. "6. Using Licensure Tests to Improve Teacher Quality and Supply." Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2001.
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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality
edge, as measured by paper-and-pencil tests, and their performance in the classroom: Clary (1972), Summers and Wolfe (1975), Sheehan and Marcus (1978), Ayers and Qualls (1979), and Strauss and Sawyer (1986). Four studies used student achievement test data as measures of teacher competence, and one used supervisor evaluations. Clary examined teachers’ understanding of how to teach reading, as evaluated by an Inventory of Teacher Knowledge of Reading, in relation to students’ reading achievement on pre- and posttests from the Science Research Associates Reading Achievement Series. The author reported statistically significant relationships between pedagogical knowledge and student performance, concluding that “there is a direct relationship between the person who exhibits proficient knowledge about teaching reading and that person’s success in producing students who make an appreciable amount of progress in reading achievement” (p. 15).
Four sets of researchers—Summers and Wolfe (1975), Sheehan and Marcus (1978), Ayers and Qualls, (1979), and Strauss and Sawyer (1986)—examined pedagogical knowledge as tested by the National Teacher Examinations (NTE), precursors to the current Praxis tests. Strauss and Sawyer looked at the relationships between students’ test scores and teachers’ performance on the NTE. The authors included data on six inputs in their examination of these relationships; they looked at the number of teachers in each of 145 school districts, the number of students per district, the number of high school students interested in postsecondary education in each district, the racial/ethnic composition of the schools, the value of the districts’ capital stock, and teachers’ test scores. A modest positive and statistically significant relationship was found between district average NTE scores and student test scores.
Two other studies looked at the relationship between NTE scores and student achievement test data. One found a small negative and statistically significant relationship between school average teacher and student scores (Summers and Wolfe, 1975). The other reported a positive significant relationship between teachers’ and students’ scores, but when teacher race was used as a control variable, teacher scores showed no effect on student achievement (Sheehan and Marcus, 1978). Ayers and Qualls (1979) reported small positive and small negative correlations between teachers’ NTE scores and principals’ ratings of teacher competence.
Pedagogical Content Knowledge
As noted earlier, the idea of pedagogical content knowledge is relatively new to education discourse. Prior to the mid-1980s, discussions of teacher knowledge tended to distinguish subject matter knowledge from knowledge of teaching or of students. No studies were found that examined licensure tests of pedagogical content knowledge. Other researchers have examined questions