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Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL)

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Technical Manual: Introduction

Document Purpose and Design

The purpose of this Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) Technical Manual is to provide information regarding

  • the purpose, composition, and structure of the MTEL (described in this Introduction);
  • the test development process used for the MTEL (in Test Development Process);
  • the processes used in the implementation of the MTEL, including test construction and administration, test scoring, and score reporting (in Test Operations); and
  • annual candidate performance and test statistics (in Annual Reports).

This manual is intended for an audience of policymakers, state educators, and other stakeholders in the MTEL program.

This manual is designed to provide evidence of the MTEL program's adherence to the standards that govern the development and administration of professional licensing exams such as the MTEL. The standards that the MTEL follow relate to fundamental considerations in the development and administration of tests, including those regarding test validity, reliability of measurement, and fairness in testing. Additionally, the MTEL follow standards related to test specifications, test design and development, passing scores, scoring scales, test administration, and test scoring and reporting.

The manual is formatted so as to present the applicable standards from the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, National Council on Measurement in Education, 2014) followed by supporting evidence of the MTEL program's adherence to each standard. The documentation includes descriptions and data regarding MTEL test development, test operations, and annual candidate performance and test statistics. This manual provides documentation called for in the following standards:

Standard 7.0 Information relating to tests should be clearly documented so that those who use tests can make informed decisions regarding which test to use for a specific purpose, how to administer the chosen test, and how to interpret test scores.

Standard 7.4 Test documentation should summarize test development procedures, including descriptions and the results of the statistical analyses that were used in the development of the test, evidence of the reliability/precision of scores and the validity of their recommended interpretations, and the methods for establishing performance cut scores. Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA & NCME, 2014)

This manual is designed to provide information related to the development and administration of all MTEL tests within the body of the manual and to provide links to field-specific data and other information.

The Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL): Purpose, Composition, and Structure

Standard 1.0 Clear articulation of each intended test score interpretation for a specified use should be set forth... Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA & NCME, 2014)

A passing score on the MTEL is a requirement for obtaining educator licensure in Massachusetts. The intended use of the MTEL is to make pass/fail classifications for the purpose of educator credentialing (i.e., to confer a Preliminary or Initial educator license), as mandated in the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Regulations for Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval (603 CMR 7.00) . To receive a Preliminary or Initial license, a candidate must pass (1) the reading and writing subtests of the Communication and Literacy Skills test, and (2) the appropriate subject matter test(s) for each license sought.

The purpose of the MTEL is described in About the Tests.

See also Description of the Tests for a list of tests that comprise the MTEL program.

Further information about testing requirements for specific Massachusetts educator licenses may be found under Licensure Requirements.