Minnesota establishes new licensure exams

The Minnesota Board of Teaching has instituted new Minnesota Teacher Licensure Examinations (MTLESM).

Developed under a five-year contract between the Minnesota Board of Teaching and the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson, this new generation of educator licensure tests is now the required examination for Minnesota K-12 teacher candidates. The first round of administration and score reporting of the computer-based MTLE was conducted in September 2010.

The MTLE are a set of comprehensive statewide educator licensure assessments of basic skills, pedagogical and subject-area knowledge. All Minnesota K-12 teacher candidates for an initial license in the state are required to pass the basic skills test, which includes reading, writing and mathematics subtests, as well as pedagogy and content knowledge tests. Thirty-three of the 37 tests in the MTLE program are offered at Pearson computer-based test centers in Minnesota and across the United States. The program’s four World Language assessments are available at convenient locations throughout Minnesota that are dedicated to the specialized testing necessary for language knowledge and skills.

“As we developed the next generation of teacher licensure tests for our state, we view these tests as much more than just a hoop to jump through to earn a Minnesota teaching license," said Karen Balmer, executive director, Minnesota Board of Teaching. "We have worked hard with our Pearson colleagues to ensure that these tests are a meaningful measure for those seeking a Minnesota license."

The Evaluation Systems group of Pearson has more than three decades of experience developing, administering and scoring tests for prospective teachers in the United States and, through its custom work for states, has created teacher licensure tests for more than 100 content fields, professional teaching skills and basic skills of college-level reading, writing and mathematics.

“Minnesota is among the states leading the nation as it launches its new, comprehensive teacher licensure testing program,” said William Gorth, Ph.D., president of the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson. “We are proud of our new relationship with the Board of Teaching and other state education leaders as they strive to ensure that all Minnesota students are taught by high-quality teachers.”

In addition to free web-based resources that include details about test content, format, and sample questions for all MTLE test fields, a series of expanded MTLE study guides are available on the website for Basic Skills, Early Childhood Education (Birth to Grade 3) and Elementary Education (Grades K–6). Each comprehensive study guide includes an annotated test framework that describes the content that is being assessed, sample test questions with an explanation for each correct answer, and a guide to additional preparation resources.