In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Editorial Interest in educational testing/assessment probably has never been higher than at the present time. Because of this I've written two editorials, in the past two years: "High stakes testing: Are the stakes too high?" (Moores, 2000) and "Testing...3, 2, 1" (Moores, 2001). The response to the first editorial has been greater than for any other topic I've addressed, and in December, 2000, we published a letter to the editor on the topic by Randall, McAnally, Rittenhouse, Russell, and Sorenson. The authors cited the position of the National Conference of School Superintendents that opposed the use of standardized test scores as predicates to high stakes educational decisions. Randall, et al., offered as one possible alternative a "school career portfolio" that might include portfolio rubrics such as Life experiences, Rigor of program of study, GPA, Content area projects and performances, and Standardized test scores. These professional educators commented on the difficulties of the issues and noted there were philosophical disagreements among them, highlighting the complexity of the problem. Issues and implications of assessment and testing—usually high stakes but sometimes otherwise—have been appearing in a growing number of areas and now include, in addition to school-age children, teacher and other professional certification and training programs. Clearly, the focus has grown from assessment of children to include adults in a variety of settings. I would like to present some information I have received through personal conversations and materials that I have read. To cite two examples, I have heard estimates from one state that approximately fifty percent of deaf children will not pass the tests for high school graduation if modifications are not made. For another state, I heard an estimate of 85% failure rate for a (presumably) more difficult test. In that state, students who do not pass will not be allowed into community colleges. In one residential school with more than a dozen deaf teachers, not one passed the state teacher's competency test in the first administration. Current teachers are required to pass the exam within three years. As I understand it, the exam has a vocal component that does not translate readily into either ASL or a manual code on English and therefore probably is neither a reliable nor a valid instrument for use with deaf teachers. The state to date, however, has refused to modify the test for deaf teachers or for teachers from any identifiable group. From my knowledge of the limited research, deaf and hearing teachers are comparable in their effectiveness in improving academic achievement, but deaf students might tend to see deaf teachers more positively as role models. It would be a disaster if all or most deaf teachers in a state were unable to continue because of a discriminatory state standard. The National Task Force on Equity in Testing Deaf Persons has developed a position paper on testing deaf teachers which includes the recommendation that a job analysis of the role of the teacher of the deaf should be the basis for final policies regarding certification of deaf teachers in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. At the Volume 146, No. 4, 2001 American Annals of the Deaf Editorial time of this writing, one state requires deaf teacher candidates to take state certification tests, but certification is actually based on their performance and program recommendations . This, of course, is only one state out of fifty. It should be mentioned that deaf professionals seeking state certification or licensure in areas such as school counseling face similar obstacles. An area involving testing that has not received adequate attention is that of teacher preparation. Section 207 of Title II of the Higher Education Act mandates that the U.S. Department of Education collect data in several areas, including data on performance of teacher preparation programs. Each teacher preparation program in a state is now required by federal law to report on the performance of completers of the program on certification/licensure assessments used by the state. Each state prepares an annual report to be submitted to the Department of Education. For each institution, the institutional pass rate (percentages of students passing the tests) will be provided, compared with the...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0375
Print ISSN
0002-726X
Pages
pp. 307-308
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-11
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.