Assessing Professional Knowledge

Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy

Assessing Professional Knowledge

The state should use a licensing test to verify that all new teachers meet its professional standards.

Best practices

Twenty-three states meet this goal, and although NCTQ has not singled out one state's policies for "best practice" honors, it additionally commends the nine states (Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas) that utilize their own assessments to measure pedagogical knowledge and skills.

Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Assessing Professional Knowledge national results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from:
Best practice 0


Meets goal 23


Nearly meets goal 2


Meets goal in part 3


Meets a small part of goal 5


Does not meet goal 18


Research rationale

For evidence of the importance of pedagogy tests in improving student achievement, see C. Clotfelter, H.Ladd and J.Vigdor, "How and Why Do Teacher Credentials Matter for Student Achievement?"  Working Paper 2, Calder Institute (2007).

For further information regarding the use of performance assessments and the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC) in California and other states see L. Darling-Hammond, "Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness: How Teacher Performance Assessments Can Measure and Improve Teaching" Center for American Progress (2010). 

For a perspectives on the issues with teaching dispositions, see W. Damon, "Personality Test: The dispositional dispute in teacher preparation today and what to do about it" in Arresting Insights in Education Vol.2 No. 3 (2005);  J. Gershman, "'Disposition' Emerges as Issue at Brooklyn College," New York Sun, May 2005.

For evidence on the low passing scores required by states on pedagogy tests, see the U.S. Department of Education's Secretary's Seventh Annual Report on Teacher Quality (2010). Also see K. Walsh "A Candidate-Centered Model for Teacher Preparation and Licensure" in A Qualified Teacher in Every Classroom (Hess, Rotherham and Walsh, eds.) (2004)

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