The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has new draft standards for accreditation intended to “raise the bar” on education schools. Standard 3.4 reads in part
The provider ensures that the average GPA of its accepted cohort of candidates meets or exceeds the CAEP minimum GPA of 3.0 and a group average performance in the top third of those who pass a nationally normed admissions assessment such as ACT, SAT or GRE.
Achieving average SAT scores in the top third of the SAT distribution means cutting way down on the number of students accepted with low scores…presumably that’s exactly the idea of the new rule. Teacher training programs can take a holistic approach to choosing individual candidates, but on average they’ll need to accept very few with low test scores?
How many candidates will the new standard screen out? An exact answer is tough, and will certainly vary from school to school. As an approximation, think of the following experiment: Suppose education schools draw from the general distribution of SAT test takers and wanted to have a rough score-cutoff to guarantee their average being in the top third. The picture looks something like this. Students in this (non-holistic) scenario get in if their scores are in the green and don’t get in if their scores are in the lower red section.
Bottom line: students in the lower 25 percent of the SAT distribution are likely to be screened out. Is a 25 percent cut in the number of students going to happen? Not exactly, since there’s not an exact match between who takes the SAT and who applies to education schools. (Maybe students with really low SATs already don’t get into ed schools…in which case the new standard doesn’t change admissions at all.) But cutting out the bottom one-fourth is a reasonable first guess.
To quote NCTQ’s Arthur McKee, “Bravo to CAEP for taking a tough but necessary stand.”