African American Legislators Endorse Teacher-Test Alternatives

Teacher & Employment Testing
The annual meeting of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators has endorsed a resolution calling for the elimination of the PRAXIS II licensing exam "as the only factor disqualifying teachers from state certification." The state senators and representatives agreed that "no person who has received a degree from an accredited school of education with an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 or above shall be barred from teacher certification in any state solely because of his or her scores on any standardized teachers examination."

Resolution 06-91 was based on a finding that "results of the PRAXIS II tests are biased and have demonstrated a consistent disparate impact on African American teachers," a characteristic common to most classroom educator licensing exams.

Instead of the PRAXIS or any other test, the resolution called for states to "take a holistic view and use other creditable and reliable criteria to hire and retain teachers such as undergraduate GPA, graduation from an accredited teacher education program, advanced degrees beyond the bachelor degree, performance based evaluation and evidence of student achievement in the teachers classroom."

The PRAXIS II test series is a successor to the National Teachers Exam. Earlier this year, the Educational Testing Service, which produces the exam agreed to pay $11.1 million to settle lawsuits springing from faulty scoring of one of its PRAXIS II tests, which resulted in 4,100 prospective educators being falsely informed they had failed.