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AACTE Announces Members of Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments

Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments

AACTE is pleased to announce the selected states for the Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA), a new initiative supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Consortium, comprised of 14 state teams that include educator preparation programs (EPPs) and their state and local education agencies, will evaluate cut scores for entrance into EPPs, and develop recommendations and model state policies to support state efforts to advance equity and recruit more diverse teacher candidates into the profession. 

The 14 selected states and institutions include the following:

  • California – Cal State University San Bernardino
  • Delaware – Wilmington University
  • South Carolina – Claflin University
  • New Mexico – Western New Mexico University
  • Rhode Island – University of Rhode Island
  • Missouri – Lindenwood University
  • Wisconsin – University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
  • North Carolina – University of North Carolina-Charlotte
  • Minnesota – University of St. Thomas
  • Indiana – Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Ohio – Ohio University
  • Texas – Texas A&M International University/Texas A&M University System
  • Kentucky – University of Louisville
  • Tennessee – University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Despite efforts to diversify the teaching profession, white teachers make up the vast majority of educators (79%) due to a myriad of factors, including structural barriers at the entry point of the profession. The Consortium state teams will convene quarterly to carefully examine their state’s requirements for program entry and how cut scores for performance assessments are determined. Although there is no research that suggests that a higher performance on entry assessments, like the Praxis I, lead to greater teacher effectiveness, cut scores for these assessments have historically been set at or below the average scores of minority test takers. Since the qualifying scores are set at the state level, this poses challenges to all EPPs, including minority serving institutions, in their ability to recruit and prepare more diverse candidates. “In tandem with our SEA and LEA, it is our collective hope to reformulate restrictive protocols (locally, regionally, and nationally) that have consistently thwarted efforts to diversify the educator workforce, many of which are grounded in testing requirements that often fail to adequately measure one’s capacity for teaching in the most efficacious of ways”, stated Anthony Pittman, dean of the School of Education at Claflin University.

Research consistently show that all students benefit from having diverse teachers, including increased academic achievement and cultural awareness. AACTE is excited to engage in this important effort with these states to develop guidelines and criteria for setting equitable cut scores, and model state policies to advance efforts to attract and prepare minority teachers.

For more information about the Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments project, contact me at wjames@aacte.org.

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Weade James

Vice President, Organizational Advancement