Until the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, Rhode Island law barred teacher applicants from being automatically disqualified for certification based solely on the results of a standardized written test. The ban was prompted by the significant racial disparities found in the test results and because there was no evidence that the test accurately measured the skills or aptitude of teaching applicants. For these reasons, we urged amendment to this legislation, which seeks to make certification easier for teachers in order to address a severe teacher shortage, to include a moratorium on the current standardized testing requirement for certification. Last year, in recognition of the comparable importance of encouraging diversity in the social work workforce, the General Assembly passed a similar bill which placed a three-year moratorium on the use of standardized testing as a qualification for licensure as a social worker.
Teacher Certification Requirements (H 5794, S 488)
Representative Joshua Giraldo and Senator Jonathon Acosta
Held for Further Study
Support and Amend