Proposal To Ease Teaching Standards in Virginia

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Virginia has the nation s highest cut-off score on the Praxis I basic skills test. Usually Virginia gets lauded for its high standards, but those standards are currently under threat from a proposal before the state Board of Education that would allow teachers who fail this test to still be able to teach. Since most states won t even let a candidate into an education school who has not first passed this test, this would be a huge step backward. Responding to stories of teachers who lost jobs after failing the Praxis test of basic skills (Virginia teachers don t have to pass the Praxis I during the first three years of teaching) the State Board is considering letting them teach provided they meet several conditions. The waiver would certify teachers who passed two of three subtests in reading, writing and mathematics; received the recommendation of a superior; and has taught successfully for at least a year never mind that they can t perform a basic math problem or tell the difference between an adverb and an adjective.

There is also a plan to allow SATs to substitute for Praxis I scores. Three other states Connecticut, Delaware, and Georgia allow the SAT (with minimum scores set between 1,000 and 1,100) to serve as a substitute for the Praxis I since both measure verbal and computational skills rather than teaching ability.