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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.
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
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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.
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COMMITTEE ON ASSESSMENT AND TEACHER QUALITY
DAVID Z.ROBINSON (Chair),
Carnegie Corporation of New York
School of Education, Stanford University
Department of Teacher Education, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University
Connecticut State Department of Education
College of Education, Michigan State University
RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California
Department of English, University of Illinois, Chicago
Clackamas High School, Milwaukie, Oregon
Department of Education, University of Michigan
Buros Center for Testing, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Rose and Rose, Attorneys at Law, Washington, DC
PORTIA HOLMES SHIELDS,
Office of the President, Albany State University
Psychology Department, University of California, Los Angeles
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania
KAREN MITCHELL, Study Director
JUDITH KOENIG, Senior Program Officer
KAELI KNOWLES, Program Officer
DOROTHY MAJEWSKI, Senior Project Assistant
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
John F.Kennedy School of Public Policy, Harvard University
Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University
Institute for Research on Poverty, Center for Demography, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey
RAND Corporation, Arlington, Virginia
Graduate School of Education and John F.Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
SRI International, Menlo Park, California
Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison
School of Education, University of Colorado, Boulder
Graduate School of Education, Harvard University
Attorney at Law, Washington, DC
Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
School of Education, Stanford University
The Vandaveer Group, Inc., Houston, Texas
Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania
PASQUALE J.DEVITO, Director
LISA D.ALSTON, Administrative Associate
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-
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.
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
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
B: Teaching Standards of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)
These background papers are not printed in this volume but are available online. Go to http://www.nap.edu and search for Testing Teacher Candidates.