What are CAA’s expectations of programs that use the Praxis tests as a summative assessment?
The Educational Testing Service (ETS) developed the Praxis tests to assess an individual’s knowledge, skills, and readiness to enter independent practice in their respective profession. According to ETS,
[the] Praxis® Series™ test scores have not been validated for use in granting or denying graduation status, and, therefore, may not be considered legally defensible when used in this manner.
The Praxis has not been validated for use as a program summative assessment.
Under CAA Standard 5.6, programs must report to the CAA the percentage of test takers who pass the Praxis Audiology or Praxis Speech-Language Pathology and demonstrate that they meet or exceed the CAA’s established threshold, which is 80%. This is a separate standard, distinctly set apart from CAA Standard 5.2, which speaks to the use of formative and summative assessment WHILE your students are in your program. Under CAA Standard 5.2, programs must conduct ongoing and systematic formative and summative assessments of their students’ performance. Specifically:
- The program must develop an assessment plan used throughout the program for each student. The plan must include the purpose of the assessments and must use a variety of assessment techniques, including both formative and summative methods.
- Assessments must be administered by multiple academic and clinical faculty members.
Yet, the CAA realizes that some programs are choosing to utilize the Praxis test as one form of summative assessment in their program; some are stipulating that sitting for or passing the examination is a graduation requirement. The CAA has cited programs for using the Praxis as their only form of summative assessment. The council would ask programs to address the following questions:
- How has the program ensured that appropriate validation of the Praxis test has been completed for the test to be used as a program summative assessment?
- How does the program ensure that this summative assessment is administered by a range of program faculty and supervisors to evaluate students’ progress—and is applied consistently—when the Praxis is administered by ETS?
In both cases, we believe that programs would find it difficult to respond. To this end, we advise programs to develop an assessment plan that they use throughout the program of study for each student. The CAA requires programs to develop a plan that must include (a) the purpose of the chosen assessments and (b) the use of a variety of assessment techniques, including both formative and summative methods. As noted earlier, program assessments must be administered by multiple academic and clinical faculty members of the program.
We hope that this guidance assists programs in addressing and meeting these specific standards. As always, please direct your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.