Standards for Teacher Tests

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States are increasingly requiring that public school teachers pass one or more tests as a condition for permanent employment. As a result of a recent federal court decision, these tests must now satisfy the same legal standards as other employment tests. Moreover, some of the measures used to assess teacher competence no longer rely on multiple-choice items. They now utilize various types of open-ended performance assessments. This article discusses how these developments may affect the adverse impact, reliability, validity, and pass-fail standards of teacher certification tests. The article concludes by recommending that such tests combine multiple-choice questions with open-end tasks that focus on the common or critical situations that are likely to arise across the full range of practice setting for which the teacher is being certified or licensed.

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