Discontinue the Praxis Core Math Test for Support Staff
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There are many individuals that are not great test takers. I am one of them. I have been endlessly trying to obtain my school social worker license in both Wisconsin and Illinois. I have submitted letters to both state licensing boards and here is what I am proposing.
To the State Licensing Representatives:
My name is Jennifer K. Hedrich. I am currently working as a parent educator in the Woodstock School District in Woodstock, Illinois, with aspirations of becoming a school social worker. I am writing to ask for your consideration in reviewing my qualifications as a school social worker and to waive the requirement of the Praxis 1 exam.
I am a hard-working individual who completed my Bachelor of Arts in Social Work in 2009 from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. I went on to complete a Child Protective services internship and later was hired as an Initial Assessment Social Worker with the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I have also been a foster care case manager with One Hope United in Gurnee, Illinois. During this time, I passed my school social work content exam in Wisconsin and graduated from George Williams College of Aurora University in May of 2014 with a Master of Social work degree, with a specialty in School Social Work. I have completed all necessary schooling and internships. My varied and rich work experience, as well as, the countless hours spent on my education has prepared me to become the best school social worker I can be.
Unfortunately, there is one obstacle that remains in my path. I have attempted to pass the Illinois Test of Academic Proficiency and the Praxis 1 many times. I have passed the reading and writing portions of the exam, but have yet to pass the mathematics section. I have attended workshops at Aurora University, purchased and prepared with the Kaplan ACT online study materials, as well as, your free materials on the Praxis Educational Testing Service website. I have obtained tutors for the ACT and the Praxis test through Sylvan learning center and Mathnasium and have spent countless hours preparing for an examination that your state says I have to complete in order to have my school social work license.
As I stated earlier, I would like for you to consider waiving this requirement based on a few reasons. First, I am not teaching children to read, write or do mathematics. I am preparing them for the future to become people who are socially and emotionally adapted for the real world and will become productive members in our society. Secondly, I feel that this examination does not show how social workers can teach children valuable life skills. It is simply a way to wean out the people who have completed such requirements. I am aware of the five time attempt being done away with, but how many times does a person have to sit in a room, take an examination that has absolutely no merit on how well they can do their job. My purpose as social worker is to keep children safe, be their advocate, assist them in times of need, and help them develop healthy relationships. So, it is with these reasons that I am asking for the state to consider someone like myself who has completed all practical requirements necessary and is successfully working in the social work field to be able to obtain their school social work license and be given a chance to achieve their goal.
Jennifer K. Hedrich, MSW
417 Parker Drive Unit B
Genoa City, WI 53128
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