Quantitative analysis of elementary pre-service teacher and educator preparation program performance on the Missouri Content Assessments by race, ethnicity, gender, program selectivity and minority-serving institution status
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This study investigated whether differences existed in Missouri teacher certification assessment scores based on Elementary Pre-Service Teacher race, ethnicity and gender, as well as the selectivity level or Minority-Serving Institution status of Educator Preparation Program attended by the Elementary Pre-Service Teacher. These assessment scores were used as accountability measures in Missouri. Elementary Pre-Service Teachers were certified to teach in Missouri based partially on their certification assessment scores. These scores were also used to determine which Educator Preparation Programs maintain state accreditation. The researcher focused on one of the Missouri teacher certification assessments, the Elementary Education Multi-Content Assessment. This assessment was required for any Elementary Pre-Service Teacher seeking elementary education teacher certification in Missouri. The Multi-Content Assessment includes four subtests covering subject matter in: English; mathematics; science; and social studies. This study concluded that there were significant differences in scores based on: race and ethnicity; gender; preparation program selectivity level; and preparation program status as a Minority-Serving Institution. Furthermore, the study found that modifying mandated cut scores could mitigate race/ethnicity-based differences for three of the four subtests. The study also indicated that Pre-Service Teachers who identified as African American or Hispanic were more likely to fail at least one subtest and therefore fail to be recommended for teacher certification. The researcher recommended these assessments, their cut scores and accompanying accountability policies be reviewed.