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Basic Skills Policy

Effective immediately and retroactively PDE has adjusted the PAPA and Core Academic Basic Skills passing score by -1 SEM. PDE made the change after careful study of basic skills results over time on multiple assessments and available research. Our goal continues to be identifying strong education candidates through a fair assessment system. To this end, we have four basic skills assessment systems (see attached document), the mixing of assessment scores to prevent unnecessary retesting and the adjustment of the math basic skills assessment based on experience and research.  The new passing scores are:

  • 193 for the PAPA Basic Skills Mathematics (test 8002)
  • 142 for the Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics (test 5732)

Candidates should not re-take the test if they have already achieved a passing score under the new standards.

Pearson will update their website on July 25, 2016. The Passed/Not Passed status for all candidates who have already tested since the inception of the test will be updated in their personal account on the PECT website (PECT ‘My Account’). For example, candidates with a scaled score from 193 to 219 on PAPA Module 2 will have their status changed from "Not Passed" to "Passed."

Individuals who have now passed can contact the Bureau through the call center, help desk or live chat if that is the only requirement remaining for certification.

ETS has already taken all steps necessary to score and report on the new math scores.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has recalculated the composit score for each series as follows:

  • 663 PAPA composit with a 174 minimum mathematics
  • 467 Core Academic Skills composit with a 132 minimum mathematics

Approved Basic Skills Assessments

  • The Pre-service Academic Performance Assessment (PAPA) modules in Reading, Writing and Mathematics.
    • Visit www.pa.nesinc.com to register for test code PA701.
    • Scores must be electronically submitted directly to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality, from the test vendor.
    • A minimum score of 220 is required on each module. A composite scoring option of 663 with a minimum of 174 in Math.
  • The Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE) modules in Reading, Writing and Mathematics.
    • Visit www.ets.org/praxis/pa to register for test codes 5712, 5722 and 5732.
    • Scores must be electronically submitted directly to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality, from the test vendor.
    • A minimum score of 156 (Reading), 162 (Writing) and 142 (Mathematics) is required. A composite scoring option of 467 with a minimum of 132 in Math.
  • The Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) score of 500 or higher in each individual section – Critical Reading, Writing, Mathematics. There is no composite scoring option.
    • Submit official test scores in the vendor-sealed envelope and a TIMS application cover sheet to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality. Scores may also be verified from an official score report by the Pennsylvania Approved Preparation Programs through TIMS; or sent directly from the high school to the Bureau.
  • The American College Test (ACT) Plus Writing. There is no composite scoring option.
    • Tests taken prior to September 2015 require a composite score of 23 accompanied by a combined English/Writing score of 22 or higher and a Math score of 21 or higher.
    • Tests taken after September 2015 require separate scores of Reading - 22; Mathematics - 21; and Writing - 21.
    • Submit official test scores and a TIMS application cover sheet to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality, in an envelope sealed by the test vendor. Scores may also be verified from an official score report by the Pennsylvania Approved Preparation Programs through TIMS; or sent directly from the high school to the Bureau.

Older basic skills tests, such as the PPST Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, are accepted if taken at the time they were required in Pennsylvania. Refer to the testing CSPG 21 for more information about replaced tests. Students who meet either requirement shall be exempt from taking the PAPA/CORE exam. Those who do not must take and pass the PAPA or the CORE examination. Candidates using the SAT or the ACT Plus Writing to meet the basic skills examination requirement may have test scores submitted officially to the Division of Certification Services at the following address:

          Division of Certification Services
          Pennsylvania Department of Education - School Leadership and Teacher Quality
          333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333

The score report must arrive in an unopened envelope from the test vendor and be submitted with the TIMS application coversheet. The company will not send the scores directly to PDE. PDE cannot accept opened copies.

Internship Opportunities

Education majors are required to complete at least 190 hours of field experience before student teaching. This is done through your coursework. You are also highly encouraged to seek out other opportunities through community service and/or internships.

Disclaimer:  We cannot endorse, supervise or monitor your involvement in any of these activities.  Good judgment is required. 

Possible internships include:

General Information
The Praxis Series™

The Praxis Series™ tests are required for all Secondary Education majors.

ETS has revised the following tests using a standard setting committee and has established updated test codes, effective 2013/14.

English Language Arts: Content Knowledge (5038)

  • Replacing test code (0041/5041)
  • Last Administration of (0041/5041): 10/7/2013
  • Effective date (5038): 9/1/2013
  • Qualifying Score (5038): 167

Mathematics: Content Knowledge (5161)

  • Replacing test code (0061/5061)
  • Last Administration of (0061/5061): 10/7/2013
  • Effective date (5161): 9/1/2013
  • Qualifying Score (5161): 160

Additional Praxis Series™ Materials

Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests (PECT)

The Pennsylvania Educator Certification Tests (PECT) are required for all Early Childhood/Special Education majors.

Certificate Application Information
Clearance Information
Lesson Plans
ePortfolios

All Education majors are required to complete an ePortfolio and three-ring binder portfolio as part of the EDUC 220 - Integrated Instructional Systems (cross referenced with ECE 420) course, instructed by Dr. Doug Hazlett. Students use this requirement to market his/her skills upon graduation. Questions or comments can be directed to Dr. Hazlett at dhazlett@thiel.edu. Additional resources can be found on Dr. Hazlett's wikispace.

Sample ePortfolios