• the impact of the licensure program on the content of teacher education curricula should be studied; and

  • to the extent feasible, evidence should be collected to demonstrate whether individuals who passed the test possess more of the tested knowledge and skills than do those who failed.


Solid technical characteristics and fairness are key to the effective use of tests. The work of measurement specialists, test users, and policy makers suggests criteria for judging the appropriateness and technical quality of initial teacher licensure tests. The committee drew on these to develop criteria it believes users should aspire to in developing and evaluating initial teacher licensure tests.

As the committee’s evaluation criteria make clear, assessment development, evaluation, and use are complex and beset with practical issues. Furthermore, as noted earlier, there is some disagreement among measurement experts about the type of validity evidence that is necessary for teacher licensure tests. Throughout its evaluation framework, the committee has stressed the necessity of adequate documentation as well as the importance of informing candidates about procedures.

  • The committee’s criteria for judging test quality include the following: tests should have a statement of purpose; systematic processes should be used in deciding what to test and in assuring balanced and adequate coverage of these competencies; test material should be tried out and analyzed before operational decisions are made; test administration and scoring should be uniform and fair; test materials and results should be protected from corruptibility; standard-setting procedures should be systematic and well documented; test results should be consistent across test forms and scorers; information about tests and scoring should be available to candidates; technical documentation should be accessible for public and professional review; validity evidence should be gathered and presented; costs and feasibility should be considered in test development and selection; and the long-term consequences of licensing tests should be monitored and examined.

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