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ERIC Number: EJ932810
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-0895-6855
Testing What Matters Least: What We Learned when We Took the Praxis Reading Specialist Test
Yeigh, Maika; Cunningham, Andie; Shagoury, Ruth
Rethinking Schools, v25 n4 p44-47 Sum 2011
The authors are professors of literacy in a teacher education program that leads to a reading endorsement. Their graduates are reading specialists, literacy coaches, and district language arts specialists--but only if, in addition to the coursework and practicum experience that make up their National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) certified reading program, they also pass the Praxis Reading Specialist Test. Like any students approaching a high-stakes test, the adults they work with are anxious about the Praxis, a two-hour, 120-question, multiple-choice, gatekeeper test for their chosen positions as literacy leaders. From their reports, the authors had become increasingly concerned about what seems to be a very narrow focus of this professional test. They decided it was time for them to embark on a journey into the two-dimensional world of the Praxis test. They discovered that, at best, the Praxis test measures the least important aspects of professional knowledge. At worst, it reinforces harmful ideas about the profession: that reading specialists and literacy coaches should "know their place," not buck the system, and certainly not encourage their colleagues to critique the standardized tests that dominate the profession. The authors suggest that it is time to take back professional responsibility and initiate dialogue with colleagues nationwide to craft resolutions through professional organizations to oppose the continuation of this testing requirement.
Rethinking Schools, Ltd. 1001 East Keefe Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53212. Tel: 414-964-9646; Fax: 414-964-7220; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A