In 1991, the Colorado General Assembly approved a significant policy for educational reform: the Educator Licensing Act. This act involved changes in the professional standards for Colorado educational personnel. The law called for the implementation of a testing program as part of the licensing process; the Program for Licensing Assessments for Colorado Educators® (PLACE®) was developed to fulfill this requirement.
The PLACE tests are criterion referenced and objective based. Criterion-referenced tests are designed to measure a candidate's knowledge in relation to an established standard of performance (a criterion) rather than in comparison to the performance of other candidates. The tests are designed to identify those candidates who have the level of knowledge and skills judged important for educators in Colorado schools.
The objectives on which the tests are based reflect Colorado licensing standards, curriculum materials, and the content of educator preparation programs. A content validation survey, involving randomly selected Colorado school personnel and college and university faculty members, was conducted for each test. Each survey participant reviewed the objectives for his or her field to ensure that the objectives selected for the tests are important to the job of a Colorado educator and are used in Colorado schools. The test questions and exercises are matched to specific objectives and have been verified as valid by panels of Colorado educators.
Objectives for each test can be found in the study guide for that test. Study guides are available by selecting "Study Guides" on the PLACE website.
Most PLACE tests include only multiple-choice questions. The tests for languages other than English typically also include written and oral performance assignments. The Special Education Specialist: Visually Impaired (23) test also includes a Braille performance component.
The Basic Skills (90) test is not required for licensing or certification. However, your college or university may recommend that you take this test.
The Basic Skills test includes sections in reading, mathematics, and writing. Both the reading and the mathematics sections consist only of multiple-choice questions; the writing section includes multiple-choice questions and also requires examinees to produce a writing sample.
Note that all PLACE tests may include questions that will not count toward an examinee's score. These questions are placed on the tests to collect information about how they will perform under actual testing conditions.
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