Commentary on Proposed Changes to Wisconsin Teacher Licensing Requirements

Amber Walker:

“Candidates graduating from new (teacher preparation) programs will be able to teach in all of the areas…(Teachers) that weren’t prepared in that manner retain the same ability to teach only in the narrow area, such as biology,” McCarthy said in an email to the Cap Times. “We will continue to support pathways for a currently licensed educator to demonstrate competence and add on additional subject areas.”

Earlier this month, DPI held a public hearing about the new rules, which is required before the rules become permanent. Several music teachers expressed concerns that consolidating subject areas would compromise teacher expertise and quality.

Brad Schneider, government relations chair for the Wisconsin Music Educators Association, said consolidating music licenses would lead to “condensed and diluted” music instruction. Schneider said the best way to recruit teachers is to address factors that discourage people from entering the classroom, like low pay, high stakes testing and a lack of teacher autonomy.

“The move to a single license area may be shortsighted and will discourage potential music educators,” Schneider said. “It doesn’t address the real problem of people choosing not to teach.”


Much more on Wisconsin’s teacher licensing requirements, here.

Wisconsin has long avoided teacher content knowledge requirements, adopting “MTEL” via the legislature some years ago, in an effort to improve elementary teacher capabilities.

Foundation of Reading Results (Wisconsin Education School Teacher Exam).