The Iowa Board of Education has signed off on new testing requirements for teachers. Department of Education spokesman, Mike Cormack says the legislature wants to beef up the quality of Iowa’s classroom teachers. “What would change for all Iowa teaching candidates is they would have to demonstrate on a national test that they can attain a score of 25 percentile or higher both in pedagogy and in their content area,” Cormack explains.

The new requirement goes into effect for next spring’s graduating classes from Iowa teacher prep programs. “There’s a standard that we expect in Iowa classrooms, that we expect to have strong professionalism among our teachers, and we would expect that every child would have a teacher who is knowledgeable about both how to teach and the content area that they’re in.” Cormack explains.

The Board of Educational examiners is studying whether teachers from out of state must also pass the tests. Lawmakers approved the new requirement after rejecting Governor Branstad’s proposal to mandate that teachers have a three-point-grade average to enter a teacher preparation program.