Classroom success and the National Teacher Examination core battery scores of first-year teachers

Fawn Teresa Ukpolo, Tennessee State University


A responsibility of State Departments of Education is to certify and license pre-service teachers. One measure these agencies used to help in the assessment process is a standardized test. The standardized test that twenty-three states use is the National Teachers Examination (NTE). The NTE is a standardized test which measures three areas, Communication Skills, General Knowledge and Professional Knowledge skills. Many preservice teachers have a difficult time passing the exam. Minority teachers particularly fail the exam at a rate of two to three times more than their non-minority colleagues. In a study conducted by Goertz and DeMauro (1989), out of the students taking the test at the time of the study, using the mean qualifying score, 90 percent of the White examinees passed the test, compared to 47 percent of the Black candidates and 61 percent of the Hispanic test-takers. The NTE has been criticized for reducing the number of teaching candidates who graduate from teacher education programs and receive licensure (Alcorn, 1990). Test, like the NTE, can be important in ensuring that teachers are prepared academically to enter the teaching profession. However, they do not measure how well a pre-service teacher will do in the classroom. It is not a performance base instrument. It is a knowledge base assessment device. Subjects (N = 62) were taken over a five year period. They consisted of those students who had taken the NTE and were currently employed. Measures taken from student files included the following predictors: NTE scores and GPA, and end-of-the-year principal evaluation. Race and Gender information was also collected. The NTE scores, and GPA were correlated with teachers end of the year principal evaluation to see which of the above variable(s) were better predictors of classroom performance. Data was also collected to see if the NTE actually limited the number of minority teacher candidates. Results revealed that there was no significant difference in the principal evaluations of those students who passed the NTE compared to those teachers who were teaching on waivers while attempting to pass the NTE. Results also revealed that GPA was a good predictor of NTE score, which means the NTE can be a redundant assessment device. Lastly, it was shown that minority students failed the NTE at a rate of almost three times as much as their non-minority colleagues.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|School administration

Recommended Citation

Fawn Teresa Ukpolo, "Classroom success and the National Teacher Examination core battery scores of first-year teachers" (1998). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI9907863.