Caption: "This teacher's initial licensing exam was too easy," Rahm told his chief of staff the other day. "Make it harder, will you?"
No not really. But the gist of this recent EdWeek article about teach licensing (Questions About Rigor of Teacher Tests) is that the tests in many states are still way too easy -- the average score is higher than the passing score in the states examined -- but that simply raising them won't necessarily make for a better prepared teaching force. Why not? I'm not exactly sure. The VA average is 172, compared to a cutoff of 143. Nationally, passing rates on these tests are 96 percent, compared to 54 percent on the California bar exam. What about IL? The first round of IL data from 2010 can be found here. I'm guessing it says that IL's cut score is low, its pass rate is very high.
Raising the cut score won't solve everything, of course, and I know that many institutions make education majors take and pass the tests before they're admitted into the program (in order to be able to show a high pass rate among graduates), but I'm not clear on why a higher cut score (along with a better test and better preparation in general) wouldn't help.
Bored? How about some other teacher quality news:
Teacher Training Programs Lack Oversight Hechinger/ Schoolbook: W