Advertisement
  1. Gradebook

Florida Board of Education cuts costs of teacher certification tests

‘It’s so common sense,’ says board member Ben Gibson, an adviser to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Florida Board of Education chairwoman Marva Johnson supports reducing the cost of teacher certification exams during a March 19, 2019, meeting in the state Capitol. [The Florida Channel]
Florida Board of Education chairwoman Marva Johnson supports reducing the cost of teacher certification exams during a March 19, 2019, meeting in the state Capitol. [The Florida Channel]
Published Mar. 19, 2019

After months of complaints over the state’s teacher certification exams, which have cost thousands of educators their jobs, the Florida Board of Education agreed to reduce the fee teachers pay for retakes.

Among the changes:

• Registration to retake one of the four General Knowledge subtests will drop from $150 to $32.50.

• First-time registration for all subject area exams will drop from $200 to $150, and retakes will drop from $220 to $150.

• First–time registration for the full battery of Prekindergarten/Primary or Elementary Education tests will drop from $200 to $150.

The move comes not long after the previous administration declined to change the testing system, and while lawmakers consider the possibility of eliminating some of the tests altogether.

Related coverage: Florida House takes steps to eliminate controversial teacher test

“This is such a small thing the board can do to help our teachers, and it’s so common sense as well,” said board member Ben Gibson, who has advised Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Chairwoman Marva Johnson said she appreciated that the change would help teachers “without lowering the rigor.”

The move found support from Brevard County English teacher Vanessa Skipper, a member of the Florida Education Association executive cabinet, who was the only member of the public to speak to the board.

“This is one positive step in the direction of retaining great educators,” Skipper said.

She agreed with Gibson that small but meaningful changes are needed to continue improving Florida education. She also mentioned the need to increase teacher pay, suggesting that also might help stem the shortage of applicants for teaching vacancies across the state.

In related news, deputy chancellor Paul Burns told the board that the department has made a significant dent in the backlog of teacher certification and recertification applications that had piled up over several months.

Burns said commissioner Richard Corcoran had authorized six permanent and three temporary assignments to the certification bureau to catch up on the 15,000 requests and then remain up to date afterward. He anticipated clearing the list by May 31.

“I’m sure the school districts are excited to hear that,” Johnson said.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

  1. Custodian James Berrien, (center) and Hillsborough Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins are pictured at Cypress Creek Elementary for the opening of a time capsule buried in 1991 when Eakins was a 4th-grade teacher. It was the first year that Berrien, present at the burial of the capsule, worked at the school. Febuary 27. Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020 in Ruskin.  [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
  2. Hillsborough school superintendent Jeff Eakins holds a time capsule at Cypress Creek Elementary Thursday in Ruskin. Eakins, who retires soon, was a fourth-grade teacher at the school when the capsule was buried in 1991. [MARTHA ASENCIO RHINE  |  Times]
  3. Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, has pushed for changes to Florida's restraint and seclusion laws for nearly a decade.  (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) [Associated Press (2016)]
  4. Health officials recommend washing hands frequently and sanitizing toys, clothes and other items as often as possible to avoid the spread of viruses.
  5. An artist's rendering shows one view of Tyrone Middle School in St. Petersburg after a $28 million renovation. Work is expected to start in February 2021. The Pinellas County School Board approved a contract with Rowe Architects Inc. to work on the project. [Pinellas County Schools]
  6. Graduates enjoy fireworks at Bright House Field.
  7. A bill to merge Florida Polytechnic into the University of Florida keeps advancing, even as most lawmakers say they don't approve.  [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times (2018]
  8. Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D- Orlando  [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  9. More than 100 people turned out Jan. 15, 2019, to give the Pasco County School Board their thoughts on the district's policy and procedures for transgender student rights. [JEFFREY S. SOLOCHEK  |  Times]
  10. Hudson High student Kaitlyn Helzer introduces herself to a curious corn snake during the Nature Coast Envirothon, held Feb. 19 at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park in Sumter County. Students from Pasco, Hernando, Sumter and Citrus counties tested their knowledge on aquatics, forestry, soils and wildlife while vying for a spot at state competition. [MICHELE MILLER  |  Times]
  11. Incoming Superintendent Addison Davis (center) and School Board Chair Melissa Snively (right) sign Davis' contract with the Hillsborough County School District after it was unanimously approved by the school board on February 18, 2020. [JUAN CARLOS CHAVEZ  |  Times]
  12. Teacher Dequita Parker guides youngsters to lunch from the playground Sept. 20 at the PromiseLand Early Childhood Education Center in Tampa.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement