Several UCA College of Education were selected to represent Arkansas in establishing new standards for revised Educational Testing Service (ETS) teacher education admission and licensure exams. Specifically, Dr. Gary Bunn, assistant professor, was selected to represent Arkansas at the standard setting study for the new Praxis I, which will be available fall 2013. The meeting was on the ETS campus in Princeton, New Jersey, and included representatives from many of the states that use the Praxis I exam for selective admission to teacher education programs. The new Praxis I will be more closely aligned with the Common Core State Standards. This panel’s work resulted in the information needed by the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) to establish the cut scores for our state. They reviewed the math and reading subtests, which started by taking the exams under similar conditions as those who complete the actual tests. From there, individuals reviewed each question, assigning it a level of difficulty based on a definition of expected knowledge of a qualified candidate. The group’s responses were combined and then reviewed again by the entire group, ending with a recommended score that the state departments of education can use to determine their individual state’s passing score.
Marilyn Friga, clinical instructor, was chosen to serve on the middle childhood social studies Praxis II standard setting study panel. The Arkansas panel included social studies teachers and teacher educators.
Additionally, Dr. Alicia Cotabish, assistant professor, was chosen to serve on the ADE middle childhood science Praxis II standard setting study facilitated by ETS. Also, Dr. Cotabish previously served on the Arkansas Department of Education STEM Education Planning Committee, the committee charged with drafting the comprehensive state STEM education plan tied to the Common Core Standards. We sincerely appreciate the professional service these faculty have provided to Arkansas and the teaching profession.