Date of Award

8-7-2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Beatrice S. Fennimore, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Sue A. Rieg, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Monte Tidwell, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Kenneth M. Adams, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study was an investigation of the perceptions of university certification officers in teacher education in a state university system regarding university responses to accountability, standardized testing, predictive models, gatekeeping, and intervention strategies, and incorporates the issues of social justice and ethics. This study also includes the development of a predictive model to predict results on the Praxis II Elementary Education: Curriculum Instruction and Assessment (ELED:CIA) test in one sample university. Results of the quantitative study indicated that there are significant relationships between SAT tests scores, Praxis I test scores, first year college GPA and high school percentile. A regression analysis was conducted which concluded that all of the variables (SAT scores, high school percentile, Praxis I scores, and first year college GPA), when used together, can predict test scores on the Praxis II ELED:CIA test. A stepwise regression revealed that the removal of the SAT Math as a predictor variable would not adversely affect the variance accounted for (the different between 41.2% and 40.7%). The qualitative component of the study revealed that the majority of the certification officers did not believe that using any one means of evaluation for teacher education students as a gatekeeping device was a fair or just means of assessment and eliminated certain populations. In addition, it was perceived that standardized tests cannot measure talent, quality of teaching, skill, motivation to teach, disposition, or classroom management skills. Standardized high-stakes testing used as a gatekeeper was perceived as unethical; however, the use of standardized tests in combination with other assessment tools, some of which should be subjective, was perceived as ethical and just when used as a gatekeeper. The predictive model developed could be used to provide interventions to assist teacher candidates in passing the Elementary ELED:CIA test. It could also be used earlier in students‟ programs to assist with the passing of Praxis I tests. Assessment of intervention strategies used would be beneficial, as well as the sharing of best practices for the purpose of assisting teacher education students in being successful.

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