Teacher Licensure Tests: Barrier or Predictive Tool?
We use teacher candidate test scores on the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL), linked to student and teacher outcomes in the state, to investigate the predictive validity of these teacher licensure tests. We find that MTEL scores are positive and statistically significant predictors of teachers’ in-service performance ratings and contributions to student test scores (i.e., value added) once they enter the workforce. We then explore whether these relationships vary for candidates and teachers of color. We find that teacher candidates of color have lower first-time pass rates and are also less likely to retake licensure tests if they fail than are White teacher candidates, but we do not find consistent evidence that MTEL scores are less predictive of value added for teachers of color. Finally, we find that MTEL scores are more predictive of teacher performance ratings for teachers of color than for White teachers.
Keywords: Teacher Licensure, MTEL, Value Added, Predictive Validity