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]
Published Mar. 19

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.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. First page of school data report Times staff
    Find your school in these reports.
  2. Colleen Beaudoin is selected Pasco County School Board chairwoman for 2020, and Allen Altman is named vice chairman. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    Altman chosen as vice chairman.
  3. Melissa Snively and Steve Cona III are the new chair and vice chair of the Hillsborough County School Board. MARLENE   |  Times staff
    Steve Cona III is vice chair.
  4. Hillsborough County School Board member Karen Perez MARLENE SOKOL  |  Times staff
    School board member Karen Perez sees student stress in her social work practice.
  5. Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at pre-legislative news conference on Tuesday Oct. 29, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) STEVE CANNON  |  AP
    He’s got a new voucher proposal, as well.
  6. Pasco school bus drivers are among those school-related employees who would get a 3.25 percent raise under a tentative contract agreement for 2019-20.
    District, union attention now turns to teacher contracts.
  7. Teacher Kate Newell watches seventh graders Aaron Roxberry and Jacob Iovino practice the slope-intercept formula in one of her weekly visits to their Bayonet Point Middle algebra class, which Newell usually teaches remotely. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    A roundup of stories from around the state.
  8. eSchool teacher Kate Newell holds a discussion-based assessment with eighth-grader Ariana Toro during a recent visit to Bayonet Point Middle School. Newell leads the math course remotely most days, but comes to campus at least once weekly to give her students some extra attention. JEFFREY SOLOCHEK  |  Times Staff
    Principals increasingly turn to virtual instruction to fill their vacancies.
  9. Victoria Arriaga, left, does a letter-matching activity during Priscilla Perez's pre-kindergarten class at West Tampa Elementary School in 2018.  [MONICA HERNDON   |   Times]
    Reading proficiency, however, continues to be a challenge.
  10. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is proposing $1 billion in increased teacher pay as part of a $91.4 billion state budget he put forward on Monday. CHRIS URSO  |  Times
    The Florida governor also wants to hire hundreds of new corrections officers and spend $1.4 billion on hurricane recovery.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement