Teacher Assessment

Oregon To Implement NES Teacher Certifications

Beginning in September 2010, the state of Oregon will become the first to implement Pearson's National Evaluation Series teacher assessment tests for its statewide teacher certification program. The announcement came earlier this month from the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC).

The state has said it will integrate the NES tests with the existing Oregon Educator Licensure Assessments (ORELA) program and will use them to replace most existing teacher licensing exams. "At the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, part of our mission is to provide our state with the highest quality teacher licensure testing program, designed to ensure that our state's teachers are qualified to prepare students for success," said Victoria Chamberlain, executive director of TSPC. "By adopting the NES tests, we can now evaluate candidates based on the most current content in each subject or academic skill area, aligned to national subject and pedagogy standards, as well as move our program in a new direction with computer-based testing, which will allow us to tap into a larger pool of potential teachers for our state's schools."

Chamberlain also cited the convenience of computer-based testing, which will allow licensing and endorsement candidates to take their exams on demand at one of many secure testing sites throughout the state, and which will provide immediate results.

In developing the NES tests, Pearson consulted a variety of content and pedagogy standards recognized by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, including Association for Childhood Education International: Elementary Education Standards; International Reading Association: Standards for Reading Professionals; National Council for Teachers of English: Program for Initial Preparation of Teachers of Secondary English Language Arts; National Council for Teachers of Mathematics: Program for Initial Preparation of Mathematics Teachers; National Science Teachers Association: Standards for Science Teacher Preparation; National Council for the Social Studies: National Standards for Social Studies Teachers; American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages: Program Standards for the Preparation of Foreign Language Teachers; and American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance: Standards for Initial Preparation of Physical Education Teachers.

Free test preparation guides, known as NES Profiles, are available here. They include details about the exams and registration, test formats, content areas, and sample questions and answers.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.