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Changes to the MTEL General Curriculum Test

To:Superintendents, Principals, Presidents, Deans, Administrators and Faculty of Educator Preparation Programs.
From:David P. Driscoll, Commissioner of Education
Date:February 1, 2007

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The Board of Education voted at its December 2006 meeting to reconfigure the General Curriculum test of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) into two subtests that will each require its own passing score. The General Curriculum modifications will result in a subtest for mathematics and a subtest for language arts; history and social science; and science/technology engineering. Passing the General Curriculum test is one of the requirements for prospective teachers at the elementary level to be licensed.

The test will be revised over the next 18 months and is currently planned to be administered for the first time in September 2008. At that time candidates seeking educator licensure will be required to achieve a passing score on both of the General Curriculum subtests in order to meet the total test qualifying score. Candidates will be able to take the subtests both at once or separately across test dates and if they fail to achieve a passing score on either, they can retake just that subtest. We anticipate that the length of the total test will not change significantly from its current 100 items or from the maximum administration time of four hours.

The changes to the General Curriculum licensure test are part of a larger effort throughout the state and the nation to improve math teaching and learning at the elementary level. At its January 2007 meeting, the Board of Education voted to solicit public comment on proposed amendments to the Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval (603 CMR 7.06 (7) (b) 2. a.-c.). These amendments would strengthen mathematics preparation of elementary and special education teachers at the elementary level and would clarify the breadth and depth of mathematics knowledge topics addressed on the General Curriculum test. A package of the proposed regulations (603 CMR 7.00) including a comment form will be distributed to all potentially interested parties and will be posted at: http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/ of the Department's Web site.



Last Updated: February 5, 2007

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