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POLICY-MAKERS will doubtless be reassured to know that teacher-

training students are being asked to pass numeracy tests. But how much faith should we place in such quality-control systems?

In America, most states require all teachers to pass a range of

pencil-and-paper tests before they enter the classroom.

However, a study from the US National Research Council, "Tests and teaching quality", casts doubt on the link between test results and teacher-effctiveness.

It concludes that, while tests assess knowledge, they are less good at predicting who will be

effective teachers.

They also make it harder for schools to establish a more diverse teaching force because black and Hispanic teachers tend to do less well in such tests.

The report can be read at: www.nap.edubooks0309069467html

Readers can email suggestions on future Internet Insights to Sam Saunders at J.P.Saunders@leeds.ac.uk

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