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University of Wisconsin – Whitewater and the Impact of Teacher Ed Entrance Assessment Requirements

AACTE’s Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA) project recently released a framing paper titled The History, Current Use, and Impact of Entrance and Licensure Examinations Cut Scores on the Teacher-of-Color Pipeline: A Structural Racism Analysis. The paper addressed the following questions: (1) How are standardized entrance and licensure tests being used as a gateway into the profession? (2) Who determines cut scores for these tests?, and (3) What is the historical significance and implications of these tests on the diversity of the profession today?

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UWW) represents one of fourteen lead institutions that comprise the CREA project. Lana Collet-Klingenberg, professor and interim associate dean at UWW recently reflected on the effects of entrance assessment requirements at her institution and her institution’s plans to ensure equitable access for all students who choose to pursue teacher education.

Why did University of Wisconsin – Whitewater pursue membership in the CREA project?

Increasing the diversity in our educator workforce is a high priority for our state and our institution. By many measures Wisconsin is failing when it comes to equity in our schools and in our educator workforce. As the EPP that prepares the most first-time licensed teachers in the state, we are interested in any initiative that advances the cause. In addition, in an effort to lessen the number of barriers for prospective teachers, our state changed rule, providing EPP with flexibility regarding what measures we use for admission. In our state, students can meet requirements with GPA OR test scores. Our state is continuing to address removal of barriers by recently changing rule again to allow for alternate measures to GPA for licensure (which, in turn, will allow greater flexibility with admission requirements). I believe our inclusion in the project is a means of sharing these avenues with states still requiring standardized test performance as the primary admission pathway.