Date of Award

Spring 4-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Donald Heidenreich

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom

Third Advisor

Dr. A.G. Streb

Abstract

In order to meet the federal mandate specified by the No Child Left Behind Act to demonstrate content competency for teaching certification, students must pass a written examination. Missouri and 37 other states chose the Praxis II to satisfy requirements. Presently, schools of education advertise the passing rate of the Praxis II as 100%, since students can take the Praxis II until they pass. This study examined only the first time Praxis II pass rates for undergraduate students in a medium sized university over a six year period. The quantitative, predictive non-experimental research study statistically analyzed first time Praxis II scores from blinded student records acquired from the Comprehensive Academic Management Systems (CAMS) to look specifically at Praxis II test data from 2005 until 2010. Students utilize various pathways as they persist toward college graduation. Some students remain in a four year institution and graduate with a bachelor’s degree through a traditional route. Other students transfer at least once, either from two year institutions or from other four year institutions. This study isolated the first time that undergraduate students took the Praxis II and compared the passing rates for two groups, homegrown, students whose transcripts showed that they had taken freshmen orientation, and transfer. No distinction was made between students who transferred from two year or four year institutions, although the researcher recommends this distinction for future studies. The study disaggregated first time test takers by the reported Praxis II test code. Random samples from elementary education certification, secondary core certification, K-12 certification, and early childhood certification were drawn for analysis. Only Physical Education and Elementary Education provided large enough groups to disaggregate data by both year and group. Z tests checked for a iii difference in means at the 95% confidence level. To check for year to year differences, a single factor ANOVA was applied. Chi Square tests for independence using proportions and means were calculated. No statistically significant difference between undergraduate homegrown students and transfer students, as measured by first time Praxis II passing rate, was found for any group except Physical Education.

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