West Chester Dean Wants to Give Aspiring Teachers a Chance

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West Chester University Dean Desha Williams is one of many educators who wants to take the burden off of students working to become teachers. The newly waived basic skills requirement for educators will rid the requirement of the basic skills tests in reading, math, and writing for the next three years, writes Susan Snyder for the Philadelphia Inquirer.  

“This is just opening an opportunity for them to grow and to be able then to meet those requirements at the end of their program,” she said.  

Due to a teacher shortage crisis brought on by the pandemic, the Pennsylvania state legislature waived the requirement in June. 

Originally passed in 2014, the state introduced this requirement out of concern that not enough students were passing their certification exams. Officials also wanted to see if it would improve the quality of the next generations of teachers. These tests are not only timely, but rather costly. Three total tests each time could cost up to $150.  

John Ward, a dean at Kutztown University said that the waivers already made an impact, as the school was able to admit transfers who hadn’t yet passed their skills assessment test into its teacher preparation program.  

Future teachers must take the basic skills assessment test in between their sophomore and junior years. Hopefully, this waiver will ease the burden many aspiring educators are facing. 

Read more about the waiver for future Pennsylvania educators in the Philadelphia Inquirer.  

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