Teaching to the test in Connecticut?

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The results are in for Connecticut's first go-around with a high quality reading test required of all prospective teachers and they are not pretty.

Fully one-third of test-takers across the state failed the new licensing test. While this is good news for Connecticut's children--whose odds of getting a teacher who can't teach them to read just went down--it is a heart-breaking way for aspiring teachers to find out how ill-served they have been by their preparation programs. As one put it, "I took a bunch of classes in the elementary education program, but nothing prepared me for (the test)."

The response from some ed schools has been to question the validity of the test. As one professor at the Central Connecticut State University in New Britain noted: "We're giving students what they need to be good classroom teachers. Whether this test measures that is questionable. In many ways, the questions are worded in a very awkward way."

The results weren't all bad. There are several shining examples: Quinnipiac University, the University of Connecticut, and Teach For America all had high passing rates. Teach For America is an approved preparation program in Connecticut, and had a remarkable 93 percent first-time passing rate, the highest in the state.

To judge for yourself the awkwardness of the wording of the questions, look at the practice test:

Foundations of Reading Test