There is now some relief for those who are aspiring to become teachers, as a new state budget cuts the requirements for two of the tests required to earn a credential.
This move is a game changer for districts and those who wish to become educators.
Teacher candidates no longer have to take the California Basic Skills Test (CBEST) or California Subject Matter Exams (CSET) to earn a credential. However, this doesn't mean that just anyone can become a teacher.
These tests can be bypassed only if candidates take approved coursework.
The CBEST tests for reading, math, and writing skills. The CSET tests a candidate's proficiency in the subject they will teach.
In lieu of the CBEST, teacher candidates must prove they are proficient in the necessary subjects by earing a B or higher in college coursework.
For the CSET, a teacher candidate who takes approved coursework and earns a degree in the subject they wish teach, no longer has to take the test.
Joe Hyde, the Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Services at Desert Sands Unified School District (DSUSD), said there has been a teacher shortage in California for at least six years.
The shortage has become more noticeable during the pandemic as testing centers closed. According to officials at the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, teacher retirements increased, and the number of teachers earning credential declined.
DSUSD said it hasn't had much of an issue on hiring its teachers, but for subjects like physics and speech pathology it has.
Now that this barrier is being removed, it hopes this will make it easier to find more teachers for these specific subjects.
Cal State University San Bernardino faculty are currently studying the new policy and plan to discuss its implications soon in regards to it's teacher education courses.