• Joanne Jacobs

We don't lower standards for pilots


States are dropping licensure tests for elementary teachers writes Abigail Swisher on the National Council on Teacher Quality blog. In particular, they're dropping content knowledge tests or allowing alternatives for would-be teachers who don't pass.


There's a shortage of airline pilots too, but nobody's calling for lower standards to get someone in the cockpit, writes Heather Peske.


Yet policymakers are eager to "lower the barriers" for aspiring teachers "in response to real (or perceived) teacher shortages," she writes. "Since 2020, we've seen at least 12 states lower requirements to become a fully-certified teacher."

To be successful, teachers must know the subject matter as well as the science of learning and their individual students. Anyone who has watched elementary math teaching knows how much math content knowledge a teacher needs to diagnose and understand students' misconceptions to effectively teach them math.

Some argue for reducing requirements to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of the teacher workforce, Peske writes. It won't advance racial equity for students to be taught by teachers who don't understand the content. Furthermore, she writes "the tacit message is people of color are incapable of meeting standards."


NCTQ's new report, Digging Deeper: Which Types of Institutions Achieve Excellence and Equity for Aspiring Teachers of Color, highlights "teacher prep institutions that achieve racial equity in their licensure pass rates," Peske writes. It can be done.


Bus drivers are working as substitute teachers in Fayette County, Georgia. They have "behavior management" experience.


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