Teacher Testing

For material on the use of student test scores to evaluate school teachers and administrators, including "value added measurement," see k-12/teachers This page focuses on tests administered to teachers and prospective teachers. 

Accompanying the increased focus on student testing in the schools, some states, including Massachusetts, are rushing to test prospective and currently employed teachers. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to support the claim that standardized tests predict who will be a good teacher. The teacher tests in Massachusetts and New York were developed by National Evaluation Systems, the same company that created the controversial and doomed Alabama teacher test more than ten years ago.

In 1987, the first issue of FairTest's newsletter, the Examiner reported on a legal victory won by four black teachers in their lawsuit against the state of Alabama.

Their suit charged that the state's teacher-certification exam discriminated against blacks, violating their 14th Amendment protections and federal civil rights laws. In an out-of-court settlement, subsequently upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals, the State Board of Education in Alabama agreed to develop new tests and not to use the test as the sole criterion for certification. The state also agreed to pay the plaintiffs $500,000.

In 1989, we reported on the devastating impact on minority teachers of the use of cut scores on teacher competency tests.

For more on teacher testing:

New: April 2011: Testimony to Mass Board of Education against using
student scores to judge teachers.

April 2006: Settlement Reached in PRAXIS PLT 7-12 Scorring Error Lawsuit. For details, seehttp://www.ppltclaims.com/

Winter 2004-2005
Teacher Score-Error Cases Advance
Alabama Teacher Testing Resumes

Fall 2004
Suits Filed Over Teacher Test Scoring Error

Spring-Summer 2004
Teacher Test Score Fiasco

Fall 2003
Southern Ed. Fund Blasts Teacher Tests

Fall 2001
Teacher Test Scoring Flunks

Summer 2001
Teacher Tests Blasted

Summer 1999
Mass. Teacher Test Blasted Again

Winter 98-99
New Mass. Teacher Test Fails Professional Standards

Summer 1998
North Carolina Lawmakers Alter Testing Plans

Spring 1998
N.C. Teachers Sue Over State Test
Guest Essay: Maybe You Wouldn't Want Me to Teach Your Child ... by Lois Weiner, Ed.D.

Winter 1998
Teacher Testing Increases

Spring 1997
CBEST Decision Appealed

Summer 1996
Complaint Filed Against Teacher Test