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For Immediate Release
Friday, May 12, 2000
Contact:Jonathan Palumbo, 781-338-3105

Record Number Of Candidates Take And Pass April Massachusetts Educator Certification Tests

Malden - Nearly 60% of candidates passed all three portions of the Massachusetts Educator Certification Tests given in April, the eighth test administration for prospective educators in Massachusetts.

Of the first-time test takers who took all parts, 59.5% passed both the tests of communication and literacy skills (reading and writing) and of subject knowledge - up from the January pass rate of 56%, and up from the 41% pass rate for the first test administration in April 1998.

The pass rate for first-time test takers on both the reading and writing sub-tests of the communication and literacy skills test was 65%, up from 60% in January, and up from 51% in April, 1998. The pass rate for first-time test takers on the writing sub-test was 77%, well above the 65% in January, and up from 59% in April 1998. The pass rate for the reading sub-test was 75%, down from 79% in January, but 5% higher than the 70% in April 1998.

The pass rate for first-time test takers across the subject tests was 70%, the same as the January, and above the 62% in April 1998. Among first time test takers, the lowest pass rates in major subject tests were Earth Science (42.9%), and Mathematics (43.9%).

The total number of test takers in April was a record 6,369.

Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll said, "I continue to be encouraged by the steady improvement of scores and I am delighted by the increasing numbers of test takers. This suggests to me that a greater number of qualified candidates is seeking to enter teaching as a career. Also notable is the improvement in the pass rate for writing, which I believe reflects the improved preparation of candidates that is taking place in our institutions of higher education."

The Department of Education will annually publish the institution results showing the pass rates for each college with candidates taking the test. The report of institution results will be issued in Fall 2000.

The educator certification tests were given in April 1998 for the first time as a new condition for certification under the 1993 Education Reform Act. The law requires candidates for certification as public school teachers and administrators to pass tests of communication and literacy skills and knowledge of subject matter, to determine their ability to communicate effectively both with students and with parents, and to measure their knowledge of the subject(s) they intend to teach, before they seek employment locally. Massachusetts and 44 other states require written tests for certification.

Below is a table of results from the most recent tests compared to the previous and to the first administration in April 1998.

Massachusetts Educator Certification Tests
Test Date: April 1, 2000

(Numbers in parentheses represent total # of examinees in each group)

 Communication & Literacy Skills TestSubjectAll Three
% pass
% pass
% pass
% pass
% pass

(Comm. Lit. and Subject)

April 2000


January 2000

1st-time 79%

April 1998

1st-time only70%

The next Massachusetts Educator Certification Tests will be given on June 10, 2000.

For more information on the certification tests visit

Last Updated: May 12, 2000
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