Certification of Teachers, Pre-Service Teacher Education, Tests and Legal Issues in Australia and the United States of America (US): Part A Context, and US History
Teacher certification in Australia to date has been based on successful completion of an accredited teacher education program offered by a higher education institution or recognition of a qualification from another jurisdiction. However from the end of 2011,1 Queensland teacher education graduates destined to teach in early childhood settings and primary schools2 will be required to complete standardised tests in literacy, numeracy and science to attain registration.3 While such additional test requirements for registration have been in place in England for a number of years, and are common across states in the US, this requirement is a new professional certification approach in Australia. This article examines the contexts for such licensure testing and legal issues associated with such test requirements that have been identified in US case law. This article is Part A of a two part series. The companion article (Part B Implications for Queensland and Australia)4 draws on this discussion to identify and discuss potential challenges that may arise, or requirements that will need to be satisfied, in Queensland and Australian law, when teacher licensure tests are introduced. The discussion is offered in the possibility that such additional requirements could become federally-legislated, given the Australian Commonwealth Government's active involvement in setting education policy. Examination of US law, with its considerable history in both teacher certification testing and overall litigation in education, may provide some insights into legal issues that could arise or be challenged in the Australian context.
International Journal of Law & Education
Education Assessment and Evaluation