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Assessing the Professional Knowledge of Prospective Teachers: Identifying the Questions That Work Best DIF NTE

Powers, Donald E.; Pitcher, Barbara
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Construct Validity, Differential Item Functioning (DIF), Item Analysis, National Teacher Examinations (NTE), NTE Core Battery, Professional Knowledge Test, Teacher Evaluation, Test Validity


An item-level analysis was undertaken for one national administration of the Professional Knowledge test of the NTE Core Battery. The performances of several relevant subgroups of examinees defined by undergraduate major field, were compared for individual test items. Analyses revealed that a subset of test items was differentially easier for particular subgroups of examinees who had received greater exposure to teacher preparation. A smaller subset of items favored examinees having little if any such exposure. The nature of each kind of item is discussed with respect to performance expectations for various subgroups of examinees. (33pp.)

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