Only 45 percent of would-be elementary teachers pass state licensing tests on the first try in states with strong testing systems concludes a new report by the National Council on Teacher Quality. Twenty-two percent of those who fail — 30 percent of test takers of color — never try again, reports Driven by Data: Using Licensure Tests to Build a Strong, Diverse Teacher Workforce.
Exam takers have the hardest time with tests of content knowledge, such as English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.
Research shows that “teachers’ test performance predicts their classroom performance,” the report states.
NCTQ found huge variation in the first-time pass rates in different teacher education programs. In some cases, less-selective, more-diverse programs outperformed programs with more advantaged students. Examples are Western Kentucky University, Texas A&M International and Western Connecticut State University.
California, which refused to provide data for the NCTQ study, will allow teacher candidates to skip basic skills and subject-matter tests, if they pass relevant college classes with a B or better, reports Diana Lambert for EdSource.
The California Basic Skills Test (CBEST) measures reading, writing and math skills normally learned in middle school or early in high school. The California Subject Matter Exams for Teachers (CSET) tests proficiency in the subject the prospective teacher will teach, Lambert writes.
Curiously, the Wisconsin State Journal backed Jill Underly for state education superintendent, despite her interest in killing our one teacher content knowledge exam: Foundations of Reading. Wisconsin students now trail Mississippi, a stare that spends less and has fewer teachers per pupil.
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