At its Feb. 14, 2014, meeting, the State Board for Educator Certification approved proposals related to the new EC-6 and 4-8 Generalist certificate exam (available in January 2015) that are much friendlier to educators than proposals discussed in October 2013.

The original proposals were dropped after SBEC members considered TCTA’s testimony at its October meeting. TCTA told the board that one of the proposals — which would have required candidates to retake the entire five-hour exam if they failed even one section — was out of sync with other types of professional licensing exams, such as those for CPAs and real estate agents.

TCTA also told the board that another proposal, allowing holders of the new EC-6 Generalist certificate to teach only the four core subjects instead of the entire elementary curriculum, would act as a major disincentive for candidates to pursue the certificate. TCTA pointed out that such a proposal was not aligned with the self-contained classroom structure common in many elementary schools.

The new proposals adopted at the Feb. 14 meeting allow candidates who take the redesigned EC-6 and 4-8 Generalist certificate exam to retake only the sections of the exam they fail and allow holders of the new certificate to teach the entire elementary curriculum.

The board also approved a third proposal that extends the timeline for phasing out the current EC-6 and 4-8 Generalist exams to August 2015. The extension gives candidates who take the current tests an additional two years to complete all the other requirements for certification.

The new proposals will now go to the State Board of Education to be accepted or rejected. The final decision on these proposals will affect not only new teachers, but also current teachers seeking Generalist certificates. (The U.S. Department of Education requires teachers who hold grade 4-8 subject-specific certificates and who are assigned to fifth grade to also hold a Generalist certificate in certain situations.)

See also: Teachers needed for April/May 2014 standard-setting meetings for information on the opportunity to participate on standard-setting committees for the Generalist 4-8 certification exam.