Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy
The state should use a licensing test to verify that all new teachers meet its professional standards.
Colorado does not currently require new teachers to pass a pedagogy test in order to attain licensure.
Senate Bill 00-195 "limits Colorado's educator assessment program to content tests only, eliminating tests in basic skills, liberal arts and sciences, and professional knowledge."
Colorado is part of the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) Consortium and began a pilot program in Spring 2011. It is unclear whether this can or will become a state requirement, given the constraints on tests of professional knowledge in S. B. 00-195.
Require that all new teachers pass a pedagogy test.
Colorado should verify that all new teachers meet professional standards through a test of professional knowledge.
Ensure that performance assessments provide a meaningful measure of new teachers' knowledge and skills.
While Colorado is commended for considering the use of a performance-based assessment, the state should proceed with caution until additional data are available on the Teacher Performance Assessment. Additional research is needed to determine how the TPA compares to other teacher tests as well as whether the test's scores are predictive of student achievement. The track record on similar assessments is mixed at best. The two states that currently require the Praxis III performance-based assessment report pass rates of about 99 percent. Given that it takes significant resources to administer a performance-based assessment, a test that nearly every teacher passes is of questionable value.
Colorado recognized the factual accuracy of this analysis. The state reiterated that legislation does not allow for testing other than content knowledge.