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In what is clearly an intentional effort to produce higher failure rates on licensure exams, the New York State Education Department has rushed to implement new, harder tests and to make the ed TPA a certification requirement as part of a political agenda backed by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Governor Cuomo, and former Commissioner John King.
What is so terrible about these certification exams?
Overall, there are six issues in my opinion that top the long list.
Are you familiar with a recurring anxiety dream where you are taking an important examination on material you are not familiar with, have not been able to study carefully, and feel you will most certainly fail?
Well, students studying to become teachers in New York State are living this dream as reality.
The problem is if you fail, you are likely to be derailed from your progress in the program, which costs you more than just a retake.
There are time limits on when you can retake the exams.
The state provides vague details on the “standard setting committees” and cut score processes, claims they were field tested, and that individuals on the committees are qualified to make these important determinations.
Even without expertise in psychometrics, it’s easy to see that someone is trying to hide something.
The timing of when you must take the tests is dictated by individual programs.
Some are required for admission, some after a certain number of credits, some prior to student teaching.