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Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Southwest Louisiana ,
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All La. parishes, most states use Praxis exams

Last Modified: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 11:59 AM

By Andrew Perzo / American Press

I am curious about the Praxis test college students have to take to receive their teaching certification. What is the pass/fail rate? What is the average number of times a student takes it before passing it? Is it the same test and grading scale for all parishes in Louisiana? Is this company accountable to anyone at the state level of education?

Every Louisiana parish, along with most states, uses Praxis exams to assess the skills and knowledge of prospective teachers, said Barry Landry, state Education Department spokesman.

“Passing scores on Praxis exams are a requirement for virtually all Louisiana teaching and education leadership certificates,” Landry wrote in an email. “Required exams and qualifying scores are set forth in ‘Bulletin 746, Louisiana Standards for State Certification of School Personnel.’ ”

Pass rate information and average scores are available at https://title2.ed.gov/Public/Home.aspx. To view the data, click on Louisiana on the map and then use the drop-down menu to select the information you want.

Both Landry and Jason Baran, a spokesman for Educational Testing Service, which produces the Praxis Series, said data are unavailable on the average number of times candidates take the test before passing.

Baran said ETS is responsible to both the state and to the institutions whose students must take the tests, and Landry said Louisiana educators take part in ETS “standard-setting studies, which inform qualifying score identification.”

Online: www.ets.org/praxis.

Clarification: Query a misunderstanding

Monday’s column answered a question about the hiring of retired schoolteachers in Louisiana: “School system employees used to be allowed to retire one day and go back to work the next — receiving full retirement and full work pay. Is this policy still in effect?”

In its reply The Informer explained that the retire-rehire laws have changed; listed the types of jobs affected; and pointed out that some re-employment posts come with earnings limits built in.

But as Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana spokeswoman Lisa Honore pointed out in an email Tuesday, the column didn’t address the underlying misunderstanding on which the reader’s question was based.

“The question would have readers believe that after retiring for one day and returning to work, the teacher would immediately begin receiving full retirement benefits and a salary. This is not so, and has never been the case,” Honore wrote.

“Prior to a law change in 2010, a TRSL member could be rehired back after one day of retirement and earn a salary. But this person would not collect retirement benefits from TRSL until 12 months after the date of his or her retirement.

“After the law changed in 2010, the 12-month waiting period was still in place. The law just put restrictions on who would be considered a ‘retired teacher’ eligible to receive retirement benefits after the 12-month waiting period. Those who do not fit the definition of ‘retired teacher’ (as defined in state law) are considered ‘retired members’ and will have their TRSL benefit suspended for the duration of re-employment in a position eligible for TRSL membership.”

Online: www.trsl.org.

The Informer answers questions from readers each Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. It is researched and written by Andrew Perzo, an American Press staff writer. To ask a question, call 494-4098, press 5 and leave voice mail, or email informer@americanpress.com.

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