Kaplan Firm Will Offer Preparation for N.T.E.
Founder Says Ed. Schools Are Receptive
The company, the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center--which earlier this year was purchased by the Washington Post Company--was to begin this week offering a course on how to take the National Teacher Examinations Core Battery at its 125 training centers around the country.
"We have had hundreds of requests for such a course over the past two years," said Mr. Kaplan, the founder and president of the 47- year-old firm, which grossed $35-million during the fiscal year ending last December.
The new preparation program is aimed at teacher candidates who must pass the N.T.E. core battery to become certified in their state. It does not prepare students for the N.T.E. subject-area or pre-professional- skills tests, according to Kaplan officials.
According to the Educational Testing Service, the organization that developed and sells the N.T.E., 15 states currently use the core battery, or part of it, as a screening device. The testing service--also the developer of the Scholastic Aptitude Test, which the Kaplan firm has coached thousands of high schoolers for--has often clashed with the firm’s officials over their claims of success in raising students’ test scores.
During 10 four-hour sessions devoted to the N.T.E., trained Kaplan instructors, many of whom are classroom teachers themselves, will review what the teacher candidates must know if they are to do well on the exam, which tests communication skills and general and professional knowledge.
In addition, the students will be taught how to take a standardized test, Mr. Kaplan said. The final session will be a full-scale simulation of the six-hour N.T.E. core battery.
The course fee is $195, which Mr. Kaplan calls an "introductory offer." For their fee, students will also receive home-study materials, developed by Kaplan's research department, and will have the opportunity to review the course sessions on audio tapes. At Kaplan centers where there is little demand for the N.T.E. course, only taped instruction will be offered, company officials said.
"Schools of education are receptive [to the course]," Mr. Kaplan said in an interview. "Their hope is to get most of their students into the profession."
He added: "If the test is one thing that is keeping them out, then [the schools] want them to have some help passing it."
Although he has not conducted a formal study of the program's potential profitability, Mr. Kaplan said, the demand for the course indicates it will make money for the company.
"But I don't just think in terms of dollar signs," he said. "I also try to fill a need."
Other Courses Offered
The Kaplan centers are known for their preparation courses for college, graduate-school, and professional school admissions tests, including the S.A.T., the Graduate Record Examinations, and the Law School Admissions Test. The centers also offer preparation courses for licensing examinations in such fields as accounting, nursing, medicine, and dentistry.
Last year, according to Kaplan officials, nearly 100,000 students enrolled in the courses offered at the firm's 125 permanent centers and 250 temporary ones, often university or school classrooms.
Vol. 05, Issue 01, Page 8