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The Impact of NTE Use by States on Teacher Selection NTE ACT CAT

Goertz, Margaret E.; Pitcher, Barbara
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
National Teacher Examinations (NTE), Teacher Selection, Core Battery (NTE), Specialty Area Tests (NTE), Group Difference, Minorities, Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT), ACT, Statistical Analysis, Certification, Personnel Selection, State Programs, Teacher Evaluation, Test Use


The impact of three NTE Programs Core Battery (CB) tests and 21 of the NTE Specialty Area (SA) tests on the selection of teachers is examined. Specifically, the study looks at: 1) how the states use the NTE Programs tests; 2) the distribution of test takers and test scores by racial/ethnic group; 3) the impact of qualifying scores on passing rates of different racial/ethnic groups; and 4) implications of these findings for the composition of the future teaching force. Data come from the NTE Programs files. Core Battery information covers a two-year period (1982-84); information on the Specialty Area tests covers a three-year period. Special attention is paid to test takers who identify themselves as White, Hispanic, or Black. Sixteen states use the NTE Programs tests to: 1) admit students into teacher education programs; 2) evaluate student performance in these programs; 3) screen candidates for initial certification; 4) provide an alternative to the approved program approach for certification and/or; 5) select teachers to participate in Master Teacher or Career Ladder program. Most states set qualifying scores for each test they use. These scores, which are different from state to state tend to fall below the mean test score for Hispanic and White examinees, but above the mean score for Black examinees. Average performance on the Core Battery and Specialty Area tests varies by ethnic/racial group. Given the distribution for all test takers, Black test takers scored from 1.4 to 1.5 standard deviations (SDs) below the average score for Whites on CB tests, and Hispanics scored 0.6 to 0.8 SDs below Whites. The mean scores for Blacks on selected SA tests were 0.9 to 1.7 SDs lower than those of Whites, using the total group distribution as the base. In 1980, 10% of the U.S. teachers were Black; 2% were Hispanic. At the same time, 16% of public school children were Black and 8% Hispanic. Although 12% of the CB test takers nationally were Black, estimates derived from score data indicate that use of current state standards could result in only five to 7% of successful candidates being Black. With a yearly teacher turnover rate of 6%, the nation's teaching force could become 92% White and 5% Black by the year 2000. State policies have other effects that discouraging minorities from entering teaching. (SGK) (81pp.)

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