The California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) was developed to meet requirements of laws relating to credentialing and employment. This test requirement does not replace any of the other requirements of subject matter knowledge, professional preparation, and practice teaching or field experience applicable to the issuance of credentials. The CBEST is designed to test basic reading, mathematics, and writing skills found to be important for the job of an educator; the test is not designed to measure the ability to teach those skills.
The California legislation that established the CBEST directed the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, in conjunction with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) and an Advisory Board consisting of a majority of educators from California classrooms, to develop the CBEST. The development of the CBEST included definition of the primary skills to be tested; test-item writing and review for relevance to the specified skill areas; field testing; a validity study focusing on the accuracy, fairness, clarity, and job relevance of each test item; bias reviews; standard-setting studies; and determination of the passing scores. Since the initial development of the CBEST, new test items have been developed by contractors and all items have been reviewed by committees of California educators to verify that they meet test specifications adopted by the CTC and are free of bias.
The Evaluation Systems group of Pearson was contracted by the CTC to assist in the development, administration, and scoring of the CBEST.
The California Basic Skills Requirement
California Education Code Sections 44252 and 44252.6 specify that candidates must demonstrate, in English, proficiency in basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills.
Several legislative changes to California Education Code allow teacher candidates to demonstrate proficiency in basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills through several options, including passage of the CBEST.
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