Technical Manual: Introduction

Document Purpose and Design

The purpose of this Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) Technical Manual is to provide the following types of information:

  • the purpose, composition, and structure of the MTTC tests (described in this Introduction)
  • the test development process used for developing and updating the MTTC tests (in Test Development Process)
  • the processes used in the implementation of the MTTC tests, including test construction and administration, test scoring, and score reporting (in Test Operations)
  • annual candidate performance and test statistics (in Annual Reports)

The composition and structure of the tests, and the processes and activities described, beginning with the inception of the testing program in 1992, are the results of an ongoing collaborative effort between the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson and the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).

This manual is intended for an audience of policymakers, state educators, and other stakeholders involved with the MTTC program.

This manual is designed to provide evidence of the MTTC program's adherence to the standards that govern the development and administration of professional licensing exams such as the MTTC tests. The standards that the MTTC tests follow relate to fundamental considerations in the development and administration of tests, including those regarding test validity, reliability of measurement, and fairness in testing. Additionally, the MTTC tests follow standards related to test specifications, test design and development, passing scores, scoring scales, test administration, and test scoring and reporting.

The manual is formatted so as to present the applicable standards from the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, National Council on Measurement in Education, 2014) followed by supporting evidence of the MTTC program's adherence to each standard. The documentation includes descriptions and data regarding MTTC test development, test operations, and annual candidate performance and test statistics. This manual provides documentation called for in the following standards:

Standard 7.0 Information relating to tests should be clearly documented so that those who use tests can make informed decisions regarding which test to use for a specific purpose, how to administer the chosen test, and how to interpret test scores.

Standard 7.4 Test documentation should summarize test development procedures, including descriptions and the results of the statistical analyses that were used in the development of the test, evidence of the reliability/precision of scores and the validity of their recommended interpretations, and the methods for establishing performance cut scores. Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA & NCME, 2014)

This manual is designed to provide information related to the development and administration of all MTTC tests within the body of the manual and to provide links to field-specific data and other information.

The Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC): Purpose, Composition, and Structure

Standard 1.0 Clear articulation of each intended test score interpretation for a specified use should be set forth... Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA & NCME, 2014)

Section 1531 of Public Act 451 (1976) opens in a new window, most recently amended in September 2018, mandates a testing program as part of Michigan's teacher certification requirements. A passing score on one or more MTTC tests is a requirement for obtaining educator certification in Michigan. The intended use of the MTTC tests is to make pass/fail classifications for the purpose of educator credentialing (i.e., to confer a teaching certificate or endorsement). The purpose of the tests is to ensure that each certified teacher has the level of knowledge and skills required to perform effectively the job of a qualified Michigan educator in their content area. The tests are not the only basis on which prospective teachers are judged in Michigan, nor are the knowledge and skills covered by the tests the only types of knowledge and skills, or the only professional and personal qualifications, those teachers must have. The tests represent one prerequisite for obtaining a teaching certificate or endorsement in Michigan.

The purpose of the MTTC tests is described further in About the Tests.

To see specific information about any test in the MTTC program, including the types of items on the test, select it from the list below to view the test page:

Further information about testing requirements for certification in Michigan may be found under What Tests Do I Need to Take?

A brief overview and program background can be found in the Executive Summary.

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