Employed as screening devices for teacher candidates, basic competency tests are controversial. Test data correlate with the candidates' ethnic group memberships and screen out more minority candidates than others. This is particularly troubling in urban schools, where the proportion of ethnic minority students and ethnic minority teachers may be moving in opposite directions. However, the tests appear to have the intended impact on candidates' abilities. Besides the higher reading, writing, and math scores required to pass the California Basic Educational Skills Test, successful subjects also had significantly higher Scholastic Aptitude Test scores than those who failed. Whether the ability gains outweigh the impact that the tests have on minority representation among teachers is very much at issue, particularly in urban school districts.
KeywordsUrban School Teacher Candidate Math Score Ethnic Minority Student Urban School District
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