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ERIC Number: ED527142
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 141
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
Recent Trends in Mean Scores and Characteristics of Test-Takers on "Praxis II" Licensure Tests
Gitomer, Drew H.; Qi, Yi
Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, US Department of Education
This study concerns the "highly qualified teacher" provisions of the "Elementary and Secondary Education Act" ("ESEA," 2002), as reauthorized, and other policies at the federal, state and local levels, which have aimed to elevate the content knowledge of teachers. This examination of "Praxis II" score trends was not meant to serve as an evaluation of "ESEA" or of any of the other policies instituted at the state or local levels; the study served simply as an effort to examine trends in a systemic outcome that all of these policies have aimed to influence--the content knowledge of prospective teachers. More specifically, this report answers the following questions: (1) Have the demographic and/or performance characteristics of individuals who took each test changed across the years included? Total sample size, proportions by gender and race, percent passing, and experience breakdowns are reported; (2) Do mean "Praxis" scores differ by gender, race, and experience? Additionally, do the mean passing scores for those who pass differ substantially from those who do not pass as well as from the mean passing scores of all candidates considered together?; (3a) Across years, is there any evidence of a trend in "Praxis" scores for those who pass? How do these trends compare with the trends of those who do not pass?; and (3b) Does including the factors of gender, race, and experience variables in the analytic model help to explain any observed trends? Key findings include: (1) For the "Praxis" tests examined in this study, there is little change in mean test scores observed over time; (2) Those who pass "Praxis" tests have scores substantially higher than those who do not; (3) It is critical to separate those who pass from those who do not in order to make sense of trends; (4) Score trends are inconsistent across tests; (5) There has been an increase in the number of individuals taking the "Praxis II" tests and the increase is seen both among individuals with teaching experience and without teaching experience; (6) Race and ethnicity differences are consistent across tests; (7) Race and ethnicity differences are not disaggregated by gender because of small sample sizes in some of the cells; (8) Gender differences vary by test; (9) For most of the states examined in this study, passing standards are related to mean passing scores and passing rates in predictable ways; (10) Experience effects vary across tests; (11) Experience factors are relatively small except for the Middle School Mathematics test; and (12) The large, positive trends in SAT scores by "Praxis II" candidates observed in prior research are not echoed here in similarly large positive trends in "Praxis II" scores. Appended are: (1) Initial Year of "Praxis" Test Use by State for Each Assessment; (2) Passing Score Established by Each State for Each Assessment by Year; and (3) "Praxis" Registration Form--Background Information. (Contains 90 exhibits and 6 footnotes.)
Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, US Department of Education. Available from: ED Pubs. Education Publications Center, US Department of Education, NTIS, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Tel: 877-433-7827; Fax: 703-605-6794; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development (ED), Policy and Program Studies Service; Educational Testing Service
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Praxis Series