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 2006: Settlement Reached in PRAXIS PLT 7-12 Scorring Error Lawsuit. For details, see http://www.ppltclaims.com/index.html
- The State of Teacher Education in California
- Clarke Fowler's piece on Teacher Tests from Kappan
- Standardized Tests and Teacher Competence
- Bob Schaeffer's Testimony on Teacher Testing Before Mass. Legislature
Teacher Test Score Fiasco
Teacher Test Scoring Flunks
Teacher Tests Blasted
Mass. Teacher Test Blasted Again
North Carolina Lawmakers Alter Testing Plans
Teacher Testing Increases
CBEST Decision Appealed
Complaint Filed Against Teacher Test
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