By Bill Kautt
The session opened with a lengthy presentation from Dr. Nancy B. Hahn and Jenna Copella (see the agenda above for positions at Pearson) detailing the procedures that Pearson followed in developing the basic skills tests. The subtests were aligned with Minnesota Rules and developed specifically for the state of Minnesota. The criterion referenced tests were designed to determine if prospective teachers could demonstrate the appropriate level of knowledge of basic skills as determined by licensed Minnesota teachers and teacher educators at approved Minnesota post-secondary institutions. I believe a copy of the power point the presenters used will be posted on the department’s website in the near future.
Because of the long presentation, the committee did not hear from Richard Wasson as accommodations were discussed to some extent in the initial presentation. Instead, the committee moved to the panel discussion with Kitty Foord, Barbara West, and Bob Utke answering questions about the changes in teacher preparation programs.
The session finished up with Assistant Commissioner, Rose Hermodson sharing a letter from a teacher candidate to Commissioner Cassellius sharing her frustration after multiple attempts at passing the basic skills test in math. Rose concluded the session by asking committee members to think about options open to the committee as to its recommendations to the legislature. She stated the options range from no change to totally eliminating tests and everything in between. Members were asked to send their suggestions to co-chair Chris Smith who will compile them in preparation for the next meeting October 3, 2013.