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Validity Evidence to Support the Development of a Licensure Assessment for Middle School English Language Arts Teachers: A Job-Analytic Approach ELA

Swiggett, Wanda D.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Job Analysis, Licensure, Certification, Middle School, English Language Arts (ELA), Validity, Praxis


A job analysis was conducted to define knowledge/skills important for entry-level middle school English language arts (ELA) teachers. The results will be used to guide the development of new test content specifications for The Praxis Series Middle School ELA assessment. A draft domain was constructed from national standards, professional organization standards, and national reports. A national advisory committee (NAC) of middle school ELA teachers and college faculty reviewed and modified the draft domain to reflect the knowledge/skills they believed were important for safe and effective practice and needed at time of entry into the profession. The revised domain consisted of 35 statements clustered within four major categories: (a) Reading; (b) Language Use and Vocabulary; (c) Writing, Speaking, and Listening; and (d) English Language Arts Pedagogy. Survey responses of 413 middle school ELA educators provided independent evidence of the importance of the domain. Respondents judged each knowledge/skill statement on a scale ranging from 1 (not at all important) to 5 (extremely important). A total of 31 knowledge/skill statements had mean ratings above 3.50 in the aggregate sample and for subgroups containing more than 30 respondents. The results indicate that these 31 statements may be considered appropriate for guiding the development of new test content specifications for the Praxis Middle School ELA assessment.

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