About the Tests

The tests are criterion referenced and objective based. Criterion-referenced tests are designed to measure a candidate's knowledge and skills in relation to an established standard of performance (a criterion) rather than in relation to the performance of other candidates. The tests are designed to help identify those candidates who have the level of knowledge and skills required to perform satisfactorily as educators.

About the Foundations of Reading Test

In 2011, based upon recommendations of Wisconsin's Read to Lead Task Force, Wisconsin implemented several new initiatives to ensure the success of PK–12 student reading skills. Among the initiatives outlined in Act 166 is a new testing requirement in the content of reading instruction for prospective teachers in Wisconsin.

Beginning on January 31, 2014, candidates in Wisconsin applying for an initial teaching license in grades Kindergarten through 5 or special education, or for a license as a reading teacher or reading specialist, as listed below, will be required to take and pass the Foundations of Reading test, a test of reading instruction knowledge and skills administered by the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson.

  • Early Childhood – Regular Education (70–777)
  • Early Childhood – Special Education (70–809)
  • Early Childhood – Middle Childhood (71–777)
  • Middle Childhood – Early Adolescence (72–777)
  • Middle Childhood – Early Adolescence Cross Categorical (72–801)
  • Middle Childhood – Early Adolescence Specific Learning Disabilities (72–811)
  • Middle Childhood – Early Adolescence Emotional Behavioral Disabilities (72–830)
  • Middle Childhood – Early Adolescence Cognitive Disabilities (72–810)
  • Early Adolescence – Adolescence Cross Categorical (73–801)
  • Early Adolescence – Adolescence Specific Learning Disabilities (73–811)
  • Early Adolescence – Adolescence Emotional Behavioral Disabilities (73–830)
  • Early Adolescence – Adolescence Cognitive Disabilities (73–810)
  • Early Childhood – Adolescence Visual Impairments (74–825)
  • Reading Teacher (316)
  • Reading Specialist (17)

The Foundations of Reading test reflects scientifically based reading research and is in alignment with the Common Core State Standards. The test assesses a candidate's proficiency in and depth of understanding of the subject of reading and writing development by measuring areas of knowledge called subareas. Within each subarea, statements of important knowledge, called objectives, define the content of the test. The test objectives are available by selecting "Test Framework" on the preparation materials page.

About the NES® (National Evaluation Series™)

The NES is a national teacher certification testing program. The NES teacher certification tests are comprehensive exams aligned to professionally accepted national learning standards, covering areas such as essential academic skills, reading instruction, and commonly taught elementary, middle, and secondary grade-level subjects.

The NES tests are 100% computer-based. A computer-based test design means access to tests by appointment, year round—examinees do not have to wait for an assigned date before testing in a specific field—and immediate score reporting for most results.

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