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Concerns About Teacher Wannabe Tests

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Leaders of Missouri's teacher education programs have some misgivings about a new testing program designed to determine who should become a teacher.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Leaders of Missouri's teacher education programs have some misgivings about a new testing program designed to determine who should become a teacher. 

The first tests are to be administered this fall to incoming education students. It will test their general knowledge in math, science, social studies, writing, and English The test could determine if the student is allowed to study to become a teacher. 

And that bothers some leaders of the Missouri Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, who fear candidates won't have time to gain competence in those fields before the test is given.

One of those is Education Dean Sam Hausfather of Maryville University in St. Louis, who helped the state education set the high standards.

Others have told a joint legislative education committee that standardized tests can screen for content knowledge but cannot easily identify the personal characteristics that make good teachers. Past MACTE  President Tim Wall of Missouri Western State University dislikes standardized tests being given to determine if someone is fit to teach.

Backers of the tests say they will bring uniformity to the teacher training programs offered at 15 private and two-dozen public teacher training universities.

Next year, a new set of tests will be given to evaluate the jobs being done by working teachers.
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