• Table of specifications:
What KSAs (knowledge/skills/abilities) are tested (e.g., is cultural diversity included)? Part 1 consists of six content categories. The categories are Basic Principles of Science (17 percent); Molecular and Cellular Biology (16 percent); Classical Genetics and Evolution (15 percent); Diversity of Life, Plants, and Animals (26 percent), Ecology (13 percent); and Science, Technology, and Society (13 percent) (Tests at a Glance, p. 15). Part 2 consists of only four content categories: Molecular and Cellular Biology (21 percent), Classical Genetics and Evolution (24 percent), Diversity of Life, Plants, and Animals (37 percent), and Ecology (18 percent). Within each of these broad categories are more detailed descriptions of each category. The more detailed descriptions of the four categories that overlap for Parts 1 and 2 are identical. Thus, the difference in the basic and advanced questions must be in the level of the items rather than the level of the specifications.
Comment: The broad topics more detailed descriptions seem reasonable (but a content specialist could judge more appropriately the quality and completeness of the content coverage). A content specialist also may be able to examine the sample items in the Tests at a Glance and discern what is basic and what is advanced.
How were the KSAs derived and by whom? The content domain1 was determined by using a job analysis procedure that began in 1990. The job analysis consisted of two phases.
Phase One entailed developing a preliminary knowledge domain (a set of knowledge statements appropriate for entry-level teachers). This phase included having ETS test development staff produce an initial set of 128 knowledge statements across 11 major content areas. The staff reviewed the literature, including skills required by various states, and drew on the Test Development Staff’s own teaching experience. These 128 knowledge statements were then reviewed by an External Review Panel of nine practicing professionals (four working teachers, four college faculty members, and one consultant from the National Science Foundation), who were nominated by appropriate national organizations. The External Review Panel reviewed and modified the initial content knowledge statements, resulting in 179 knowledge statements classified in 10 content categories. These 179 statements were reviewed by an eight-member Advisory Committee (also nominated from appropriate national organizations). Members of this committee included three practicing teachers, three college faculty mem-
This domain includes all dimensions of the biology tests, not just the domains assessed on these two tests. The total content domain consists of 10 categories: Basic Principles of Science; Molecular and Cellular Biology; Classical Genetics; Evolution; Diversity of Life, Plants, and Animals; Ecology; Issues and Applications Relating to Science, Technology, and Society; and Content-Specific Pedagogy.