Each state sets its own requirements regarding what tests must be taken and what minimum passing scores must be earned to achieve state certification/licensure. The tests are typically designed to evaluate teacher candidates' basic academic skills, subject knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and, in some cases, classroom performance.
Typically, in the first step of the process, teachers must pass basic skills examinations before they are admitted to teacher education programs or enroll in upper-level courses (those taken in the junior and senior year) at colleges and universities. The basic skills tests measure reading, writing, and mathematics skills.
In the second step, educators who have gradated with a teaching degree must pass subject-area tests as part of the certification/licensure process in their state of employment. Subject Assessments measure candidates' knowledge of the academic subjects they will teach, as well as domain-specific pedagogy skills (how to best teach these particular subjects).
Most SREB states use the Praxis system that is managed and administered by Educational Testing Service (ETS) for both certification and NCLB testing. The Praxis Series is a nationally administered set of rigorous assessments of basic skills as well as the content fields covered by state teacher licenses.
Alabama, Florida, and Texas use their own testing service for certification purposes, though some states do accept the Praxis II tests for displaying NCLB content area competency. Oklahoma uses the Praxis I series for entrance into teacher preparation programs but uses its own test for content-area examinations at the certification level.
Links to SREB State and Related Resources