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[Susan notes: It is great to see a teacher in one state caring about what is happening to teachers in other states. Not to mention the great point made about how many tests teachers have passed before being hired by a district.]

Submitted to Montgomery Advertiser but not published
09/13/2004

To the editor



Perhaps your editorialist (Students deserve tested teachers, 9/13/04) has forgotten the amount of assessment required before recieving a college diploma.



In my route to a teaching certificate (K-12 Music education Vocal/General Music, TN, K-8 Elementary COmphrehensive, TN and TX), mathematics specialization, Early years specialization, K-8 Elementary Music Vocal/Instrumental, TX) I took dozens of classes in each high school class, including semester and final exams, the PSAT, ACT, SAT, and multiple AP exams. Then, in college, I had tests and end of course exams in each of my areas, including Juried music examinations each semester towards getting my music degree. In order to get into graduate school for my education degree, I took the GRE. Oh, and end of course and subject specific exams in each area.



Now, tell me, after all of that, how much will ETS's PRAXIS series show, or the ExCET in TX? I can tell you that to me they were simply a waste of time and money and extra stress, showing what should have been apparent from my college transcripts-that I knew my subject and had a basic knowledge of educational practice and law.



If school administrators are not competent enough to judge their employees by their previous records, how much will a test help? And, as anyone who has taught (or done any other job, for that matter) can tell you, the proof is in the doing-not the test scores or the record of classes.



Donna Metler, Tennessee teacher


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