The skills tests that most public school teachers must pass to get a job are poor predictors of whether they’ll actually be good teachers — and in some cases may even keep good ones from entering the classroom, new research suggests.
A pair of long-term studies presented here at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association challenge longstanding policies in 48 states that require teachers to pass standardized exams to get jobs.
In one, Marc Claude-Charles Colitti of Michigan State University examined data going back to 1960 and found teachers’ scores had almost no correlation to principals’ evaluations of their classroom performance.
“How smart a teacher is doesn’t necessarily tell us that they’re a good teacher,” he says. Teachers’ SAT or ACT college entrance exam scores, or even their own scores on fifth-grade skills tests when they were children, would be as accurate at telling whether they’ll be good teachers, he says.