Replacing the official National Teacher Examination of old, the Praxis series of standardized assessments serve as a tool in which administrators and schools can gauge a potential teacher’s abilities. While no two states are exactly alike in terms of teaching certification requirements, a growing number of states have begun using the Praxis tests as a method of determining a teacher’s skills and eligibility for the teaching program and profession. In fact, as many as 20 different states have begun using the Praxis II assessments in lieu of state-specific tests in order for become a certified teacher. Written and administered by the Educational Testing Service, a private organization specializing in standardized testing, the Praxis tests come in three different levels.
Praxis I Pre-Professional Skills Tests (PPST) measure basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics. In addition to being a requirement for licensure, almost every college or university will also require a passing score on the PPST before allowing entry into the teacher education program.
Praxis II assessments consist of Subject Assessments, Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) Tests, and Teaching Foundations Tests. This series of more specified testing measures ensure a teacher’s broad range of knowledge through a series of subject-specific exams. The Principles of Learning and Teaching Tests are also divided into several education-level categories ranging from the Early Childhood exam to the grades seven through 12 exam. Naturally with such a diverse selection of tests available, one should check with their state’s education department to see which exact Praxis II exams are required for licensing.
Finally the Praxis III exam is an assessment of a teacher’s in-classroom abilities. Occurring during the first entry-year of teaching, the teachers are evaluated on their pedagogic skills by a trained assessor who visits and observes the teacher in their classroom for a lesson. The process also consists of a review of the teacher’s lesson plan as well as a pre-observation interview and a post-observation interview. While used for licensing decisions by state and professional agencies the Praxis III ultimately may not be used as a requirement for employment decisions.
Testing schedules are available through each state’s Department of Education. Registration can be completed either online or through hard-copy forms mailed to the ETS organization. In some cases certain examinations may be completed online or while some (especially the Praxis III) require in-person testing. Once again, it is of the utmost importance that any prospective teachers become familiar with their particular state’s guidelines for teaching certification before embarking on any test-taking.
But paper writer he also says that one option for texas may be to continue with a variation of the current esl program with substantially enhanced remedial education.