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Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations

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How the MTLE Tests Were Developed

The synopsis that follows describes the rigorous process that was used to carefully develop each of the MTLE teacher licensure tests.

1. Establish Advisory Committees

Content Advisory Committees were established to recommend to the BOT the content, wording, and specifications for the testing program. A Bias Review Committee was formed to review testing materials for potential bias and advise the BOT on issues pertaining to their review. The members of these committees were Minnesota educators selected through a nominating process that sought from colleagues, supervisors, and professional organizations the names of well-qualified public school educators and educator preparation faculty. Committees comprised individuals who reflected the racial, gender, ethnic, and regional diversity of Minnesota.

2. Define and Review Test Content

Minnesota standards documents and other Minnesota-approved resources were used to develop draft test frameworks (sets of test objectives that define test content) aligned with the Minnesota Board of Teaching Rules and Standards. The draft test framework for each test field was reviewed and revised by the Bias Review Committee and the appropriate field-specific Content Advisory Committee.

3. Conduct the Content Validation Survey

The approved test frameworks were prepared for validation through content validation surveys. Both Minnesota public school educators and educator preparation faculty participated in surveys to rate the importance of each objective in each test field for performing the job of an educator in Minnesota. Results from the content validation survey were analyzed to ensure that all objectives measured by the assessments are important to the job of a Minnesota educator.

4. Develop and Review Test Questions

Test questions matching the final test framework for each test field were drafted. Each draft test question was developed to correspond to an approved element of the test framework. This correspondence established the alignment of the test questions—through the test framework—with the Minnesota Board of Teaching Rules and Standards.

5. Review Draft Test Questions for Bias and Content

The Bias Review Committee focused its review on excluding from the test materials any language, content, or perspectives that might disadvantage an examinee because of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, disability, or cultural, economic, or geographic background. The Bias Review Committee also focused on including in the test materials content and perspectives that reflect the diversity of the Minnesota population. The Content Advisory Committees met to review and revise the draft test questions primarily from a content perspective. Content Advisory Committees reviewed the questions for accuracy and freedom from bias, and they ensured that questions are matched to objectives, align with Minnesota standards, and relate to the job of a Minnesota public school educator. The committee-approved test questions were then finalized.

6. Conduct Field-Testing

Test questions were field-tested at Minnesota colleges and universities at field-test sessions and as part of class sessions. The field-test data showed how the questions performed with potential Minnesota licensure candidates. Questions that did not perform acceptably on the field tests were identified for deletion.

7. Construct Preparation Materials

A preparation guide for each test field, called MTLE: Elements, was prepared and published on the MTLE website. Each MTLE: Elements includes the full test framework and a set of sample test questions. Additionally, full-length practice tests and expanded study guides were developed for virtually all MTLE tests. (Test preparation materials for all MTLE tests are available on this website).

8. Determine Passing Scores

Prior to the first administration of the tests, panels of Minnesota educators were convened for a passing score review conference. The committees participated in a structured process to make judgments regarding a passing score for each test. Following the passing score meeting, passing score judgments were compiled and presented to the BOT, who then set the passing score for each test field.