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  • Writer's pictureMarguerite Gaspar

Over 50% of California teacher candidates cannot pass the State’s Basic Skills Tests.

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

California’s Answer: Lower the bar and drop the testing requirement.

Effective immediately, California’s prospective teachers are no longer required 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, or California Basic Skills Test, is not a challenging post-graduate test. In my experience, it was a piece of cake compared to the GRE or LSAT. Any educated individual holding a four-year college degree should be able to pass this test without breaking a sweat. Shouldn't all teachers be required to demonstrate that they have “basic academic skills” before entering a teacher preparation program? Not if you reside in California where the State has chosen to simply eliminate these tests and rely instead on prospective teachers' undergraduate grades and "other factors" for admission.

The result: Entrants to teacher education programs will be even less qualified and less able to teach necessary skills to California public school students than they are today. Depending on the criteria being measured, California ranks around 38th-43rd among US states in the quality of education offered to its students. US News & World Report ranks California K-12 at 40th.

California faces many challenges in educating its students. A high proportion of English language learners and commitment to equity in educating its diverse population require greater skill and stronger teachers. Dropping standards for teacher preparation is not the solution to overcoming these challenges.

Many parents who are new to homeschooling worry that their children will be missing out on the education that the public schools offer. Have faith in yourselves, Homeschool Parents! Given California's rankings and record of lowering the academic bar for teachers and students, missing out on the tragedy that is public education is more of a gift than a hardship.

Talega Preparatory Academy offers homeschool help for families whether they are new to homeschool, looking for homeschool planning or curriculum ideas, wishing to retain their child, wanting a creative or hands-on approach to learning, and so much more. Contact us so that we may help you plan your homeschool journey.

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