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The State of Colorado adopted PRAXIS® tests to assess teacher candidate performance in July of 2016 in order to “provide high-quality, aligned content exams for the majority of Colorado’s endorsement areas”.  Since then, Educational Testing Service (ETS) has been working with Colorado to not only provide the tests, but to show how these tests do much more than make a candidate eligible to teach in a Colorado classroom.

Since 2016, thousands of candidates have taken PRAXIS tests.  Knowing that a good sample of longitudinal data was now available to review, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), in conjunction with ETS, took a look at what the data showed.  

The data reviewed offered reason for Colorado to celebrate.  From a national standpoint and looking at state-adopted scores, Colorado is above the national average on tests they have adopted in 22 out of 27 areas. That translates into around 81% of folks receiving passing scores above that of other states.  Highlights from the data included the areas of Agriculture, Art, Audiology, French, Marketing Education, Middle School Math, and Teaching Reading.  These areas all recorded 100% pass rates in the last three years.  In addition, seven other endorsement areas recorded pass rates above 95%.

While Colorado should be proud of this report, there is still work to do.  Being above the national average in a majority of endorsement areas is great news.  However, the data is intended to not only show celebration points.  With this in mind, the CDE is looking at what can be inferred from the data in order to identify areas where support may offered to assist Colorado stakeholders in making data-driven decisions to support the continual improvement process.  One example of how CDE is taking action on this is the inaugural fall data dive that will be happening at Metro State University in Denver on September 28th.  Four educational preparation programs will participate in this day-long event to learn about what their institution’s PRAXIS® data is showing, spend time exploring resources available to them from both the CDE and ETS, and collaborate with their colleagues on what works in education.  Another data dive is being planned for the spring.

Another area in which both CDE and ETS are working is building testing center capacity in the state.  CDE has been taking feedback from test takers and institutions so that testing center availability is adequately dispersed over the entire state.

CDE is also working with teacher candidates in making sure they have a comprehensive understanding of the support and materials available to them.   Some of these resources include study companions, interactive practice tests, and individual analyses of test takers performance on assessments who have had multiple attempts at passing.

Nick Bellack, ETS Client Relations Director for Colorado, pointed to ETS’s mission to promote quality and equity in education worldwide.  He stated that working as a partner with Colorado serves to advance this mission and also allows ETS to gain feedback on how ETS can continually improve its service and products to Colorado and all its stakeholders.


Praxis Content Assessments

The Praxis Subject Assessment exam is a content area exam accepted for meeting content competency requirements for certain Colorado endorsements.


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