LAS English education students score high on national tests

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Student teachers in secondary English from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences scored above the Iowa and national averages in three of four English content areas last year in the Praxis II certification tests.

English student teachers must pass two Praxis II tests (one in English content knowledge and one in pedagogy) to obtain a state teaching license, said Donna Niday, associate professor of English and coordinator of English education.

“Overall, we are highly pleased with the test results from our English education students,” she said. All 19 ISU English student teachers passed the two exams last year. The Iowa and national pass rates for both English exams were 96 percent and 87 percent, respectively.

In English content areas, the ISU students scored above the state and U.S. averages in writing, speaking and listening; language use and vocabulary; and constructed response (cognitive knowledge and reasoning). The ISU students scored just below the other averages in reading.

Niday was pleased to say 17 of last year’s 19 students were hired as teachers this academic year and the other two are working in education-related fields.

In addition to Niday, the other English education program faculty are Michelle Tremmel, Cath Engstrom and Kathy Rose.

Donna Niday’s English Education methods class with guest speaker Sarah Brown Wessling (back row, left), the 2010 National Teacher of the Year. Wessling is a BA and MA graduate of the ISU English Education program.