Friday, December 14, 2007

Teachers respond to incentives 

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that SAT scores for teachers who passed the Praxis test for licensing had SAT verbal scores 13 above those who took the test eight years ago.
The report credits �a confluence of policy changes at the federal, state, and institutional levels� for improvements in the academic quality of teachers. Among the policies it specifically cites as having an impact are stricter admissions standards for teacher-education programs; changes in accreditation requirements that put more emphasis on how much is learned by students in teacher-education programs; and a provision in the Higher Education Act, as reauthorized in 1998, requiring all states and institutions that prepare teachers to report licensure-test passing rates.
So you make it harder to get in, and make states report passing rates, and the scores go up. That doesn't seem too mysterious to me.

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