Prospective teachers who seek to earn a California elementary teaching credential must pass an exam called the RICA (Reading Instruction Competence Assessment), in addition to successful completion of an approved credential program (including student teaching and coursework) and a state-approved teaching performance assessment. All educators understand and support the need to be well-prepared for strong literacy instruction to provide an excellent education for students. However, the RICA is flawed. It does not align with current literacy standards and it has not been shown to predict effectiveness in classroom teaching. In addition, it serves as a barrier to the teaching profession for many excellent teachers, especially those who are non-native English speakers and teachers of color.
SB 614, sponsored by Susan Rubio, will remove the RICA and ensure that teacher preparation programs--through rigorous coursework and reliable program assessments--guarantee that all teachers, in all specialties and subject areas gain knowledge to effectively teach students to read.