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Testing Teacher Candidates: The Role of Licensure Tests in Improving Teacher Quality
supports. As noted earlier, some states use the tests for admission into teacher education, others as a prerequisite for student teaching or as a condition of graduation, and others for the initial licensure of teachers. Many teacher candidates take multiple tests. Table 3–4 shows the different decisions that states and institutions support with teacher licensure test results.
Initial Licensure Requirements in Seven States
To help illustrate the different ways that licensure tests are used to make decisions about teacher candidates, initial teacher licensure systems in seven states are described below. The cases demonstrate the different ways in which initial licensure tests are used to make decisions about teacher candidates. Two states have no testing requirements for licensure (Idaho and Wyoming); two require only basic skills testing; three require basic skills and subject matter tests for licensure (California, Maryland, and Connecticut). Table 3–5 summarizes the seven systems, showing the initial licensure requirements for teacher candidates in elementary education. More complete descriptions of teacher licensure in these states appear in Appendix D. Some states also have induction programs.
TABLE 3–4 Numbers of States Using Initial Teacher Licensure Tests to Support Varied Decisions About Candidates in 1998–1999a
Eligibility for student teaching or degree conferralc
aData are from the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (2000b), especially Tables G-1 and G-3. In some cases, contradictory information appeared across the guide’s tables; data were reconciled here to the extent possible. In some cases, states reviewed and revised policies after supplying information for the guide. The National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification guide does not document the uses of general knowledge tests. Some data also came from Educational Testing Service (1999d).
bACT, SAT, or state precollege tests are required for admission to teacher education programs in some states or at some institutions in states without entry testing requirements.
cThese data appeared in comment fields in the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification guide (2000b) and were not systematically gathered. More states may use current tests for these purposes, and states and institutions may use test results for additional purposes.