CETA recommends that all Theatre educators in a public school setting in CA obtain the Theatre Credential, then add the English credential, and perhaps a CTE credential in Arts, Media, and Entertainment to ensure ultimate flexibility in employment. Note: Anyone in CA who holds a current credential in any subject is eligible to add any other subject by passing the CSET and taking a methodology course.
The legislative language from SB 916, which was signed into law in September 2016, states the following:
“A person issued a single-subject teaching credential in physical education before the establishment of a single-subject teaching credential in theatre is authorized to teach theatre.”
“Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a school district from employing a person who holds a single-subject teaching credential in another subject with an authorization to teach...theatre from teaching theatre.”
CETA continues to maintain this language as a basis for understanding the authorization agreements that accompanied the passage of SB 916 to establish single-subject credentials in Dance and Theatre in CA. PE and English retain authorization for dance and theater (grandfathering) for those who obtained the PE or English credentials before the formal establishment of the new credentials.
The CTC will clarify the procedure it will utilize to adhere to this section of the law. The language that will be used is that of “authorization,” not grandfathering.
Subject Matter Examinations
California cannot just use the DELTA or the ETS Theatre PRAXIS because both assess knowledge of content-specific pedagogy alongside general content knowledge. According to CA law, our exams for entering credential programs (CSETs) are not to include content related to pedagogy. The intention is that the prospective candidate will learn that information while in the Teacher Education Program, and at the end of the program will pass the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) to prove competence in pedagogy as well. The exam consists of Multiple Choice items and Constructed Response items.
That said, Washington State, who also contracts with Pearson, has exams from which we may be able to cherry-pick certain test items as long as they align with our Subject Matter Requirements (SMR). Because the DELTA does not hold a contract with Pearson, it will not be useful to CA as it develops its CSET for Theatre.
A panel of subject-matter expert educators will develop the exam in partnership with Pearson; incentives will be offered to encourage volunteers to take the exam early to determine the passing standard; those volunteers will not get a passing score for this pilot of the test; if you pilot the exam or are a part if its development, you have to wait 5 years to actually take it and earn a credential.
The desire is for the panels to consist of a diverse group of theatre educators representing urban and rural districts from all regions of the state who are all well-versed in the new CA Arts Standards. They can be currently credentialed and teaching in the field as secondary teachers with Single-Subject credentials in English, Multiple Subject credentialed teachers who have focused in Theatre with supplemental authorizations, or retired theatre educators. The panel can also consist of individuals from the private sector who also have a clear understanding of the new standards and use them in their own educational setting as well as, university and Junior College professors, again, who are experts in the CA Arts standards.
Panels are for developing SMRs, TPEs, and CSETs.