Letter to the Editor

Clarifying points

Editor's note: This letter is in response to the story "Education majors caught in transition between exit exams for teacher certification" published on April 12.

Paul Katnik from the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education misled the public, stating candidates had 15 months to take the Praxis before phasing it out in August 2014. Actually, SEMO students were notified spring of 2014, leaving very little time to take the Praxis.

DESE noted the new exam is more rigorous (inflexible, painstaking, harsh) and measures the same type of content. The testing frameworks weren't finalized until August 2014. Once released, it was too late for current students to take the classes aligned to the new test.

Current students would now need four additional classes at SEMO to align with the new testing standards. Imagine getting a study guide for a test from your teacher, reviewing it, then when you get ready to take the test you find out your study guide doesn't cover what is on the test. However, your teacher still makes you take the test!

Why did we ask DESE for an exemption? The article took this statement out of context. Our letter suggested multiple options. College of Education dean Diana Rogers-Adkinson suggested allowing 10 percent of the students who are within 10 percent of the passing score on the exam to be exempted based on a portfolio of their work, grades and experience. Adkinson had this option at her previous college out of state. I want to make this clear; this is not about me. One should stand up for what they believe in! I'm an advocate for students all across Missouri. We must stand together to fight for what is right!

Lauren Powers, Dexter, Missouri