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Kenneth Elpus
Journal of Research in Music Education, 63(3), 322-343
Publication year: 2015

The purpose of this study was to analyze the demographic profile of candidates seeking music teacher licensure in the United States and to understand whether performance on the Praxis II music teacher licensure tests varies systematically as a function of various demographic characteristics. Praxis II music test data and background questionnaire responses, provided by the Educational Testing Service, were analyzed for all examinees from 2007 through 2012 (N‚ÄČ= 20,521). Results showed that music teacher licensure candidates were a highly selected subset of the population. Candidates identified as 86.02% White, 7.07% Black, 1.94% Hispanic, 1.79% Asian, 0.30% Native American/Alaska Native, 0.32% Pacific Islander, 0.82% Multiracial, and 1.74% Other. Compared to various populations of interest with known ethnic/racial compositions, people of color were significantly underrepresented among music teacher licensure candidates, while White people were significantly overrepresented. Analyses of Praxis II music exam scores showed that Praxis II score was significantly associated with race, sex, and other demographic characteristics. Analyses indicated that White candidates earned significantly higher Praxis II scores than did Black candidates and that male candidates earned significantly higher scores than did female candidates. Implications of these results for music teacher education and the diversity of the music teacher workforce are discussed.