentially bad teachers, I think that principals and coordinators should make the final call in signing off on someone based on hands-on competency.

    • crystal Valdez 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

      Those who are saying it's just basic reading and math, Stop being prissy! Get off your high horses!! Some people can't pass the test. Not because they're not competent enough to be a teacher, but because they clam up when they take major tests!! Many people have dreamed of becoming a teacher, got a degree in education but didn't get their license because of the stupid tests! I got A's and B's in college. … Read More

      Those who are saying it’s just basic reading and math, Stop being prissy! Get off your high horses!! Some people can’t pass the test. Not because they’re not competent enough to be a teacher, but because they clam up when they take major tests!!

      Many people have dreamed of becoming a teacher, got a degree in education but didn’t get their license because of the stupid tests! I got A’s and B’s in college. I couldn’t pass the licensure exam for the state I was in at the time. Because of the short time before graduation, I didn’t have enough time to retake the exam. I didn’t get my license but I was able to graduate on time.

  37. Rachel 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    This is one of the dumbest changes to the process of becoming an educator I have seen. The CBEST is frankly very “basic” and if you can’t pass that maybe you shouldn’t be educating our children. Along with that the CSET requires some studying and a work ethic that is just a fraction of the amount of effort you are going to need when you are a teacher. Removing these tests is unfortunately not going … Read More

    This is one of the dumbest changes to the process of becoming an educator I have seen. The CBEST is frankly very “basic” and if you can’t pass that maybe you shouldn’t be educating our children. Along with that the CSET requires some studying and a work ethic that is just a fraction of the amount of effort you are going to need when you are a teacher. Removing these tests is unfortunately not going to benefit our children which is the whole point of being an educator. I hope the people that pushed to allow this change are ashamed of themselves.

    Replies

    • Kathy 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

      Rachel, you are so right. Some people here miss the point that basic subject matter exams are necessary for future teachers to demonstrate their knowledge. These exams are not the only way teachers demonstrate they can teach but without subject matter competency, future students of these under-prepared teachers will suffer. This will turn into a cycle of poor education. It is embarrassing to see people comment on this article admit they cannot pass these exams.

  38. nicole neuhaus 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    The RICA needs to be rewritten. Reading instruction is important but the test is poorly written with excessive extraneous language embedded. Creat a new version with the needed questions and a straightforward study guide

  39. Lynda Labendeira 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    Let’s get passionate teachers in the classroom. Everyone knows the biases many of these exams hold. Smaller class sizes for the care, safety and education of all children.

  40. Kim 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    As a veteran teacher, I applaud this move. The tests are ridiculously expensive and redundant. I have a degree in my content area from a UC, and still had to take all of the subject matter tests, because apparently earning a college degree in my subject area was not proof of subject matter competence. The cost for these exams 20 years ago was over $700, and this was before I could begin my teacher training … Read More

    As a veteran teacher, I applaud this move. The tests are ridiculously expensive and redundant. I have a degree in my content area from a UC, and still had to take all of the subject matter tests, because apparently earning a college degree in my subject area was not proof of subject matter competence. The cost for these exams 20 years ago was over $700, and this was before I could begin my teacher training program. Good move to start using transcripts rather than an expensive high stakes exam process.

  41. Mary L. Milan 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    What a blessing. I’ve taught Preschool for 18 years and completed my credentials in June. Masters in November 2021. I attempted CBEST and CSET with no success, it’s not a barrier anymore. My funds of knowledge is my oath to be a great teacher and support diversity of learners. Today is a Win for all future teachers who are diverse ❤

  42. Dr. Judith Gollette 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    As many that have responded here, I am totally against watering down the system. When I "studied" for my CBEST & CSET, I used the "FOR DUMMIES" series "What Every 4th, 5th, & 6th Grader needs to know," and I passed on the first try even though I had been out of school for 20 years. This is taking education in the wrong direction. I agree the RICA is out of date, and our teacher prep … Read More

    As many that have responded here, I am totally against watering down the system. When I “studied” for my CBEST & CSET, I used the “FOR DUMMIES” series “What Every 4th, 5th, & 6th Grader needs to know,” and I passed on the first try even though I had been out of school for 20 years. This is taking education in the wrong direction.

    I agree the RICA is out of date, and our teacher prep programs should be opening up the instruction for dyslexia basics and the Science of Reading. Right now, CA is one of 7 remaining states that does not mandate dyslexia screening. CA Ed Chair Assemblyman O’Donnell failed to place it on the committee’s agenda.

    Yes, newbie educators are either not prepared or under a false impression of the classroom which leaves our campuses with a revolving door. And, as Robert stated, aim reform at admin and state officials. Let’s stop making it easy for our students to fail and let us collectively do what is right.

    Replies

    • Aubrey Ford 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

      What about the kids that are learning disabled that need mentors like them to understand them? The system discriminate against teachers with learning disabilities. I understand it’s a standardized test but for instance I want to be a physical educator. I’m dyslexic so I don’t write the best but I can definitely teach motor patterns, movement patterns and social skills with the best of them. But instead school districts get to use me on the … Read More

      What about the kids that are learning disabled that need mentors like them to understand them? The system discriminate against teachers with learning disabilities. I understand it’s a standardized test but for instance I want to be a physical educator. I’m dyslexic so I don’t write the best but I can definitely teach motor patterns, movement patterns and social skills with the best of them. But instead school districts get to use me on the cheap and put me in add position and then use my skill set anyways because they know I care!

      I personally think the school districts miss out when they don’t hire teachers with disabilities because they miss out on that spectrum of teacher who can mentor students like them rather than a teacher that doesn’t understand and has never walked a day in our shoes.

  43. Kathy Porter 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    This is unfortunate. The level of the CBEST exam is very "basic." A high school graduate should easily pass the exam. The fact that future teachers do not have to take and pass this exam (or satisfy this through the SAT or other exam) is embarrassing. I am a person who trains future secondary mathematics teachers. The CSET exams test competency in the knowledge of concepts of mathematics. The exams are necessary to stop … Read More

    This is unfortunate. The level of the CBEST exam is very “basic.” A high school graduate should easily pass the exam. The fact that future teachers do not have to take and pass this exam (or satisfy this through the SAT or other exam) is embarrassing.

    I am a person who trains future secondary mathematics teachers. The CSET exams test competency in the knowledge of concepts of mathematics. The exams are necessary to stop unqualified people from entering into teaching mathematics. I already see many students arriving to college with poor mathematical skills. Lowering the bar on the knowledge that mathematics teachers need to know is a terrible idea. The CSET is a “barrier” that is meant to keep people who are unprepared out of our classrooms. Not everyone should be a mathematics teacher; desire is not enough. The current CSET exams are reasonable; I took them again a few years ago to see the level of the exam.

    I think this will hurt California students.

    Replies

    • CA Resident 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

      Kathy, I agree wholeheartedly! This move will harm students in the long run. Yes, teaching is about more than passing tests. If someone cannot pass the CA Bar Exam, do we get rid of the Bar and allow them to practice law anyway? So many professions require tests to officially become licensed. All this does is water down a procession that has already lost a lot of respect. I believe the teacher shortage has much … Read More

      Kathy,
      I agree wholeheartedly! This move will harm students in the long run. Yes, teaching is about more than passing tests.

      If someone cannot pass the CA Bar Exam, do we get rid of the Bar and allow them to practice law anyway? So many professions require tests to officially become licensed. All this does is water down a procession that has already lost a lot of respect.

      I believe the teacher shortage has much more to do with the current conditions of our schools, but our state officials have no interest in tackling those issues. It is much easier to churn and burn through teachers. Ultimately the students are the ones being shortchanged.

  44. Celina 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    I don't want to hear people saying that "oh, if you can't pass the CBEST or CSET, don't bother being a teacher at all." No. Just stop. You don't know everyone's situation. There are potential teachers who have test anxiety, there are those who don't have enough money to retake them, etc. Tests are not supposed to determine our competency or the pathway of our futures, so enough with that mindset. You do not have … Read More

    I don’t want to hear people saying that “oh, if you can’t pass the CBEST or CSET, don’t bother being a teacher at all.” No. Just stop. You don’t know everyone’s situation. There are potential teachers who have test anxiety, there are those who don’t have enough money to retake them, etc. Tests are not supposed to determine our competency or the pathway of our futures, so enough with that mindset. You do not have the right to tell us we shouldn’t be teachers because of a test.

    I did not take Liberal Studies for 5 years and obtain my bachelor’s degree only for someone to say that I shouldn’t be a teacher because of some test. Taking college courses to prove our worth and potential as teachers is more than enough. We don’t only need the academic experience and certain level of intelligence to become teachers, but we need a heart to work as one.

    My aunt has attempted to take the CBEST, but has failed several times to the point where she had to leave behind her goal of being a primary school teacher and teach at a preschool instead.

    As teachers, we don’t just teach students whatever the Common Core Standards tell us to teach. We must also be able to support our students and their parents in any way we can. We must help students develop linguistically, physically, and socially/emotionally.

    Replies

    • Karla Contreras 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

      I totally agree with you. The tests are unnecessary. Teachers should be able to prove their skills by submitting college transcripts. These tests are all about making money. When I was getting my credential I had to take the CBEST, CSET, 4 different TPAs, and the RICA. I shoved out who knows how much money for all of that. And the still had to pay for a 2 year program that cost thousands of dollars … Read More

      I totally agree with you. The tests are unnecessary. Teachers should be able to prove their skills by submitting college transcripts. These tests are all about making money.

      When I was getting my credential I had to take the CBEST, CSET, 4 different TPAs, and the RICA. I shoved out who knows how much money for all of that. And the still had to pay for a 2 year program that cost thousands of dollars to clear my credential. It’s so ridiculous.

  45. PJ 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    I have mixed feelings about this. I felt the CBEST was a minimal screening for basic skills, and should be retained. The CSETS, on the other hand, are of limited applicability for certain areas of teaching. I passed all three on my first try, and additionally have an MS in teaching, but have never found the need to use my knowledge of cyanobacteria, hemiolas, Petrarchan sonnets, or political structures of the Harappan civilization to teach … Read More

    I have mixed feelings about this. I felt the CBEST was a minimal screening for basic skills, and should be retained. The CSETS, on the other hand, are of limited applicability for certain areas of teaching. I passed all three on my first try, and additionally have an MS in teaching, but have never found the need to use my knowledge of cyanobacteria, hemiolas, Petrarchan sonnets, or political structures of the Harappan civilization to teach elementary mild/moderate special education – yet all of these came up on my CSET preparation. The RICA, on the other hand – essential to my everyday teaching.

    It is certainly absurd to require teachers of moderate/special education to take the CSETs. Their requirements can and should be managed through a different process. I do support a rigorous credentialing process for teachers – but with the application of reason and logic related to subject matter the teacher will actually be utilizing in the classroom.

    Replies

    • Eshe 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

      Finally, a statement that makes sense! I have a dual MA, ECE/ ECSE. I have also taught mod/sev for 3 years. I passed my tests but found no use for them in the classroom. I took the RICA during my 2nd year teaching. I used all of my reading strategies that I used with my students to pass the test. I often wonder that if it was not for my “bag of strategies” with real … Read More

      Finally, a statement that makes sense! I have a dual MA, ECE/ ECSE. I have also taught mod/sev for 3 years. I passed my tests but found no use for them in the classroom. I took the RICA during my 2nd year teaching. I used all of my reading strategies that I used with my students to pass the test. I often wonder that if it was not for my “bag of strategies” with real students if I too would have failed the test. The reason is because my coworker who teaches science is required to take the RICA and she has failed it several times. She teaches middle school science not reading instruction! This has caused her not to earn her full credential. I’m not sure how it’s fair that she needs RICA.

  46. Elia Aguilar 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    I completed all course work for the credential as well as passed the RICA about 10 years ago, but have not been able to pass two parts of the CSET. Can I apply for my credential? I have already had an emergency credential in previous years.

  47. Elsy Garcia 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    I’m excited for this news as I am getting ready to take my first CBEST exam tomorrow.

  48. Bonafide O 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    Wow! This is the greatest news of the century for me. I don't know about those who are complaining that doing away with CEBEST and CSET is lowering the standard for teachers. Excuse me? If somebody has spent four years in a college to get a Bachelor's degree and another two years in a credentialing program, isn't that enough preparation to become a teacher? I have been teaching as a provisional teacher for the past … Read More

    Wow! This is the greatest news of the century for me. I don’t know about those who are complaining that doing away with CEBEST and CSET is lowering the standard for teachers. Excuse me? If somebody has spent four years in a college to get a Bachelor’s degree and another two years in a credentialing program, isn’t that enough preparation to become a teacher?

    I have been teaching as a provisional teacher for the past three years. I have my Bachelor’s; have completed my course work in a credentialing program and also got my Master’s in Special Education, Moderate/Severe Disabilities but I’m still stuck on one subset of CSET. Does that make me dumb? Heck no! I’m a good teacher and have excellent classroom management.

    To start castigating CTC that taking off CEBEST and CSET from the requirements is horrific, a disservice to students. I have come across a number of teachers with multiple credentials and yet don’t know what they’re doing in the classroom. Moreover, it says you have to have completed a college course work with at least a B in the subject area so it’s not as if CTC is lowering the standards per se. I have been in the classroom as a teacher’s assistant, a substitute teacher, and a provisional teacher; these two exams do not make you a good teacher or help you in the classroom. Just because you had to take all those during your own time does not mean others must go through the same unnecessary process.

    So for those of you who are mad at CTC, get off your high horse and chill.

  49. Chris 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    The problem with teacher shortages is California has far too many tests required to get a credential. The commission ignores the bachelor degree which is the minimum schooling required. Then it is ignorant to the fact of all the required additional classes and money a student has to spend.

  50. Susan 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    As a veteran teacher, this horrifies me. Our children deserve intelligent, well prepared teachers. To receive my credential I passed the CBEST, CSET and the RICA, all on the first try. Those not able to pass the CBEST which we were told is at an 8th grade level should not be in the teaching profession. We had a new teacher one year that told a student teacher of mine “not to worry about his grades, … Read More

    As a veteran teacher, this horrifies me. Our children deserve intelligent, well prepared teachers. To receive my credential I passed the CBEST, CSET and the RICA, all on the first try. Those not able to pass the CBEST which we were told is at an 8th grade level should not be in the teaching profession. We had a new teacher one year that told a student teacher of mine “not to worry about his grades, that D’s get degrees.” This teacher took her CSETs numerous times and believe me it showed in her students. Would you like to have a teacher who squeaked by in college teacher your kids or grandkids, not me.

    Replies

    • Future teacher 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

      Yes our students do deserve intelligent teachers. That being said California has some of the lowest testing scores, which is a reflection of the teachers because the students are being taught by these intelligent teachers who have passed all of these test and the students are still getting below average scores.

      These test mean nothing and California is the only state that requires these non-needed tests. If they were needed then all the states should require them, not just California.

  51. Future Teacher 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    Hello! I see all of these teachers who have passed these exams complaining that the CBEST and CSET should stay. What I find funny is that California is the only state that requires all of this testing. If a person is smart enough to get their bachelor or master's, then that should be enough! These tests don't define if someone is going to be an outstanding teacher. Teachers gain most of their experience in the … Read More

    Hello! I see all of these teachers who have passed these exams complaining that the CBEST and CSET should stay. What I find funny is that California is the only state that requires all of this testing. If a person is smart enough to get their bachelor or master’s, then that should be enough! These tests don’t define if someone is going to be an outstanding teacher. Teachers gain most of their experience in the classroom. And before anyone says anything I passed my CBEST and felt like the test was uncalled for and a waste of time and money.

    Replies

    • Gean 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

      Great comment! Don’t be discouraged by the naysayers. Making it easier for people to become teachers is not a bad move. You’re completely right in thinking that completing your bachelor’s or master’s should be proof enough of competency as these degrees likewise have tests and tasks to complete.

  52. Melony Martindale 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    This is great! These tests do not make great teachers but rather prevent potential great teachers from joining the field. It’s time to start looking at our college grades instead. Now let’s remove the RICA and replace it with a required college course instead. That way teachers are ready to teach reading skills from the get-go.

  53. Jennifer Hudson 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    This is great news!! These tests are biased against minority students. Now minorities have more opportunities to become teachers. Our B.A degrees should be proof enough of our reading, math, and writing abilities. The timed tests can be stressful and overwhelming for some. Not everyone is able to pass a test under pressure.

  54. Rosa Zimmer 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    I am very concerned about state lowering the standards for new teachers. I passed the CBEST on my first try. It is not a difficult test as it measures basic English skills. It is worth mentioning English is my second language. I passed the CSET on my second try. I missed the first time by 6 points. This is a difficult test. I have now taught elementary for 20 years. I believe that lowering standards for … Read More

    I am very concerned about state lowering the standards for new teachers. I passed the CBEST on my first try. It is not a difficult test as it measures basic English skills. It is worth mentioning English is my second language.

    I passed the CSET on my second try. I missed the first time by 6 points. This is a difficult test.
    I have now taught elementary for 20 years. I believe that lowering standards for new teachers is not the answer. Teaching is difficult and we need bright educated candidates to teach. Perhaps preparation for these assessments should be administered as part of teacher credentialing programs. Unprepared teachers quit within 5 years. Let’s not aggravate the problem by lowering the standards of our profession.

  55. Anita Flemington 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    Although this is a good thing for our teacher education candidates, it will also be additional work for institutions of higher education. We are currently trying to figure out a tracking system for this information. I am working with other institutions to see how they are implementing a tracking system.

  56. Brenda Lebsack 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    As a teacher who has 3 credentials, 2 specialized authorizations, an MA in Education and a "highly qualified" certification from two states, I find these watered down requirements into the teaching profession to be horrific and a disservice to students. We tell our students to be resilient and to never give up. That means if you fail a test or a class, study harder and take it again. It does not mean authorities should … Read More

    As a teacher who has 3 credentials, 2 specialized authorizations, an MA in Education and a “highly qualified” certification from two states, I find these watered down requirements into the teaching profession to be horrific and a disservice to students.

    We tell our students to be resilient and to never give up. That means if you fail a test or a class, study harder and take it again. It does not mean authorities should lower the bar.

    What other profession keeps lowering qualifications yet increasing salaries and benefits? Does the state want teachers to become high paid educational facilitators of prepackaged state materials? Does the state want decreased critical thinkers in the field and teachers who will just “do as they’re told?”

    As of 2018, the average California teacher salary is $83k (it’s more now), benefits and retirement is on top of that salary. This salary includes 14 weeks off for summers and holidays. Those who teach summer school, coach, or tutor can easily raise that annual pay substantially.

    Most of my teacher friends in OC make more than $100K a year. Plus teachers can be granted full tenure (union protection) after only 18 months of contracted work. With all of these perks, I do not think requirements for the teaching profession should be lowering. After all, for the sake of “equity” does this mean all professions will soon “lower their standards?” Will future brain surgeons not have to pass tests of proficiency before operating on people’s heads? Teachers may not be using a physical scalpel, but their proven skill, expertise, and resilient work ethic are just as important, because they are helping form the future leaders of our nation.

    Replies

    • Tessa gordon 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

      For someone so educated I am incredibly surprised by your comment. Tests are not an indicator of knowledge and are completely inequitable. I hope you can reassess your opinions and try to see why removing these tests is an important move.

    • SD Parent 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

      I agree. Teachers' unions constantly compare a teacher's importance to lawyers, doctors, and other professionals when complaining about unfair compensation. But lawyers, doctors, and many other professionals have to pass certification tests to prove competency before they are allowed to work in their professions, even when the tests are challenging (first-time passage rate for the CA bar is 53%). If teachers want their profession to be taken seriously, lowering the standards of … Read More

      I agree. Teachers’ unions constantly compare a teacher’s importance to lawyers, doctors, and other professionals when complaining about unfair compensation. But lawyers, doctors, and many other professionals have to pass certification tests to prove competency before they are allowed to work in their professions, even when the tests are challenging (first-time passage rate for the CA bar is 53%). If teachers want their profession to be taken seriously, lowering the standards of the profession doesn’t help them – or their students.

      I see this as just another example of dumbing-down education in California rather than holding anyone accountable for student outcomes. Other examples include allowing high school students to “graduate” with a 1.75 GPA and the CSUs reconsidering the math graduation requirement – all because it’s “too hard.” These all also punt the entire concept of “resilience,” which is supposed to be one of the critical soft-skill indicators for future success.

      California used to have a public education system that was the envy of the nation. The lament has been that low funding was the problem, but there is no evidence to suggest that lowering standards for everyone involved then substantially increasing funding (which is now stimulating school employee pay raises across the state) will improve student outcomes.

  57. Brian Foster 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    What a sad day for California students. Anyone with good grades out of middle school should be able to pass the CBEST, and if not, then they should not be teaching students. Teacher candidates who cannot pass CBEST will likely be modeling bad grammar and show confusion with math problems as a school teacher. As for the CSET single subject tests, they are indeed rigorous and measure the teacher candidate's content knowledge: precisely that which teachers … Read More

    What a sad day for California students. Anyone with good grades out of middle school should be able to pass the CBEST, and if not, then they should not be teaching students. Teacher candidates who cannot pass CBEST will likely be modeling bad grammar and show confusion with math problems as a school teacher.

    As for the CSET single subject tests, they are indeed rigorous and measure the teacher candidate’s content knowledge: precisely that which teachers will need to teach their students. By eliminating this test, the state will be putting teachers in the classroom who have no mastery of the State-required curriculum. Of course, there will be some teachers who have mastered the material, but those who have not will no longer be screened out. I can only imagine the resulting loss in student learning.

    My comparative observations and conclusions are based on taking a variety of standardized tests, including the GREs to attend graduate school at the University of California. The CSETs are on par with the GREs while the CBEST is a joke.

  58. MT 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    Does this apply to those of us receiving a service credential, like our PPSC? It would not make sense if it did not.

    Replies

    • AR 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

      I am wondering the same. As a first gen graduate, I had to change my career trajectory from K-12 counseling to higher ed and don't get me wrong it's been great! However, I miss high school work and the kids. PPSC programs requiring CBEST rather than taking my transcript in consideration was always an obstacle. Took me 9 years to complete my undergrad. No one ever suggested to me to get ahead and take the … Read More

      I am wondering the same. As a first gen graduate, I had to change my career trajectory from K-12 counseling to higher ed and don’t get me wrong it’s been great! However, I miss high school work and the kids.

      PPSC programs requiring CBEST rather than taking my transcript in consideration was always an obstacle. Took me 9 years to complete my undergrad. No one ever suggested to me to get ahead and take the CBEST 2 years into college, might have passed then. Nonetheless, I hope programs will follow this as well and utilize our transcripts as satisfactory.

  59. Robert Bartlett 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    I am a veteran California teacher of eighteen years (believe it or not). I earned my education specialist credential (mild-moderate) in 2003 though 2006 by means of a district internship. I have been professional clear for fifteen years (believe it or not). I passed all the tests mentioned in this article on the first attempt. My feeling is that the teacher shortage is the result of problems in retention more than recruitment. Too many … Read More

    I am a veteran California teacher of eighteen years (believe it or not). I earned my education specialist credential (mild-moderate) in 2003 though 2006 by means of a district internship. I have been professional clear for fifteen years (believe it or not). I passed all the tests mentioned in this article on the first attempt.

    My feeling is that the teacher shortage is the result of problems in retention more than recruitment. Too many qualified, trained teachers have been trained, used, mistreated, and then driven off. I’m just more tenacious and self-confident than most. I’m a teacher bandito, because that is what it takes to outsmart the jefe. In some districts, earning a credential might shorten your career: Teachers with emergency credentials often do better in some positions.

    The state Assembly is choosing to feed the mistreat-and-churn system at higher rates rather than confront the problems that lead to the high rates of teacher attrition. They’re playing dumb and so are the state’s educational leaders. The rate of attrition is almost at the same rate as recruitment.

    Working as a teacher in California is about the worst experience a person can have. There can’t be many jobs that are worse. It’s a very disrespectful work environment. The students are delightful but relationships between faculty and administration are abysmal. Relationships among the faculty are not much better.

    The system insults the teacher’s intelligence at every step. This bill is just going full circle. There is no innovation. The CTC is basically returning to the approach in place before NCLB arrived in 2002. There is nothing new under the sun. I would aim reform efforts at principals, superintendents. state administrators, and school boards. They are the causes of the teacher shortage. Then you could look at the true root cause, which is the legacy of Reaganomics.

    Replies

    • BRIDGET BURTON 2 weeks ago2 weeks ago

      You are so right! CA teachers are recycled in a 12-18 month time period, and non-renewed right before the possibility of tenure. Many districts only offer temporary contracts now. Probationary teachers have no rights at all - CTA won't help you - ha! Only tenured teachers have any protections against layoffs, so they make sure you never obtain it! You are also male, Robert. There is a gender preference happening as well. Males are … Read More

      You are so right! CA teachers are recycled in a 12-18 month time period, and non-renewed right before the possibility of tenure. Many districts only offer temporary contracts now. Probationary teachers have no rights at all – CTA won’t help you – ha! Only tenured teachers have any protections against layoffs, so they make sure you never obtain it! You are also male, Robert. There is a gender preference happening as well. Males are tenured at higher rates than females. Do the research. You make excellent points in your comment – thank you.

  60. Seth 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    It is good to not totally disband the tests. Teachers need to know their subject to teach it. Teachers need basic skills to show minimum competency in reading, math, and writing or they should not be in a classroom. So, a potential teacher that can show these skills in coursework or test or a combination is needed. This is a good update. I do not want the quality professional bar for teachers to be lowered. … Read More

    It is good to not totally disband the tests. Teachers need to know their subject to teach it. Teachers need basic skills to show minimum competency in reading, math, and writing or they should not be in a classroom. So, a potential teacher that can show these skills in coursework or test or a combination is needed. This is a good update.

    I do not want the quality professional bar for teachers to be lowered. There are some people that would might make good teachers, but if they do not posses the basic skills, they need to look into another career or work in private schools that do not need a professional teacher credential. As a long-term teacher, I do not want to see new teachers coming in that do not know their subject, cannot do basic math, or cannot write a basic email without several errors.

  61. Frances O'Neill Zimmerman 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    Dropping the CBEST? It is a rudimentary exam that assures only that a teacher candidate be basically literate and numerate. If passing CBEST is an obstacle, more preparation is required, not getting rid of the exam. Complicated alternatives described here are incomprehensible and doubtless lower the floor for standard literacy and numeracy skills among teachers. If there is a California teacher shortage, we should raise teacher pay and reduce the number of students in every … Read More

    Dropping the CBEST? It is a rudimentary exam that assures only that a teacher candidate be basically literate and numerate. If passing CBEST is an obstacle, more preparation is required, not getting rid of the exam.

    Complicated alternatives described here are incomprehensible and doubtless lower the floor for standard literacy and numeracy skills among teachers. If there is a California teacher shortage, we should raise teacher pay and reduce the number of students in every classroom – classes smaller than our present 35 kids. It is folly to dumb-down rock-bottom-low teacher credentialing requirements and to call that progress.
    ,

  62. MRaum 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    Wow!!! Yay!! Made my day.

    Any idea if early childhood education director permit (which I hold) will be taken into consideration for TK teachers? I love teaching pre-K /TK age. I am not a teacher as yet, and cannot wait to be one.

    I will student teaching in Fall. The removal of CSET and CBEST (although I passed CBEST) is a huge relief!

  63. Richard Cranium 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    If you can’t pass the CBEST, maybe you should not be a teacher. The average high school student can, or at least should be able to, pass it.

    And, competency exams on subject matter? Highly qualified under NCLB was a joke, but leaving the RICA and getting rid of subject matter is just dumB with a capital B.

    Replies

    • Tessa 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

      I passed the CBEST without studying with flying colors but that doesn’t mean people who are incredibly intelligent and completely qualified to teach may not pass. There is such a thing as stress anxiety. It’s real. And you can be an incredibly teacher and still have test anxiety. Standardized tests are inequitable

      • Kat 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

        People who are very intelligent will not have any problem passing the CBEST and CSET even with test anxiety. Almost everyone has some anxiety taking these exams ... that's just being human. But to say these tests are not equitable is nonsense because the topics tested are standard. I want my children's teachers to be able to exhibit their subject matter competency. If someone cannot show their knowledge on these exams, then they most definitely … Read More

        People who are very intelligent will not have any problem passing the CBEST and CSET even with test anxiety. Almost everyone has some anxiety taking these exams … that’s just being human. But to say these tests are not equitable is nonsense because the topics tested are standard. I want my children’s teachers to be able to exhibit their subject matter competency. If someone cannot show their knowledge on these exams, then they most definitely will not be able to teach students well.

  64. Gertrude Agbontaen 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    I am super excited. 6 years ago I could not pass my CBEST while teaching an SDC classroom. Thinking of passing the CSET when I have to struggle to pass the CBEST just discouraged me from pursuing my educational specialist career/ psychologist. I was very upset, I ended with a master's in Ed without my credentials even though I was good in the classroom with my temporary credential for 2 years. I feel like jumping … Read More

    I am super excited. 6 years ago I could not pass my CBEST while teaching an SDC classroom. Thinking of passing the CSET when I have to struggle to pass the CBEST just discouraged me from pursuing my educational specialist career/ psychologist. I was very upset, I ended with a master’s in Ed without my credentials even though I was good in the classroom with my temporary credential for 2 years.

    I feel like jumping back to do my credential or psychologist. Which we have a serious shortage in California. I will talk to my school and see my options. I love interacting with the kids. This is good news.

  65. Alice Philips 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    Do you know how this will affect other candidates like school counselors, etc., who were also mandated to take the CBEST?

  66. JudiAU 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    This is terribly embarrassing to the profession. The fact that so many potential teachers could not opt of these tests in the first place by passing the meager testing requirements was shameful (basically the lower half of college bound students). And then so many cannot pass the replacement tests that they replaced them with a subjective and easier standard. What does that tell parents about the academic achievement and education of teachers?

  67. Ruchi 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    I have 18+ Montessori credentials and a bachelor’s degree from India. Can I become a teacher at public school?

  68. Becky Marchant 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    This is big news! Do you know if this also applies to school counseling programs as well? I work in a graduate program for school counseling credential if in California.

  69. Cindy Trujillo 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    The RICA assessment is worse than the CBEST and CSET. It is completely outdated, and extremely unfair to candidates that do not have English as their first language. As an educator for over twenty years, this “test” does nothing to show competency to teach reading. It’s a money-making machine for the state.

    Replies

    • Therese Tibbits 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

      I agree with you, Cindy. If any test should be cancelled, it is the RICA!

  70. Sarah 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    So, I want to be an English teacher for highs school. I have passed 2 of the exams. In order to get my single-subject credentials, I need a BA in English? I got my BA in educational studies. I took several English classes at a Jr. college, but now I’m confused. I’m happy but now I’m worried about what schools might do to “help” those seeking a credentials.

  71. Julie 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

    This is great! My question is for those of us who graduated from college a long time ago and now just want to be a substitute teacher and don’t have a credential program, how do you get your transcripts reviewed or see if your old coursework qualifies to be able to skip the CBEST?

    Replies

    • Rocio 3 weeks ago3 weeks ago

      That’s exactly my same question as well. I graduated with my BA in Multidisciplinary Studies and would love to just be a substitute teacher for when I choose to.