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Postsecondary Assessment

FTCE/FELE: At a Glance

The questions and answers below address the broad FTCE/FELE program topics that are asked about most often.

The Florida Teacher Certification Examinations/Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FTCE/FELE) program allows Florida’s prospective educators to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the areas of general knowledge, professional education competence, educational leadership, and/or subject area knowledge. The FTCE/FELE tests measure prospective teachers’ and school administrators’ achievement of the benchmarks established by the Florida State Board of Education, as stated in Rules 6A-4.0021 and 6A-4.00821 of the Florida Administrative Code (FAC) and published in the Competencies and Skills Required for Teacher Certification in Florida (PDF).

All FTCE and FELE tests are developed using processes that are consistent with national standards and best practices for developing large-scale examinations as articulated in Standards For Educational and Psychological Testing (American Educational Research Association [AERA], American Psychological Association [APA], National Council on Measurement in Education [NCME], 2014).

The State of Florida owns the FTCE and FELE, and the tests fall under the responsibility of the Florida Department of Education. The Department works in partnership with its contractor Pearson, which assists with development, scoring, administration, and customer service activities. All work handled by the contractor is directed, supervised, and reviewed by Department staff.

Subject matter experts (highly qualified K–12 teachers, district coordinators, college and university faculty, and school administrators) from across Florida are instrumental in developing, validating, and finalizing competencies and skills, test items, and test forms. (More than 1,600 individual Florida subject matter experts provided input on the FTCE and FELE between 2011 and 2018!)

Florida’s State Board of Education makes the final decision on test content and passing score requirements.

The test development process itself is dynamic and inclusive! Here’s a useful infographic (PDF). A written summary can be found at http://www.fl.nesinc.com/FL_HowTheTestsWereDeveloped.asp.

The FTCE and FELE are designed so that the public and critical stakeholders have confidence that their teachers and school administrators have met appropriate professional standards as determined by the profession. The Department ensures appropriate rigor and full alignment to the State Board of Education-approved Florida K–12 standards and national, organization, or industry standards where applicable. The tests are designed to determine the beginning effective educator’s readiness to enter our children’s classrooms.

FTCE/FELE pass rates are impacted by various factors, including, but not limited to, the relative “newness” of certain test content and passing requirements and examinees’ levels of preparation. Unlike certification examinations of other professions or agencies, anyone may take any FTCE or FELE exam; no eligibility or readiness requirements exist for test registration, and there is no limit to the number of times examinees can retake an examination they haven’t passed.

Important fact: Over half of all FTCE/FELE examinees come from outside of the state-approved educator programs. Examinees belonging to a state-approved educator program tend to perform significantly better than examinees from outside of these programs.

Longitudinal FTCE/FELE pass-rate statistics may be reviewed in Appendix C (pp. 36–39) of the 2018 FTCE/FELE Annual Administration and Technical Report (PDF). Additionally, you may review program vs. non-program pass rate statistics in Appendix G, beginning on p. 77. Readers should note the pass rates for “best attempt” as compared to pass rates for “first attempt.”

Test fees collected by the Department’s FTCE/FELE contractor (Pearson) are transmitted to the Department daily. The FTCE/FELE program, including staffing and research, is currently funded entirely by examination fees. The program has not been funded by the State Legislature since 2008.

Your test fees are used to support the continued development, administration, scoring, reporting, and quality control of FTCE and FELE tests. They are also used to provide the following testing services:

  • 38 computer-based testing centers statewide for customer convenience;
  • access to nearly 250 additional testing sites outside of the state of Florida;
  • access to approximately 90 additional testing sites at U.S. military sites in the U.S. and abroad;
  • 8 locations statewide where examinees can attend a score verification session;
  • availability of all 42 FTCE/FELE examinations at computer-based testing centers;
  • personal score retrieval via the Internet;
  • diagnostic reporting services for colleges of education and educator preparation institutes;
  • and customer service representatives available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.