INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Indiana is switching up its teacher licensing program in response to
complaints about low pass rates under the current testing program, in hopes
of addressing a shortage of teachers in the state.
ETS, a nonprofit
organization, will replace Pearson beginning September 2021 as the provider
of licensing tests for prospective teachers, said Indiana Department of
Education spokesman Adam Baker.
The move comes
after Republican state Sen. Jean Leising, of Oldenburg, introduced
legislation this year that required the state Board of Education to adopt a
program that’s administered nationally.
“I’m anxious to see
what kind of results we get and I’m going to be monitoring this very closely
after we have a couple years of data to see if pass rates improve over what
we’ve been seeing on the current test used,” Leising said, adding that the
change is a step in the right direction in dealing with the teacher shortage
its tests to Indiana standards, while ETS provides national exams. For
several years, Indiana educators and prospective teachers have criticized
Pearson’s testing program, which has been the state’s testing vendor since
2014, the Tribune-Star reported.
“Test content and
the scores required for passing are determined by each state and are
informed by recommendations from local educators resulting from standard
setting activities,” Pearson director of media relations Scott Overland
wrote in an email to the newspaper. “While we are disappointed in this
decision, we are proud to serve students, teachers, and institutions in
Indiana in many other ways and always are ready to help meet Indiana’s
Rachel Williams, a
media specialist, said passing Pearson’s certification test for school media
specialist was difficult even when she had worked four years at a library.
“As someone who
took both the ETS and Pearson test for school librarian, I can tell you that
the ETS asked questions that actually pertained to my job as a school
librarian,” William said. “I absolutely see it as a positive move (from
Pearson to ETS).”
associate executive director of the Indiana Association of School
Principals, said the changes could definitely be helpful.
“There is no doubt
about that,” McRoberts said.