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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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New Mexico State's education students do well on teacher assessment tests

Test results released this month show that New Mexico State University's elementary education majors had a 100 percent pass rate on the teacher competency test -- the third test in a three-part licensing test for public school teacher candidates.

Morehead, an associate dean in the College of Education, said that all 51 elementary education students who took the competency test in October passed, compared with an average pass rate of 86 percent in elementary competency for all New Mexico students.

"This is one demonstration of the quality of the candidates graduating from the elementary education program," Morehead said.

The New Mexico Teacher Assessment Test measures prospective teachers in the areas of basic skills, general knowledge and professional competency relevant to teaching at the elementary and secondary school levels.

New Mexico State students taking the secondary competency test also scored well with an 82 percent pass rate compared with the statewide 80 percent pass rate.

New Mexico State students must pass the basic skills part of the test before being admitted to the university's teacher education program, and they must pass the general knowledge part before doing their student teaching, Morehead said. The competency part of the test can be taken while student teaching or upon graduation from New Mexico State, he said.

Students at New Mexico State had an 83 percent pass rate on the basic skills test given in October, compared with an 84 percent statewide pass rate. On the general knowledge test, New Mexico State students had a 78 percent pass rate compared with a 77 percent pass rate statewide.

Passing the test is a requirement for teaching in New Mexico. Those who do not pass the first time have opportunities to retake all or portions of the test, Morehead said. The test has been required for two years, he said.

"The test is only one indicator," Morehead said. "Although the assessment test is an important tool, it is only one measure of students' preparedness for teaching."

Morehead said that the college evaluates and follows its students all the way through the education process. "The percent of education students leaving our program that are employed is right at about 100 percent," he said. "Most of our students are being recruited before they have completed their student teaching."