Last spring, the Iowa Legislature passed a law, signed into effect by Governor Branstad, stating that all teacher preparation programs must:
“Administer, prior to a student’s completion of the practitioner preparation program …, subject assessments designed by a nationally recognized testing service that measure pedagogy and knowledge of at least one subject area….”
The Iowa Department of Education will begin enforcement of this provision effective January 1, 2013. This impacts all candidates for an Iowa teaching license at any time after December 31, 2012. All students seeking teacher licensure at any grade level and in any subject area must pass the state determined cut scores in two different examinations published by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). As required by law, Iowa’s passing scores for each test have been set above the 25th percentile.
All candidates for licensure will be required to pass a pedagogy test, assessing the candidates’ knowledge of learning and teaching processes. The pedagogy test is the ETS Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test. There are four grade level versions of the test. Candidates will choose the grade level most appropriate for their preparation level.
All candidates must also take a content knowledge test according to their major content area. For example, a math major preparing to become a high school mathematics teacher will need to take a test assessing the student’s knowledge of mathematics, ETS Praxis II Mathematics: Content Knowledge #0061/5061.