|For Immediate Release|
|Monday, November 9, 1998|
Results of October Test for Prospective Educators Released
Malden - Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll today released the results of the third round of testing for prospective teachers in Massachusetts. Approximately 1700 new prospects took the test for the first time on October 3, and more than 1000 people retook the parts of the test they failed in April and July.
While the tests administered in April, July and October were equal in difficulty and the required passing score is the same, the overall passing rates for first-time test takers in October were slightly higher than the rates for test takers in July and markedly higher than the April results.
The October overall passing rate for first-time test takers was 55%, compared to 41% in April and 53% in July. The October rate includes 81% who passed the reading test, up from 70% in April and 80% in July; 75% who passed the writing test, up from 59% in April though down from 78% in July; 67% who passed the combined Communication and Literacy Skills Test, up from 51% in April but down from 70% in July; and 68% who passed any of the 30 subject tests, up from 62% in April and 64% in July.
The passing rates for second-time test takers were again very poor, although 60% of those retaking the reading portion of the test were successful on their second try.
"The results are an improvement from the previous administrations, and that is encouraging, but the overall pass rate of 55% is still not high enough. We need to see better results in the future. Our commitment is to maintain high standards for prospective teachers, but also to enhance the quality of Massachusetts' teaching force by attracting many new, excellent teachers to this profession," said Commissioner David P. Driscoll. "We are moving aggressively to implement the Teacher Quality Enhancement initiative in state law (Chapter 260 of the Acts of 1998, the '12 to 62' plan)."
Individual score reports from the October 3 test were mailed to the prospective Massachusetts educators on Friday. The October test results by higher education institution will also be made available by the end of this month.
The tests were given in April for the first time as a new condition for certification as required by the 1993 Education Reform Act. The law requires candidates for certification as public school teachers and administrators to take and pass tests of communication and literacy skills and knowledge of subject matter, in order to measure their ability to communicate effectively both with students and with parents and to measure their knowledge of the subjects they intend to teach. Massachusetts public school teachers must be certified by the state first in order to seek employment locally. Massachusetts and 44 other states require a written test for certification.
The next administration of the certification tests for prospective Massachusetts educators is January 9.