Today, Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) announced that he has introduced bipartisan legislation to address the statewide teacher shortage by removing unnecessary barriers of entry to the profession. Specifically, AB 1982 would no longer require a prospective teacher to take the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) if the individual earned a B or better in college-level courses that correspond with the three major areas covered in the test (reading, writing and math).
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing does not currently allow candidates to use college-level coursework to demonstrate core proficiencies. However, the Commission does allow candidates to use a grade of C or higher to satisfy requirements for expanding single-subject credentials.
“California’s teacher shortage affects school districts of every size, everywhere in our state,” said Cunningham. “Given the shortage, we should be reducing barriers to entry into the profession. The state shouldn’t needlessly force successful college students to take a costly test that serves more as a wall than a gate.”
In addition to helping address the teacher shortage, AB 1982 will bring California up to peer-reviewed standards, as studies have shown that college GPA is a better indicator of how effective a teacher will be in the classroom when compared to a standardized test like the CBEST.
The bill will be heard in the Assembly Education Committee in the spring, and is coauthored by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) and Assemblyman Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield).