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Assessment and School Performance

All · FCAT 2.0—Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test® 2.0 · Florida End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments · FTCE – Florida Teacher Certification Examinations and FELE – Florida Educational Leadership Examination · NAEP - National Assessment of Educational Progress

FTCE – Florida Teacher Certification Examinations and FELE – Florida Educational Leadership Examination


1. Scoring: What is the percentage of correct answers required to pass the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) and the Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE)?
   
The table that can be accessed through the link below is provided as a courtesy to applicants taking the FTCE and FELE. Because the number of questions, or correct answers, needed to pass a multiple-choice examination may vary slightly from one form of the examination to another, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) can only provide general guidelines about how many questions must be answered correctly in order to pass. Therefore, the FTCE/FELE Maximum Percentages Needed to Achieve a Minimum Passing Score Table shows the maximum percentage of questions that must be answered correctly in order to pass the forms of each examination that are currently being administered.

In addition, it is possible that the percentages shown for some examinations will not reflect the most recent information available, due to the time delay that occurs in creating new Web pages to update this table. Even so, the percentages shown in the FTCE/FELE Maximum Percentages Needed to Achieve a Minimum Passing Score Table will give you a clear idea of how well you will need to perform in order to pass. As new forms are developed and put into use, this table will be updated to reflect the maximum percentage required to pass each multiple-choice examination. (See question numbers two through seven for additional information.)




2. Scoring: How do I interpret the FTCE/FELE Maximum Percentages Needed to Achieve a Minimum Passing Score Table (accessed through question number one) to determine the maximum percentage required to pass an examination?
   
The numbers shown in the left hand column of the FTCE/FELE Maximum Percentages Needed to Achieve a Minimum Passing Score Table represent the maximum percentage of correct answers needed to pass. For example, if 71% is the maximum percentage of correct answers needed to pass any form of a particular subject area examination (SAE) currently being administered, then a slightly more difficult form of that SAE might require only 70% of correct answers in order to achieve a passing score. For this reason, the table shows the maximum percentage needed to earn a passing score on any form of a test currently being used.


3. Scoring: How do I interpret scores for examinations that have performance components such as oral or written requirements?
   
For examinations that include written or oral performance components, percentages are not provided because scoring these examinations involves a more complex process to arrive at “combination scores” or “part scores.” One result of this is that on performance-based examinations, several different combinations of multiple-choice and performance test scores may result in the same passing scale score of 200 for the FTCE. Additional information regarding performance-based examinations is provided underneath the FTCE/FELE Maximum Percentages Needed to Achieve a Minimum Passing Score Table, which can be accessed through question number one.


4. Scoring: What are FTCE and FELE scale scores?
   
The raw score and percentage correct on the FTCE and FELE are converted to a common measure called a scale score. Reporting on a scale allows multiple forms of a test to be equated and the minimum passing score to be set at a common point (e.g., 200).


5. Scoring: What are the minimum passing scale scores for the FTCE and FELE?
   
The minimum passing scale score for all of the FTCE is 200. The minimum passing scale scores for FELE are 200 for Subtest 1 and Subtest 2, and a combination (multiple choice and written performance assessment) scaled score of 200 for Subtest 3.


6. Scoring: Why are teacher certification scores reported as pass or fail?
   
Many licensure and certification authorities across the country have begun providing only pass/fail results. One reason for this is that licensure and certification examinations are designed to focus precise measurement at the “cut-score,” or minimum passing score. Another reason for reporting only pass/fail results is to prevent numeric scores from being used inappropriately. For example, numeric scores for licensure and certification examinations should not be used to decide who is hired or promoted, or who is eligible for advanced training because the exams are not designed for these purposes.


7. Scoring: Why does the number of questions needed to pass an examination vary slightly from one administration to the next?
   
The number of correct answers needed to pass an examination will vary based on the difficulty level of questions used on a given form of the examination. This means that different forms of each examination must be “equated” to adjust for any differences in difficulty. Equating is a common practice used in some form by most large-scale testing programs to equalize form difficulty. In plain terms, examinees must answer more questions correctly on an easier form of a test than on a more difficult form in order to achieve the same passing scale score of 200 for the FTCE.


8. General Knowledge Test: Why is the Mathematics Subtest of the General Knowledge Test required to obtain a professional Florida teaching certificate for someone who will not be teaching mathematics education?
   
The Florida Legislature and the Department of Education set the requirements for certification. Although some people may not use formal algebra and geometry in their daily life, these and other mathematical skills are considered by the Department to be an important part of an educator’s professional teaching credentials. This test of basic skills will provide an underlying baseline for a teacher’s future career, which might include teaching at another level or working in administrative positions.


9. General Knowledge Test: How can I waive the Math Section of the General Knowledge Test?
   
The Florida Legislature has determined that the quality of a teacher’s basic mathematics education is an important part of the overall level of teaching excellence in Florida. The requirement for basic mathematics skills appears in Section 1012.56, (3) (a-e), Florida Statutes, which addresses educator certification requirements; Section 1012.56, (8) (f) addresses the General Knowledge Test. The Mathematics subtest provides a basic foundation for all mathematics instruction for teachers at all levels of teaching, including elementary school. The mathematics competencies and skills tested on the General Knowledge Test are aligned by law to the Sunshine State Standards; the content of the Mathematics subtest represents a minimum level of what is expected of Grade 10 students in Florida. The current testing requirements were mandated by the Florida Legislature, and there is no provision in law for waiving or exempting the requirements.


10. General Knowledge Test: How can I prepare for the Mathematics subtest of the General Knowledge Test?
   
The FTCE and FELE tests are Pass/Fail tests. Examinees that pass a test will see a “PASS” on their score report. Examinees that do not pass will receive a numerical score. To find out approximately what percentage of test items examinees need to answer correctly to receive a passing score on any test or subtest, including the General Knowledge Test, consult the chart on the Department’s postsecondary testing Web site, http://www.fldoe.org/asp/ftce/pdf/percentpass.pdf.

If examinees have difficulty passing the general knowledge examination, they have the option to enroll in a state college of education or educator preparation institution to take classes that cover general knowledge concepts tested. More information about the state colleges of education can be found at http://www.fldoe.org/profdev/teachprep/teachprep.asp; information about educator preparation institutions in Florida can be found on the FTCE Learning Portal.

The Department publishes a test information guide for the General Knowledge Test that identifies the skills that it tests. Examinees may order a General Knowledge Test information guide online at www.fl.nesinc.com or use the order form that is published in the FTCE/FELE Registration Bulletin. You may call our office at (850) 245-0513 to obtain a copy. The guide gives a brief overview of the test, provides the competencies and skills that are tested, and presents some sample items. It is not intended to replace coursework. Careful study of the skills should guide examinees as to what areas are needed to be reviewed. The Department is not authorized or funded to provide teaching materials for the test; it is assumed that a person with a bachelor’s degree will have the required level of knowledge.

Examinees may examine incorrect test items in order to identify any scoring errors by registering for a score verification session. The request must be made within 30 days of the mailing of the score reports for the test or subtest in question.




11. General Knowledge Test: Why is the Essay portion of the General Knowledge Test required to obtain a professional Florida teaching certificate for someone who will not be teaching language arts?
   
The Florida Legislature and the Department of Education set the requirements for certification. Although some people may not utilize formal technical writing skills in their daily life, these and other basic language skills are considered by the Department to be an important part of an educator’s professional teaching credentials. This test of basic skills will provide an underlying baseline for a teacher’s future career, which might include teaching at another level or working in administrative positions.


12. General Knowledge Test: How can I waive the Essay portion of the General Knowledge Test?
   
The Florida Legislature has determined that the quality of a teacher’s basic language arts education is an important part of the overall level of teaching excellence in the State of Florida. The requirement for basic writing skills appears in 1012.56, Section 3 (a-e) of Florida Statutes, which addresses educator certification requirements; 1012.56, Section 8 (f) addresses the general knowledge examination. The General Knowledge Essay demonstrates that educator candidates have a basic foundation for all writing instruction for teachers at all levels of teaching, including elementary school. Please understand that the writing competencies and skills tested on the General Knowledge Test are aligned by law to the Sunshine State Standards; the content of the General Knowledge Essay represents a minimum level of what is expected of Grade 10 students in the State of Florida. The current testing requirements were mandated by the Legislature, and there is no provision in law for waiving or exempting the requirements.


13. General Knowledge Test: How can I prepare for the General Knowledge Essay?
   
The FTCE and FELE tests are Pass/Fail tests. Examinees that pass a test will see a “PASS” on their score report. Examinees that do not pass will receive a numerical score. To find out approximately what percentage of test items examinees need to answer correctly to receive a passing score on any test or subtest, including the General Knowledge Test, consult the chart on the Department’s postsecondary testing Web site, http://www.fldoe.org/asp/ftce/pdf/percentpass.pdf.

If an examinee has difficulty passing the general knowledge examination, they have the option to enroll in a state college of education or educator preparation institution to take classes that cover general knowledge concepts that will be tested. More information about the state colleges of education can be found at http://www.fldoe.org/profdev/teachprep/teachprep.asp; information about educator preparation institutions in Florida can be found on the FTCE Learning Portal.

The Department publishes a test information guide for the General Knowledge Test that identifies the skills that it tests. Examinees may order a General Knowledge Test information guide online at www.fl.nesinc.com or use the order form that is published in the FTCE/FELE Registration Bulletin. You may call our office at (850) 245-0513 to obtain a copy. The guide gives a brief overview of the test, provides the competencies and skills that are tested, and presents some sample items. It is not intended to replace coursework. Careful study of the skills should guide examinees as to what areas are needed to be reviewed. The Department is not authorized or funded to provide teaching materials for the test; it is assumed that a person with a bachelor’s degree will have the required level of knowledge.

The score for the GK Essay is a separate subtest score that requires a minimum score of 6 out of 12 points to pass. The scoring of the GK Essay is conducted in a standardized session held for a particular examination and scored by at least two independent, qualified and trained raters. The two independent scores are combined for a final GK Essay score. If an examinee fails one or more GK subtests, the examinee is required to re-take only the subtests failed. For example, if an examinee passes the GK Reading, ELS, and Math, but fails the GK Essay, then he/she must re-take the GK Essay, but not the GK Reading, ELS, or Math.




14. Fees: Why were the FTCE/FELE fees increased?
   
Historically, the Department has been able to keep the examinee test fees low because a large portion of the money used for developing and administering tests has been drawn from general revenue funds allocated by the legislature. Beginning September 1, 2009, the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) and Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE) fees will support all test development, test administration, and scoring services. The FTCE examinations are designed by Florida educators and are aligned with the Next Generation Sunshine State Curriculum Standards as well as other teacher standards.

The Department maintains one of the most technologically advanced and customer-oriented teacher certification testing programs in the world.

Additional services paid for by the fees include:

  • 24 computer-based testing centers statewide for customer convenience;
  • customer service representatives available from 8AM to 6PM Monday through Friday, excluding holidays;
  • 4 locations statewide where examinees can review the test questions that they miss if they failed an examination;
  • availability of all 50 FTCE examinations at computer-based testing centers
  • personal score retrieval via the Internet; and
  • diagnostic reporting services for colleges of education and educator preparation institutes.




15. Fees: Are there funds that may assist teachers with test fees?
   
Title I-A funds (available only to Title I schools for the purposes of recruiting highly qualified teachers) and Title II-A funds (available districtwide) may assist teachers with test fees, preparation programs, stipends, substitute teachers, and other needs. However, use of these funds is based on a district needs assessment and the direction of the school board.


16. Pilot Testing: If I participate in a pilot test, does it affect my scores in any way?
   
No. Pilot test results will not affect the scores of any FTCE or FELE examination you have taken or may be taking in the future. Pilot test scores will not be reported to your institution, school district, or the Florida Department of Education.


17. Contractor: Who is the official contractor working with the Department of Education on the FTCE and FELE?
   
Evaluation Systems group of Pearson is the FTCE/FELE contractor.


18. Test Development: Does the Department endorse the recruitment of Subject Matter Experts for FTCE test development meetings?
   
Yes. For more information on participating in test development meetings, go to http://www.floridacertexam.nesinc.com.


19. Test Content: How many questions are on each examination, and how much time is allotted for each test?
   
Please refer to the PDF, FTCE/FELE Testing Time and Number of Questions.


20. Social Security Number: Why does the FTCE/FELE registration application request my Social Security Number and how will it be used?
   
In order to be eligible for certification, educator candidates demonstrate competency in general knowledge, subject area knowledge, and professional education by passing educator examinations. The Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) and Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE) program collects examinees’ Social Security numbers (SSNs) via the registration application for these exams. The FTCE/FELE program uses the SSNs to match examinee scores with educator certification records that contain SSNs as required by Section 1012.56, Florida Statutes. Examinees’ SSNs are used for internal purposes only and are on score reports released to institutions and school districts as designated by the examinee. SSNs are not released to other third parties.