Educational Testing Service

August 03, 2009 09:34 ET

New ETS School Leaders Licensure Assessment to Launch September 2009

Assessment Will Be Shorter, Cost Less

PRINCETON, NJ--(Marketwire - August 3, 2009) - Educational Testing Service today announced that its new School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA) will be administered for the first time on September 12, 2009. The new test is fully aligned with the 2008 Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards and will have a lower fee and a reduced writing burden for candidates.

ETS worked with key stakeholders, including the State Consortium on Education Leadership (SCEL) throughout the development phase. Through its support of the SCEL project sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), ETS development staff kept abreast of the changes that were made to the ISLLC standards.

"School leaders play an increasingly critical role in school and student achievement," says Linda Tyler, ETS Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Teacher Licensure and Certification. "We timed this development project to coincide with the publication of the 2008 ISLLC standards so that states could be assured that their licensure test was aligned with national standards."

ETS convened a National Advisory Committee to oversee the development of the new test. This committee comprised a cross-section of expert practitioners and faculty from 17 states who provided crucial input in the development of the test specifications. Committee members represented a variety of groups, including elementary, middle and secondary educators as well as urban, rural and suburban school districts. Representatives from key organizations, including the National Association of Secondary School Principals, CCSSO and the National Association of Elementary School Principals also observed the development process.

States wishing to use the new SLLA were invited to participate in a Multi-state Standard Setting Process as a step in setting the passing score each state will require for the new test. ETS has the only educator licensure testing program that is currently providing states the opportunity to participate in Multi-state Standard Setting Studies. This process brings together representative groups of up to 50 practicing educators from states wishing to set scores on a particular licensure assessment. The groups make recommendations regarding the level of knowledge and/or skill that would be expected from a beginning practitioner just qualified to begin independent practice as a school leader. Participants in the SLLA Multi-state Standard Setting Study engaged in extensive discussion to define the "just qualified candidate" for school leadership licensure, and they received thorough training in the standard setting approach.

Dr. Shirley Marie McCarther, Assistant Professor in Urban Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, who was a panelist at the study, described the process as "rigorous, comprehensive and thorough." She says, "I have greater confidence in the value of the test score as a result of participating in the Multi-state Standards Setting Panel."

Each state maintains control by setting its own passing score for the SLLA; this study provides valuable judgments to inform their decision. State-specific standard setting studies are also available, but use of the multi-state approach is particularly beneficial in cases where states have difficulty gathering sufficient practicing professionals to engage in these studies.

More information about the new SLLA can be found at

About ETS

At nonprofit ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English-language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually -- including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® test and The Praxis Series™ assessments -- in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.