The task force recommends repealing Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.09, Subpart b that requires a teacher candidate to pass a skills examination in reading, writing and mathematics. These three subtests have been commonly referred to as the “basic skills” test. The task force supports the continuation of the requirement that a teacher candidate pass examinations in pedagogy and content areas as approved by the Board.
(b) The board must adopt rules requiring a person to pass a skills examination in reading, writing, and mathematics as a requirement for initial teacher licensure, except that the board may issue up to two additional temporary, one-year teaching licenses to an otherwise qualified candidate who has not yet passed the skills exam. Such rules must require college and universities offering a board-approved teacher preparation program to provide remedial assistance to persons who did not achieve a qualifying score on the skills examination, including those for whom English is a second language.
(e) The board must adopt rules requiring candidates for initial licenses to pass an examination of general pedagogical knowledge and examinations of licensure-specific teaching skills. The rules shall be effective by September 1, 2001. The rules under this paragraph also must require candidates for initial licenses to teach prekindergarten or elementary students to pass, as part of the examination of licensure-specific teaching skills, test items assessing the candidates' knowledge, skill, and ability in comprehensive, scientifically based reading instruction under section 122A.06, subdivision 4, and their knowledge and understanding of the foundations of reading development, the development of reading comprehension, and reading assessment and instruction, and their ability to integrate that knowledge and understanding.
The task force recommends that the Board of Teaching develop requirements as part of its approval process for teacher preparation programs that include assurances that prior to graduation and upon successful completion of an accredited teacher preparation program, teacher candidates are proficient in reading, writing and mathematics at a college entrance level.
(c) The board must adopt rules to approve teacher preparation programs. The board, upon the request of a postsecondary student preparing for teacher licensure or a licensed graduate of a teacher preparation program, shall assist in resolving a dispute between the person and a postsecondary institution providing a teacher preparation program when the dispute involves an institution's recommendation for licensure affecting the person or the person's credentials. At the board's discretion, assistance may include the application of chapter 14.
The task force recommends that teacher candidates who do not graduate from a Board approved teacher preparation program, must demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing and mathematics at a college entrance level and may do so in one of the following ways: