The Urban Review

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 347–351 | Cite as

The competency test's impact on teachers' abilities

  • David E. Tanner


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.


Urban School Teacher Candidate Math Score Ethnic Minority Student Urban School District 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Applegate, J. H. (1987). Teacher candidate selection: An overview.Journal of Teacher Education 28: 2–6.Google Scholar
  2. Crouse, J., and Trusheim, D. (1988).The Case against the SAT. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. Hawkins, D. (1993). New teacher exams unveiled after three-year wait.Black Issues in Higher Education 10: 7–9.Google Scholar
  4. Kerlinger, F. N. (1973).Foundations of Behavioral Research (2nd ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.Google Scholar
  5. Lomax, R. G. (1992).Statistical Concepts: A Second Course for Education and the Behavioral Sciences. White Plains, NY: Longman.Google Scholar
  6. National Commission on Excellence in Education. (1983).A Nation at Risk: The imperative for educational reform: Final Report. Education Week, 27 April.Google Scholar
  7. Nelli, E. (1984). A research-based response to allegations that education students are academically inferior.Action in Teacher Education 6(3): 73–80.Google Scholar
  8. Rudner, L. M. (1988). Teacher testing—An update.Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice 7(1): 16–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Savage, T. V. (1983). The academic qualifications of women choosing education as a major.Journal of Teacher Education 24(1): 14–19.Google Scholar
  10. Simon, D. J. (1990). The impact of assessment policies on minority achievement and participation in teacher education.New Directions for Institutional Research 17(1): 19–35.Google Scholar
  11. Vlaanderen, R. N. (1982). Teacher measurement: Testing: States report.Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice 1(2): 17–20, 27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • David E. Tanner
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Education and Human DevelopmentCalifornia State University-FresnoFresno

Personalised recommendations