The State Board of Education is in the process of adopting the latest version of the Praxis exam for school psychologists as a requirement for licensure in Ohio. Education Testing Service will retire the current Praxis version 5402 Aug. 31, and institute the new 5403. Because Ohio’s administrative code specifies the version that is accepted, the board must vote to adopt the last iteration.
One member of the board, Diana Fessler, the District 1 elected member from Bellefontaine, told the board that several years ago she had raised questions about certain examinations the board was asked to approve and had been allowed to take the exams to gauge their content. She described the questions as being at an 8th grade level. She therefore declared she would vote against this school psychology licensure exam because she is unable to review the test questions.
District 6 elected board member Antoinette Miranda, a school psychologist, responded to Ms. Fessler’s concerns, saying the test is “directly related to training and it’s directly related to coming out of a school psych program with no experience and what you should know.”
“The people that make up the test with ETS are school psychologists, they’re trainers…. The cut score generally, it’s not too low,” Dr. Miranda said. “This test is directly related to the training that students get.”
Member Fessler said she would still vote against the adoption of the new Praxis based on her own negative experience.
Meryl Johnson, the District 11 member from Cleveland, asked if the 5403 version is more challenging, to which Yenetta Harper, director of ODE’s Office of Educator Effectiveness, said the latest version is aligned to the current standards set by NASP, which is what programs are aligned to.
The board is expected to hold a committee vote in May and then will take up full board consideration in June.
A separate committee of the board voted out the rules associated with the new law to expand the developmental delay identification from ages 3-6 to 3-9, which was passed by the legislature late last year. The rules received no public comments, nor did any board members engage in discussion of the changes. As a result the rules were voted unanimously out of committee. They will head to the full board in May for approval.
During day two of the meeting, the board voted on a resolution offered jointly by bipartisan pair Brendan Shea (District 5-London) and Dr. Christina Collins (District 7-Medina) to discourage the legislature from passing a bill (SB 1) to strip the state board of the majority of its duties and convert ODE into the Department of Workforce and Education led by a governor’s appointee. The bill also demotes the superintendent of public instruction role down to one of board secretary.
The so-titled “Resolution to Preserve Transparency and Public Participation in Ohio K-12 Education” can be found HERE.
And as for the superintendent search, the board again voted to postpone awarding a contract to a search firm to start that process. Meanwhile Interim Superintendent of Public Instruction Stephanie Siddens earlier in the week announced she would be accepting the role of assistant superintendent at Upper Arlington City Schools in central Ohio effective in July.