Teacher Standards and Practices Commission

465 Commercial Street NE

Salem OR  97301

 

October 7-8, 2004

 

ITEM:

 

 

Middle-level Endorsements and PRAXIS Tests

ACTION:

 

discussion Item

INFORMATION:

 

In response to NCLB, the Oregon Middle-Level Consortium met and recommended using PRAXIS tests as a method for middle-level teachers to become highly qualified under NCLB. 

 

The Commission approved using middle-level PRAXIS tests for the purpose of becoming highly qualified under NCLB.  At the request of the middle-level consortium, these tests were not approved to grant “middle-level endorsements.

 

Currently, the only way that an endorsement may be added to an Initial Teaching License or a Basic Teaching License is by actually taking the current PRAXIS examination required for high school, in addition to demonstrating experience teaching in the area through an approved conditional assignment permit.  A teacher with an Initial Teaching License and a middle-level authorization, may have had a major in the area of the PRAXIS exam, but cannot add the endorsement to the license without passing the secondary-level exam.

 

TSPC has never had a “middle-level” subject-matter endorsement that was different from the “high school” subject-matter endorsement.

 

If TSPC establishes a new “middle-level” subject-matter area endorsement, the following things would be important to note and clarify by rule:

 

1.                  A high school teacher could never use the test in order to be declared “highly qualified.”

2.                  A middle-level teacher would only have to take this one small test as opposed to the two tests that currently endorsed license holders have had to take.

3.                  TSPC would have to create a definition of what this “middle-level” endorsement truly represents either through standards or rubrics.

4.                  Under the federal NCLB, a “major” in the subject-matter area is equivalent to a “test” in the subject-matter area for both middle-level and high school.  TSPC has never equated the two and has required the higher-level PRAXIS tests to “affirm” the level of content knowledge.

5.                  Teachers with a middle-level endorsement who wish to add a high school authorization would also have to take the high school level PRAXIS tests.

 

The question before the Committee is should PRAXIS tests be used to add a new “middle-level” endorsement?