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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2001. Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10090.
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Testing Teacher Candidates

THE ROLE OF LICENSURE TESTS IN IMPROVING TEACHER QUALITY

Karen J.Mitchell, David Z.Robinson, Barbara S.Plake, and Kaeli T.Knowles, editors

Committee on Assessment and Teacher Quality

Center for Education

Board on Testing and Assessment

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, DC

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2001. Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10090.
×

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. Washington, DC 20418

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This study was supported by the U.S. Department of Education (award R215U990004). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Assessment and Teacher Quality.

Testing teacher candidates: the role of licensure tests in improving teacher quality/Committee on Assessment and Teacher Quality, Center for Education, Board on Testing and Assessment, Division on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council; Karen J. Mitchell…[et al.], editors.

p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 0-309-07420-7 (hardcover)

1. Teaching—United States—Examinations. 2. Teachers—Certification—United States. I. Mitchell, Karen Janice. II. Title.

LB1762 .N37 2001

371.12–dc21

2001004490

Additional copies of this report are available from the
National Academy Press,
2101 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20418. Call (800) 624–6242 or (202) 334–3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area). This report is also available online at http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 2001 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Suggested citation: National Research Council. 2001. Testing teacher candidates: The role of licensure tests in improving teacher quality. Committee on Assessment and Teacher Quality, Mitchell, K.J., Robinson, D.Z., Plake, B.S., and Knowles, K.T., editors. Board on Testing and Assessment, Center for Education, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Printed in the United States of America

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2001. Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10090.
×

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

National Academy of Sciences

National Academy of Engineering

Institute of Medicine

National Research Council

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A.Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I.Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M.Alberts and Dr. Wm. A.Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2001. Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10090.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2001. Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10090.
×

COMMITTEE ON ASSESSMENT AND TEACHER QUALITY

DAVID Z.ROBINSON (Chair),

Carnegie Corporation of New York

LINDA DARLING-HAMMOND,

School of Education, Stanford University

CARL A.GRANT,

Department of Teacher Education, University of Wisconsin, Madison

MILTON D.HAKEL,

Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University

ABIGAIL L.HUGHES,

Connecticut State Department of Education

MARY M.KENNEDY,

College of Education, Michigan State University

STEPHEN P.KLEIN,

RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California

CATHERINE MANSKI,

Department of English, University of Illinois, Chicago

C.FORD MORISHITA,

Clackamas High School, Milwaukie, Oregon

PAMELA A.MOSS,

Department of Education, University of Michigan

BARBARA S.PLAKE,

Buros Center for Testing, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

DAVID L.ROSE,

Rose and Rose, Attorneys at Law, Washington, DC

PORTIA HOLMES SHIELDS,

Office of the President, Albany State University

JAMES W.STIGLER,

Psychology Department, University of California, Los Angeles

KENNETH I.WOLPIN,

Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania

KAREN MITCHELL, Study Director

JUDITH KOENIG, Senior Program Officer

KAELI KNOWLES, Program Officer

DOROTHY MAJEWSKI, Senior Project Assistant

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2001. Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10090.
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BOARD ON TESTING AND ASSESSMENT

EVA L.BAKER (Chair),

The Center for the Study of Evaluation, University of California, Los Angeles

LORRAINE McDONNELL (Vice Chair),

Departments of Political Science and Education, University of California, Santa Barbara

LAURESS L.WISE (Vice Chair),

Human Resources Research Organization, Alexandria, Virginia

RICHARD C.ATKINSON, President,

University of California, Oakland

CHRISTOPHER F.EDLEY, JR.,

Harvard Law School

RONALD FERGUSON,

John F.Kennedy School of Public Policy, Harvard University

MILTON D.HAKEL,

Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University

ROBERT M.HAUSER,

Institute for Research on Poverty, Center for Demography, University of Wisconsin, Madison

PAUL W.HOLLAND,

Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey

DANIEL M.KORETZ,

RAND Corporation, Arlington, Virginia

RICHARD J.LIGHT,

Graduate School of Education and John F.Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

BARBARA MEANS,

SRI International, Menlo Park, California

ANDREW C.PORTER,

Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison

LORETTA A.SHEPARD,

School of Education, University of Colorado, Boulder

CATHERINE E.SNOW,

Graduate School of Education, Harvard University

WILLIAM L.TAYLOR,

Attorney at Law, Washington, DC

WILLIAM T.TRENT,

Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

GUADALUPE M.VALDES,

School of Education, Stanford University

VICKI VANDAVEER,

The Vandaveer Group, Inc., Houston, Texas

KENNETH I.WOLPIN,

Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania

PASQUALE J.DEVITO, Director

LISA D.ALSTON, Administrative Associate

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2001. Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10090.
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Acknowledgments

The work of the Committee on Assessment and Teacher Quality benefited from the contributions and support of many people. The committee is grateful for their help and wise counsel.

The Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, was the sponsor of this study, and the staff members of that office were generous with both advice and assistance. Terry Dozier, senior advisor on teaching to former Secretary of Education Richard Riley, provided information and guidance to the committee and made the project an important priority at the department. Thelma Leenhouts, project monitor, administered the contract and kept the committee informed of events and publications relevant to its work. Pat O’Connel Ross provided general oversight to the project.

The committee was also greatly aided by individuals from four state education agencies who participated in its meetings and helped committee members understand the complex issues involved in teacher licensure. Carolyn Maiden of the North Carolina Department of Education, Maureen Carvan of the Ohio Department of Education, Patricia Glenn of the Illinois Department of Education, and Raymond Pecheone of the Connecticut State Department of Education shared important insights and provided full and clear information about their states’ licensing systems.

Education officials from other states gave very useful assistance in answering the committee’s questions about their licensure systems, providing documentation, and checking the accuracy of this report with respect to their programs. Committee members appreciated the contributions of Judith Entwife of the Alaska State Department of Education, Mark McLean and Robert Carlson of the Califor-

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2001. Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10090.
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nia Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Alison Westfall of the Idaho State Department of Education, Virginia Pilato of the Maryland State Department of Education, Marge Harouff of the Nebraska State Department of Education, Adell VanPatten-Gorny of the Wyoming State Department of Education, and John Nicholson of the Ohio State Department of Education.

The committee is grateful to the staff of the Educational Testing Service (ETS), who provided publications, technical documentation, and data on the Praxis series of tests. Drew Gitomer, Mari Pearlman, and Richard Tannenbaum gave generously of their time and assistance. They provided voluminous materials, conducted analyses, and answered many questions about ETS’s teacher licensure tests and testing results. The committee was impressed with their expertise and professionalism.

Jean Miller of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium and Richard Allen of National Evaluation Systems (NES) helped committee members understand their tests and the role of their testing organizations in teacher licensure. Officials from a number of states using tests developed by NES also spoke to the committee about their programs.

Developers of several innovative teacher assessment systems provided very useful information about their work and helped stimulate the committee’s thinking about possible improvements to teacher licensure. Mary Diez of Alverno College and Ann Harman of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards were particularly helpful.

Three recent teacher education graduates—Joycelyn Hagaans, Tesharra Starling, and VaShaun Harper from Albany State University—described for the committee their experience as test takers and provided an important perspective on the process. Joan Baratz-Snowden of the American Federation of Teachers and Nesa Cappelle of the National Education Association discussed testing issues with the committee from the perspective of their memberships.

The committee commissioned several papers to provide a range of views on evaluating licensure systems. Linda Crocker of the University of Florida, Mary Hatwood Futrell of George Washington University, Dan Goldhaber of the Urban Institute, Richard Jaeger of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, P. Richard Jeanneret of Jeanneret and Associates, and Diana Pullin of Boston University were generous in sharing their thoughts and research.

The committee commissioned several annotated reviews of the research literature, all of which were extremely informative and helpful. Research on the validity of currently used teacher licensure tests was conducted by Amy Antani and Jennifer Zieleskiewicz of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Peter Youngs of the University of Wisconsin reviewed the research on relationships between teacher licensure tests and teacher performance. Daniel Silverman of the University of Pennsylvania reviewed the literature on teacher compensation and teacher supply. Kara Schmitt of the Michigan State Department of Education prepared a paper comparing credentialing examinations for professions other than teaching.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2001. Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10090.
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Richard Wright of Dartmouth University provided data on the disparate impact of licensure tests in a number of occupations.

The committee contracted with the Oscar and Luella Buros Center for Testing and the University of Nebraska to conduct reviews of the technical quality of teacher licensure tests. James Impara from the Buros Center headed this project and provided written reports, oral testimony, and ad hoc advice. The committee is very grateful for his help.

The committee owes special thanks to Michael Kolen from the University of Iowa, who provided expert advice on numerous topics, particularly test quality and test evaluation. He also drafted and reviewed material for the committee.

Andy Baumgartner of the William Robinson Center in Augusta, Georgia, and John Bruer of the James S.McDonnell Foundation were members of the committee in the early phases of the project but were unable to continue until the end. The committee is grateful for their important insights on teacher quality, teacher development, and teacher licensure.

Several committee members chaired topical subcommittees that took responsibility for overseeing individual chapters in the final report. Barbara Plake, Abigail Hughes, Mary Kennedy, Pamela Moss, and Kenneth Wolpin carried out these extra responsibilities with wisdom and energy. Barbara Plake also chaired committee meetings in my absence. I greatly appreciate the extra effort these individuals put in.

A number of former and current members of the Board on Testing and Assessment provided sage advice and expert guidance on an ongoing basis. In particular, Lauress Wise met frequently with the committee and provided thoughtful guidance. Carl Kaestle and Robert Hauser made very useful comments on the process.

Senior staff members of the National Research Council helped the committee move the project forward. Michael Feuer, executive director of the Center for Education, enthusiastically backed the project and lent his wisdom and advice at key stages. Pasquale DeVito, director of the Board on Testing and Assessment, provided substantive advice and assistance. Eugenia Grohman’s knowledge and experience with the report review and committee processes were invaluable. Kirsten Sampson Snyder provided expert assistance on the review and production of the report.

The committee’s staff worked extremely hard and skillfully to help produce this report. Karen Mitchell, Kaeli Knowles, Judith Koenig, and Robert Rothman helped ensure that the meetings were informative and productive and developed numerous drafts and revisions. Dorothy Majewski, senior project assistant, handled the logistics of the report with indefatigable competence and good cheer.

This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2001. Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10090.
×

that will assist the institution in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process.

We thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report: Joan Baratz-Snowden, American Federation of Teachers; Pascal D. Forgione, Jr., Austin Independent School District; Claude Goldenberg, California State University, Long Beach; Daniel Goldhaber, The Urban Institute; Edward H. Haertel, Stanford University; Asa G.Hilliard III, Georgia State University; Janis Lariviere, University of Texas, Austin; Robert L.Linn, University of Colorado; Paul Sackett, University of Minnesota; and Dan B.Walker, San Jose State University.

Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Richard Murnane, Harvard University, and Duncan Luce, University of California, Irvine. Appointed by the National Research Council, they were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of the report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring panel and the institution.

This book is dedicated to the memory of Richard M.Jaeger, whose intellect, dedication, and friendship were rare gifts to the committee, the board, and the educational measurement community all over the world.

David Z.Robinson, Chair

Committee on Assessment and Teacher Quality

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2001. Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10090.
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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2001. Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10090.
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Americans have adopted a reform agenda for their schools that calls for excellence in teaching and learning. School officials across the nation are hard at work targeting instruction at high levels for all students. Gaps remain, however, between the nation's educational aspirations and student achievement. To address these gaps, policy makers have recently focused on the qualifications of teachers and the preparation of teacher candidates.

This book examines the appropriateness and technical quality of teacher licensure tests currently in use, evaluates the merits of using licensure test results to hold states and institutions of higher education accountable for the quality of teacher preparation and licensure, and suggests alternatives for developing and assessing beginning teacher competence.

Teaching is a complex activity. Definitions of quality teaching have changed and will continue to change over time as society's values change. This book provides policy makers, teacher testers, and teacher educators with advice on how to use current tests to assess teacher candidates and evaluate teacher preparation, ensuring that America's youth are being taught by the most qualified candidates.

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