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New Teachers Trained at the U Achieve Nearly-Perfect Pass Rate on State-Mandated Test

August 16, 2005 — The 2005 graduates of the University of Utah’s College of Education teacher education program performed extremely well as a class on the newly state-mandated PRAXIS PLT II Principles of Learning and Teaching exam. One hundred percent of University of Utah early childhood teachers, 98 percent of elementary teachers and 98 percent of secondary teachers passed the test at the required state level the first time they took the examination.

“The results are most impressive,” notes College of Education Dean David J. Sperry. “In addition to meeting the basic standards for performance as identified by the State Board of Education, 44 percent of elementary teachers and 33 percent of secondary teachers received “Recognition of Excellence” status from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) for scoring in the top 15 percent in the nation on the test. This is clear evidence that teachers graduating from the University of Utah are among the finest in the nation.” ETS is the world’s largest private test and measurement organization.

New Utah teachers receive a Level 1 Professional Educator Teaching License and are usually allowed three years to meet Level 2 licensing requirements in order to remain teaching. Passing the PRAXIS II PLT exam is part of the requirements for Level 2 licensing. While the State Board of Education provides up to three years to pass the PLT, graduates of the University of Utah complete this requirement upon exiting their teacher licensure program. This was the first group of University of Utah students to take the test.

“Students coming out of the University and passing this examination provide added value to employers and the students they teach,” Sperry adds. “They not only bring high-level skills and capacity to the classroom, but the school districts that hire them will not have to worry about these new teachers meeting the testing requirements for Level 2 licensing.”