New scores anounced to measure educators in Missouri

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COLUMBIA - A plan will put teachers to the test.

The Missouri Content Assessment will replace the Praxis exam as the state-wide educator regulation exam for students hoping to pursue a profession in education.

The test just received "cut-scores", or scores that test takers will need to do better than in order to pass the exam at a Missouri Board of Education meeting Thursday. 

Todd Fuller, the spokes person for the Missouri State Teachers Association, said while the test if different than its predecessor, it serves the same purpose.

"It's a litmus test of the ability of a student on that given day for that particular given test." Fuller said. "It's similar to a college kid taking the LSAT or a high schooler taking the SAT. It determines what happens next."

The Missouri Content Assessment isn't just for teachers though. Principals, Superintendents, and even librarians will need to take tests, with questions designed specifically for their job. 

Fuller said even with all their similarities, there are big differences between the previous test, and the new one. 

"The (new) test is more focused on rigor, and a better evaluation of the content specific area for that teacher, whether is be a science teacher, a math teacher, or a English teacher," Fuller said. 

The problem is, some students caught in the transition period have been getting ready for the Praxis and are now having to study completely different material.

Fuller says that while the current cut-scores are final, there is a better chance this year on flexibility of scores, because the education board is still unsure how people will score.

Todd Fuller, the director of communication for the Missouri State Teachers Association, explains the new Missouri Content Assessment test at the Missouri State Teachers Association Building in Columbia, Missouri, on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014. This test must be taken by teachers to become certified. (KOMU/Jordon Shultz)

The Missouri State Teachers Association replaced the Praxis II Series in September with the Missouri Content Assessments on Friday, Dec. 5., 2014, in Columbia, Missouri. Todd Fuller, the director of communication for the Missouri State Teachers Association, said the new assessments have a more focused content area for each instructor. (KOMU/Jordon Shultz)