The New Test for GA Teachers

26 Jul

I began my teaching odyssey back in 1987 in Iowa. In Iowa, I graduated from an NCATE school and was approved for teacher certification. I went back and picked up some science endorsements by taking several courses and applying. It wasn’t until I considered teaching in other states that I became familiar with the testing of teachers. It seemed incredibly odd to me that I had a certificate from a state with an almost 100% literacy rate and among the best in education by any measure used, and it was not good enough to teach in states struggling to make 50% literacy or a 50% graduation rate.

Georgia seems to exhibit the most hubris for a state routinely looking at 49th or 50th place in education. I sometimes wonder how I ended up here, as I had taken the National Teacher’s Exam (NTE) in order to teach in several states. However, this was also not sufficient for Georgia. They had the Teacher Certification Test (TCT) which I took for Agriculture and later for EBD, despite having a master’s degree from one of their own accredited institutions and programs. And then they finally went with the Praxis tests, joining other states in assessing their teachers.

Are you keeping score? NTE (an early version of Praxis), TCT, Praxis, and now?….

Georgia has once again decided to go it alone. Say goodbye to Praxis and hello to the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators or GACE, pronounced GAY-see. Beginning this fall, the GACE will be used and beginning next year, the Praxis will no longer be accepted. For those of us already certified in Georgia, our TCT and Praxis scores will still be good. They claim this new test is aligned to national standards, but they have not even established validity yet! I know other states do their own testing and develop their own standards, and that’s the nature of our educational system. But I think it is a joke. It seems to me with Georgia consistently bringing up the tail end of educational performance, they would accept certificates from just about any teacher that could help improve things. But instead, they become even more exclusionary, requiring teachers coming into the state to take Georgia’s version of a test in order to get their certificate. Which basically means that this is simply revenue machine for the state.

And then they wonder why education does so poorly, here.

We just learned that in order to be considered “highly qualified” to teach any self-contained special education classes at the high school level, teachers will also have to take the the MR test. I already took it, as that is how I moved from EBD to where I am now. But many of those teachers who thought they would get by with that one test (0511) last year, are now learning that they will need ANOTHER test! Egad.

The federal regulations for IDEA 2004 are not completed yet, so there are no state regulations, yet. In other words, we are still working under IDEA 1997. Not that it was that bad, before, but it just goes to show how slow things work.




13 Responses to “The New Test for GA Teachers”

  1. S May 17, 2007 at 2:24 pm #

    Yes, yes, yes. I couldn’t have said it better myself. One point of insult and aggravation that you did not mention is the fact that veteran teachers with advanced degrees go through the same testing rigamarole as professionals entering teaching from totally unrealted fields, such as Accounting or Business Administration or military service. Is it any wonder there is a severe teaching shortage in Georgia?

  2. Pamella May 21, 2007 at 11:24 am #

    May21, 2007

    I am convinced that this system is trying hard to frustrate and belittle veteran teachers. The GACE as in not set to meet the standards as it is supposed to be intended, yet a passing score is set. What irony!!!!!

  3. Anonymous May 21, 2007 at 2:08 pm #

    The Gace test does not seem to apply to the clasroom and the standards istead it is set to frustrate teacher who already knows classrom practice. It makes no sense.

  4. C May 21, 2007 at 2:12 pm #

    What is the objective of the GACE? Someone please clarify?

  5. Dick May 23, 2007 at 6:23 am #

    Wow! I take it some teachers are just now looking to take the test, so it’s showing up on Google or something.

    Believe it or not, I’m looking at taking a test or two or three, myself. My original assertion that this is a revenue thing hasn’t been disproved. Praxis would enable a teacher to qualify across multiple states, whereas GACE is Georgia specific so even if you took a Praxis to teach in New York or Hawaii, you’ll still have to take the GACE to teach in Georgia. Plus it discourages Georgia graduates and teachers from going elsewhere if they have to take another test. I see the day comng when every teacher will have to take a test to get recertified.

    As a tool for moving from one certification area to another (which I’m, looking at) it’s not a bad deal.


  6. Anonymous August 2, 2007 at 10:12 am #

    I hold a master’s in biology, and a middle school science certification. I am qualified to teach college biology, but not high school without a certification exam – ironic.

  7. Dent September 27, 2007 at 7:47 pm #

    The test is aligned with the new Georgia performance standards that have not been completly implemented in the schools yet, especially not college. We did not start learning these standards in college until recently and then they expect us to pass this test. How Barbaric is the GACE?

  8. Dick October 1, 2007 at 6:51 pm #

    If a body has the academic background, the test is not that hard. Seriously, it is a measure of MINIMUM requirements. So I wouldn’t sweat the fact that you might not know the standards. If you have a minor in any subject, I think you’ll pass the test!

    And if you pass, they don’t even release the scores. THAT is barbaric and cruel! A body works hard to get the background and pays the money, it should be up to us how the scores are used!


  9. SS McL January 26, 2008 at 11:16 pm #

    Anyone know of a school in northeast GA that values teachers’ planning times?

  10. yolanda January 28, 2008 at 8:21 pm #

    I am in search of the test score requirement for Praxis 11 on test # 10120 and test # 10100

  11. yolanda January 28, 2008 at 8:23 pm #

    Does Georgia have such requirements for these types of test #’s

  12. Dick January 30, 2008 at 4:13 pm #

    Good luck, SS McL. Maybe cast a wider net: nationwide?

    No, yolanda, GA no longer uses the praxis. they have their own test called the GACE.


  13. Greg March 25, 2008 at 9:55 am #

    Hi Dick,

    I curious. What certifications do I need in Georgia to work with self-contained autism? Thanks… Greg

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: