ERIC Number: ED355191
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
Between Rocks and Hard Places: Teacher Competency Testing and the Makeup of the Teaching Force.
Tanner, David E.; Pohan, Cathy A.
Like many states, California has included a literacy screen, the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST), in the requirements that aspiring teachers must meet. In a state where demographic data indicate an increasing ethnic diversity among elementary and secondary student populations and an imminent teacher shortage that will be especially acute for ethnic minorities, the potential impact of a test such as the CBEST is very important. Ample precedents indicate that standardized tests have ethnic, and sometimes gender, correlates which therefore impact on a minority applicant's accessibility to a teaching credential. This study seeks to evaluate the degree to which CBEST scores correlate with Hispanic ethnicity. The sample consists of 660 candidates who took the CBEST in 1990; test scores were tabulated by ethnicity, gender, and whether the test-taker was a first-timer or a repeater. Results suggest that there are striking differences in the probability of passing the test, depending upon the candidate's ethnic membership; the probabilities based on gender are also different, but less dramatic. The data suggest an inherent conflict between screening candidates' basic literacy skills as a provision for access to teacher education and attempting to ensure that a candidate's exclusion from a career is not influenced by ethnicity or gender. (LL)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Ethnic Distribution, Higher Education, Hispanic Americans, Population Growth, Population Trends, Preservice Teacher Education, School Demography, Social Mobility, Standardized Tests, Teacher Shortage, Teaching (Occupation), Test Bias
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: California Basic Educational Skills Test