High-Stakes, Minimum-Competency Exams: How Competent Are They for Evaluating Teacher Competence?

January/February 2008

Source: Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 59, No. 1, 24-39 (2008)

Increasingly, teacher educators recommend authentic, performance-related measures for evaluating teacher candidates. Nevertheless, more states are requiring teachers to pass high-stakes, minimum-competency exams. This study examined the relation between teacher candidate scores on authentic measures and their scores on certification exams required by the state of Texas.

Participants included 155 teacher candidates. Predictor variables that served as authentic measures of teaching effectiveness included scores on the Professional Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ), designed to measure teaching dispositions, and scores on Teaching Performance Portfolios, designed to measure teaching knowledge and skills. Scores on the Professional Roles and Responsibilities (PPR) and the Generalist Elementary Comprehensive (GEC) exams served as the measures for the high-stakes, minimum-competency tests. Findings indicate a significant relationship between the PAQ and both the PPR and the GEC exams. No significant relationship was found between the Teaching Performance Portfolios and either one of the state-mandated tests.

Updated: Jan. 22, 2008