The raw or combined scores on the FTCE and FELE are converted to a common measure called a scale score. Reporting on a common scale allows multiple forms of a test to be equated (adjusted to control for varying difficulty levels across forms) and reported using a standard scale that provides the same meaning across all forms of the test. Test forms for each FTCE and FELE test area are equated to a base form that was used by a standard setting committee to establish a minimum passing score for the test area.
The minimum passing scale score for non-performance FTCE and FELE tests is 200. (For performance tests minimum passing scores, please see the FTCE/FELE Maximum Percentages Needed table discussed next.) The number of questions, or correct answers, needed to pass a multiple-choice (MC) test may slightly vary from one form of the test to another. For this reason, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) can only provide general guidelines about how many questions must be answered correctly in order to pass each test. The FTCE/FELE Maximum Percentages Needed to Achieve a Minimum Passing Score table shows the maximum percentage of questions that must be answered correctly in order to pass any of the MC tests/subtests and the passing score information for all performance tests/subtests that are currently being administered. This table is updated regularly as changes may occur due to new test forms.
FTCE and FELE tests are not designed to differentiate across the scale; rather, they are developed as "PASS" / "NOT PASS" assessments with a single passing score to be used for educator certification. For this reason, numeric scores are not provided for examinees who pass to ensure that the scores are not used for purposes other than licensure and certification (e.g., hiring and promotion decisions, gauging eligibility for advanced training).
Maximum scores depend on the number of items, the cut score, and the difficulty of the test forms. These factors can vary from subject area to subject area. Since maximum scale scores can range from the mid-200s to 400s, aggregated FTCE/FELE scale scores are not comparable across subject areas. For example, an average scale score of 220 on the Math 6–12 test is not comparable to an average scale score of 220 on the Biology 6–12 test.
Several tests in the FTCE/FELE program include performance items. Responses to the performance items are scored by qualified educators (raters) using holistic scoring procedures. In these methods, raters judge the overall effectiveness of each response using a set of characteristics that have been defined as important to help inform the overall score. The score is holistic in that each score is based on the overall effectiveness of these characteristics working together, focusing on the response as a whole.
Holistic scoring sessions include a number of different tasks, sets of procedures, and areas of focus. Scoring events for performance assessments are typically seven-day sessions and are conducted on a predetermined schedule throughout the year in order to meet CBT score reporting dates. While sessions may differ slightly for low-incidence fields or for sessions where new prompts/rubrics are introduced, the following topics are critical to conducting FTCE/FELE holistic scoring sessions:
Scoring rubrics and scoring guidelines for FTCE/FELE performance items can be found in the applicable Test Information Guides. More information related to the General Knowledge Essay and the FELE Written Performance Assessment is provided below; for more information regarding the scoring of other performance items, please refer to the relevant Test Information Guides.
Each examinee's response on the General Knowledge Essay is scored holistically by two raters using the scoring rubric available in the Test Information Guide for the General Knowledge Test, which evaluates both the substance of the essay and the composition skills demonstrated by the examinee. These elements include ideas, focus, organization, style (diction and sentence structure), and mechanics (capitalization, punctuation, spelling, and usage). The two raters' scores are combined to achieve the examinee's total score. (If the raters' scores differ by more than one point, an FTCE Chief Rater resolves the discrepancy.) The scoring rubric ranges from 1 to 6 score points, resulting in combined totals that range from 2 to 12 score points. To achieve a passing score of 8 score points, an examinee's response would require a minimum score point of 4 from each rater.
Each response for the FELE Written Performance Assessment is scored holistically by two raters who use the criteria from the 6-point FELE rubric (found in the Test Information Guide for the Florida Educational Leadership Examination) and prompt-specific supplemental rating criteria to evaluate the response. Responses are evaluated for content accuracy, data trend analysis, organization, appropriate audience level, and grammar. The score examinees receive for the Written Performance Assessment is the combined total of the two rater's scores. (If the raters' scores differ by more than one point, a FELE Chief Rater resolves the discrepancy.) The scoring rubric ranges from 1 to 6 score points, resulting in combined totals that range from 2 to 12 score points. To achieve a passing score of 7 score points, an examinee's response would require minimum score points of 3 and 4 from each rater. Examples of FELE supplemental rating criteria can be found on the online FELE Written Performance resource page .
For FTCE and FELE written performance items, it is possible for individuals raters' scores to differ by a single score point. This can occur when an examinee's response (when viewed as a whole) exhibits traits indicative of two consecutive score points and can justifiably and reasonably be seen as, for example, a "high" score point 3 and a "low" score point 4.
Raters are selected and approved by the Department to score based on their qualifications according to criteria defined in conjunction with the Department. While some qualifications may vary depending on the subject matter area and the specific requirements in place at the time the rater was recruited and approved, typically FTCE raters meet the following qualifications:
Additional applicable internal guidelines for FTCE are as follows:
FELE raters must meet the following qualifications:
Additionally, the following internal guideline is applicable:
First-time examinee pass rates for FTCE and FELE are available for review. These longitudinal pass rates are updated annually.
In response to the Race to the Top (RTT) initiative of 2011, the Department has shifted its focus for test development activities to reflect an increase in rigor as it pertains to content and cut scores. These examinations continue to be aligned with state-approved standards for teachers and administrators, where appropriate. A number of strategies were implemented by the Department during test redevelopment beginning in 2011, including:
As a result of these tests' increased rigor and other considerations, there has been a notable change in examinee pass rates as examinees and other stakeholders adjust to the new content and requirements for passing. Please see the "Test Redevelopment" sections of General Knowledge (GK) Test and Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE) for information regarding new passing scores and projected passing rates.
Official score reports are released within 4 to 6 weeks of each examinee's test date, as described within the Score Report Dates schedule. For a test or subtest an examinee does not pass, their official score report will include their numeric score as well as a detailed performance analysis (DPA) report that indicates the number and percentage of multiple-choice questions answered correctly by applicable competency. (More information can be found in Understanding Your Scores.)
Because performance components of FTCE and FELE each assess only a single competency (refer to the appropriate Test Information Guide for details), detailed performance analyses are not available for these components. Further, because of the holistic nature of performance-assessment scoring, raters do not take or provide detailed notes when scoring responses. By referring to the relevant scoring rubrics and scoring guidelines in the Test Information Guides, examinees can better understand why their performance item was evaluated by each rater at a particular score point.
Score verification sessions, provided in accordance with Rules 6A-4.0021(11)(a)(b) and 6A-4.00821(10)(a)(b), F.A.C. , allow examinees an opportunity to identify scoring errors that may result in a scoring change. For multiple-choice tests, examinees who receive a non-passing score within 10 scale score points of the passing scale score (200) are eligible to request an appointment for score verification. This eligibility criterion was put into place to maximize the efficiency and practicality of the process for both examinees and the Department. Score verification sessions are not provided for study purposes; therefore, examinees are not given the correct answers to multiple-choice items and are not provided with information on how to improve responses to performance assessments.
Score Verification is a systematic, detailed process that employs the efforts of multiple assessment personnel, including subject-matter experts, Department staff, and contractor staff. The examinee's fee of $75 funds this process, which includes the production, gathering, and administration of score-verification materials; seat time at the testing site; content expert process fees, and time required by assessment personnel to review challenged items and responses and make informed scoring decisions.
Please visit Score Verification Sessions for more information.