Standardized Test Limited In Teaching Certification

On the road to becoming a certified teacher, many students take the PRAXIS I and PRAXIS II exams. However, if certain circumstances are met, students will no longer be required to take the PRAXIS II in order to complete or continue their educational teaching programs.

According to the Educational Testing Services, the PRAXIS exams consist of two standardized tests. The PRAXIS I, known as the “core” examination, assesses the student’s skill in writing, reading, and mathematics.

With the approval of the Department of Public Instruction, the school of education has eliminated the “basic skills standardized test” requirement to apply to the professional education program. This completely eliminates the Praxis I.

The PRAXIS II is a subject-specific assessment. Here, the students will be tested on subject knowledge needed at the beginner teaching level as well as in-depth knowledge of the subject. Each state has different requirements on what score a student needs to achieve in order to become certified.

As students complete their teaching major and minor, they would be assessed through their G.P.A rather than through the PRAXIS II.

With this potential change, a student who achieves or surpasses a G.P.A of 3.0 is said to have an adequate amount of subject-specific knowledge. However, if their G.P.A falls below a 3.0 the student is required to take the PRAXIS II.

Kym Buchanan, Associate Dean and College of Professional Studies Chair, said, “for some tests, there isn’t strong evidence that the te-sts measure a teacher’s effectiveness. Rather, we have a more sophisticated assessment for that, especially student teaching, with real K12 students in real schools.”

“Students will demonstrate content expertise through their relevant university courses. We believe this is a far more valid and meaningful way to assess this expertise.”

With this change in place, the obstacles of cost and actually taking and passing the test are eliminated, allowing students to become certified teachers at a faster pace. With a teacher shortage emerging nationwide, changes like these may be the light at the end of the tunnel.

Kallie Fowler
Reporter
kfowl429@uwsp.edu

About Kallie Fowler

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