Florida’s Teacher Certification Controversy

By Katie LaGrone

Members of the Senate Education Committee met on Wednesday and voted to move SB 7070 forward. The 52-page bill includes a number of education initiatives including new measures to help ease frustrations over a state teacher certification test thousands have repeatedly failed since the test was made tougher in 2015.

“We don’t want something considered arbitrary from keeping teachers in the classroom,” said Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. (R-Hialeah Gardens) in response to ongoing concerns he’s heard from constituents about the certification process.

Some school districts are weighing in with support.

“I’m excited, I think it’s a great positive step forward,” said Dr. Angela Pruitt, Director of Recruitment and Retention for the Lee County School district.

The district is among several Florida school districts who lobbied lawmakers for a change this year after noticing an increase in teachers struggling to pass the exam. Since the test was revised and made more rigorous, failure rates have jumped up to 30% on some portions of the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE).

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