ERIC Number: ED457261
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Not Good Enough: A Content Analysis of Teacher Licensing Examinations. How Teacher Licensing Tests Fall Short.
Mitchell, Ruth; Barth, Patte
Thinking K-16, v3 n1 Spr 1999
This publication examines research on the quality of teacher licensing examinations, explaining that state examinations do not necessarily guarantee that teachers have the breadth and depth of subject knowledge to teach all students to high standards. Researchers focused on English/language arts, mathematics, and science, analyzing actual exams published by Educational Testing Service (ETS), which publishes the Praxis series, and National Evaluation Systems (NES), which designs state-specific examinations. They investigated the approximate grade level of the test, how challenging the test questions were, and whether the knowledge was relevant to teaching. Results found that the ETS series of essay examinations, which requires candidates to demonstrate their depth of knowledge, is a good measure of teachers' skills. However, this series is required by far fewer states than is the lower level multiple-choice examination. The NES Massachusetts literacy and communications skills examination asks more complex questions than do other examinations. Most tests examined were multiple choice assessments dominated by high-school-level material. There was no evidence of content at the baccalaureate level in any test. After presenting a summary of the tests, the article discusses who determines test content, reasons for a minimal approach to teacher licensing, and whether licensing examinations mean anything. (SM)
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, English Instruction, Higher Education, Knowledge Base for Teaching, Language Arts, Licensing Examinations (Professions), Literacy Education, Mathematics Instruction, Multiple Choice Tests, Preservice Teacher Education, Science Instruction, Scores, Standardized Tests, State Licensing Boards, State Standards, Teacher Certification, Teacher Competencies, Teacher Competency Testing, Test Content
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Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Trust, Washington, DC.