{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I found this article and wondered what people here thought about it. It deals with teacher licensing tests. Among other things, it presents the case for a positive correlation between performance on a licensing test and performance in the classroom. It also argues there is an outsized number of teachers (over 50%) that don’t pass the licensing test on the first try. Any newer teachers out there who can weigh in on their teacher prep program and the licensing test experience? https://www.nctq.org/publications/Driven-by-Data:-Using-Licensure-Tests-to-Build-a-Strong,-Diverse-Teacher-Workforce/", "post_id": "60fc4ecf74ff1f001ec8133b", "reply_count": 26, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5c751b9f2f6b98001bc666f8", "bowl_name": "Teachers" }
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It is interesting to me that the article cites a positive correlation between performance on licensing tests and student performance, because that runs very counter to what I have observed in my own experience. I have seen so many teachers who are super knowledgeable and passionate about the subject that they teach (and presumably passed their tests easily), that do terribly in the classroom because they don't know how to plan an engaging lesson, manage a classroom, or connect with students. I wonder how they are measuring student performance in the case of the article. Is it with test scores? Because it seems like it could be a case of teachers who test well being better at teaching students to test well, or prioritizing testing.

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I can see what you are saying, but I'm not sure I necessarily agree. I have a credential in English, which I am knowledgable and passionate about, and one in history, which I have no special knowledge in, (but I'm good at taking tests.) I don't feel like my lack of history knowledge is much of a handicap, because I'm trying to teach students how to find and assess information, not memorize facts. It is more valuable for me to model how to approach things I don't know, than to act like I know everything. However, if I ever give them the sense that I don't know exactly how I expect them to act in the classroom, that is when I feel at their mercy.

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I gathered pretty much all of my college papers in binders by topic and reviewed them during that. It was my studying plan. I passed all mine on the same day with a 1st try, but some things I felt super unsure about! I will say though, those tests could not have made sure I am a good teacher. Yes, content is important because you have to know what you're talking about, but I have spent years with wonderful teachers that Google spelling tricks and rules the week before teaching it and look up definitions of terms because it has become lost. More can be said for how you teach, not what you teach.

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I will say that at a secondary level I do think genuine enthusiasm and confidence in the content can translate in how you teach

likesmart

Um, hogwash for the English Praxis test. I could have Googled everything on it. Even with 20+ years of experience and the NTE, PA forced me to take it when I moved there. Nothing on that test would tell someone what type of teacher I am - almost all of it was straight recall. (196/200, by the way, so this isn’t sour grapes).

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In my state, people who graduated from college with a minimum 3.0 GPA are now exempt from these tests.

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Only the core. Not the content exams though….

I took all my licensure exams six years ago. I didn’t study for any of them and I didn’t have any trouble passing them. I barely remember doing them. I thought they were all easy. I’m not saying that to brag. I just don’t remember it being a big deal, and I feel like I surrounded by teachers who are smart people. The statistics in the article are surprising to me. The licensure exams were not one of the challenges of becoming a teacher- at least not for me.

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I passed the science, social studies, ELA, and Special Education Praxis tests on the first try with very high scores. It took me 3 tries to pass the math Praxis. I was off by 5 points the first time and 3 points the second time. Math has never been my strong suit, and I’m an elementary teacher and the problems I struggled with had to do with high school geometry and high school algebra. I do not think this makes me a bad teacher at all.

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Congrats on passing! That would have been very difficult. I love math for math’s sake (huge geek) but if there are skills/methods I haven’t used for a while, I forget them and need to refresh. We had a news organization follow up on the study with some state universities (I’m in Idaho). They reported something similar to your experience. Students were required to pass content knowledge on the Praxis but were given no assistance preparing for that content knowledge. Most students who didn’t pass the first time around were falling short on content knowledge. So now I’m trying to figure out if that kind of content preparation should be part of teacher prep for those looking at careers in elementary education. I’ve seen good arguments for and against.

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Personally, I am dubious. It has been a few years but when I took my tests I didn't prepare and passed them easily. What does that tell you? Well, I am very good at taking tests. If I could have just taken tests for 30 years, it would have been a great career for me to go into. Do I think it reflects whether I could teach kids? Not particularly.

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I was in Ga and we had to take 2 curriculum tests and complete the GACE where we wrote a unit of lesson plans, submitted a video of ourselves teaching, and a bunch of other essays. The tests were easy to get through for me but the GACE took my whole senior year… I don’t think they require it anymore. But I recently moved to Texas and has to retake their tests. (Which I find silly anyways since I took my Ga ones 2 yes ago.) and the Texas ones were much harder in my opinion.

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We have the PRAXIS and there are two. The first is a general knowledge test that I remember being comparable to the ACT. So much so that after I submitted the payment but before I took the test they waved people from having to take it if your ACT score was high enough, I was majorly pissed. The second praxis was on content knowledge in your selected field. As others mentioned it was just knowledge recall. I didn't find it particularly challenging and I would hope most teachers do know those things, but I don't think it a good indicator of teaching ability. However they added the edTPA while I was in college and I think that, though an absolute pain, is a pretty good test. If you don't know an edTPA is basically like an observation. Except you videotape it then comb through it to write a paper justify each and everyone of your lesson choices.

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It seems to me that an observation of some kind would be a better indication of teaching readiness. Observations scare me to death (and I’ve been doing this for a while), but it still seems like a better gauge of readiness than a test. We’ve probably all had those students who do great in class but freeze on tests as well as students who are the exact opposite.

I moved from Michigan to South Carolina. I had to take Praxis for licensure. I scheduled my content and my PLT for the same day. I breezed through all three with very high scores, and minimal study. One could argue that the classroom experience made that possible. All of that is context for my belief that licensure tests are not really necessary. If a teacher has made good marks in their content area in college, testing again seems redundant. Also , some test better than others. I have a friend who took her content tests six or seven times, but was the most effective science teacher I’ve ever seen.

smart

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