Master Reading Teacher (MRT) Test Frequently Asked Questions Question About and Preparing for the MRT Test 1. What is a Master Reading Teacher? A Master Reading Teacher (MRT) is an individual who holds a Master Reading Teacher certificate and whose primary duties are to teach reading and to serve as a reading mentor to other teachers. Additional information about the Master Reading Teacher Program can be found on the Texas Education Website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/curriculum/mrt.html . 2. What is the purpose of the Master Reading Teacher program? The Master Reading Teacher program was implemented as part of the Texas Reading Initiative to ensure that all Texas students are reading on grade level by grade 3 and that their reading knowledge and skills grow throughout their public school careers. The goals of both the Master Reading Teacher program are to provide proficient teachers with the tools to enhance their expertise in the content and pedagogy of reading, and to guide fellow teachers in improving their reading instruction. 3. Who is eligible to obtain a Master Reading Teacher certificate? The Master Reading Teacher Certificate may be obtained by individuals who: • Hold a Texas Reading Specialist Certificate (an Elementary Certificate with a specialization in reading does not satisfy this requirement) AND complete a State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) – approved Master Reading Teacher preparation program that focuses on developmental reading; reading instruction at all levels, especially for limited-English-proficient students and those with dyslexia and related disorders; as well as peer-mentoring techniques; OR • Hold a teaching certificate, have at least three years of teaching experience, complete an SBEC-approved Master Reading Teacher preparation program, AND pass the Master Reading Teacher certification test. 4. What is the Master Reading Teacher test like? The MRT test is criterion referenced. It is designed to measure the knowledge and skills delineated in the MRT test framework, which is based on the MRT standards. The MRT test is designed to measure the requisite knowledge and skills that an initially certified Texas Master Reading Teacher must possess. This test includes mutiple-choice items as well as a case study assignment for which candidates will construct a written response. 5. Where and when is the MRT test given? The test is administered on the same dates and in the same locations as the Examinations for the Certification of Educators in Texas (ExCET) and Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TexES). A list of exact test dates, times, and locations of MRT test administration is availiable on the SBEC website at http://www.mrt.nesinc.com/ . Questions About Obtaining an MRT Certificate 1. Which students are targeted as specific recipients of the benefits of the Master Reading Teacher program? The Master Reading Teacher Grant Program offers a $5000 stipend for each MRT who teaches on a “high-need” campus. MRTs are not required to teach on a campus designated as "high-need,” but stipends provide incentive for MRTs to use their skill to benefit public school students in areas of greatest need. A “high-need” campus is one that meets criteria established by the Commissioner of Education. These criteria are based on campus performance on state mandated student assessment. A list of eligible campuses is availiable on the Texas Education Website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/curriculum/mrt.html . 2. Can a person serve as an MRT on a campus that has not been designated as a “high-need” campus? Yes, however that person will not be eligible for the state stipend. 3. If I am a certified MRT, will I automatically receive the $5000 stipend? No. To receive the stipend, the certified MRT must be employed on one of the “high- need” campuses and be designated by the district as one of the individuals to receive the stipend. 4. How long will my MRT stipend last? Currently, the period of the stipend is three years from school year 2000/2001 to 2002/2003 and assitional funding will be contingent upon legislature appropriation. 5. When will I receive my MRT stipend? You will receive your stipend at the end of the school year. 6. If I don’t complete my requirements for MRT certification until the middle of the school year, will I receive the stipend for the entire school year? No. You will receive the stipend only for the portion of the school year during which you were certified. 7. Must my school district apply to TEA so that I can receive my MRT stipend? Yes. Your school district must submit an application to TEA. Information is located at the TEA website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/curriculum/mrt.html . 8. How many hours a day must an MRT teach? Local districts will determine how best to utilize the expertise of the MRT, as long as the MRT serves as a teacher and as a reading mentor for other teachers. TEA and SBEC will produce a document that provides models of how MRTs are actually being used in Texas schools. Questions About MRT Preparation Programs 1. Who is offering a Master Reading Teacher preparation program? All MRT preparation programs must be approved by the SBEC. A list of these approved programs is located on the SBEC website at http://www.sbec.state.tx.us/mtp/mrt/mrt_progstatus.htm . 2. Are some MRT preparation programs different from others? Yes. All MRT preparation programs must be based on the MRT standards, but each program has latitude in how it is configured. Most of the MRT preparation programs offer coursework that is geared to the needs of the individual candidate. Many programs include a practicum, some programs lead to a master’s degree, a few programs are partly web-based, and other programs target teachers in the district in which the program is offered. Potential MRT candidates should contact the individual programs for specific information. 3. Is the MRT program a master’s degree program? No. Having a master’s degree is not a requirement for obtaining an MRT certificate. However, some MRT preparation programs permit their MRT coursework to count toward a master’s degree. Questions About Obtaining an MRT Certificate 1. Must I be already certified in reading to become a candidate for the MRT certificate? No. You may be a certified teacher in any field. You must also have at least three years teaching experience, complete an approved MRT preparation program, and pass the MRT Test. 2. If I receive a Reading Specialist certificate after I enroll in an MRT program but before I take the MRT Test, do I still have to take the MRT Test? No. An individual who becomes fully certified as a Reading Specialist prior to taking the MRT Test is not required to take the MRT Test. 3. Can I apply for the MRT certificate as an out-of-state candidate or through certification by examination? No. Legislation requires that all MRT certification candidates complete an approved MRT preparation program. 4. If I have an out-of-state Reading Specialist certificate, am I required to take the MRT Test in order to be certified as an MRT? You must either pass the ExCET Reading Specialist Test and obtain a Texas Reading Specialist certificate, or pass the MRT Test. All MRT candidates must also complete an approved MRT preparation program. 5. Is the MRT certificate for both elementary and secondary teachers? Yes. The MRT certificate is an all-level certificate. 6. How do I apply for the MRT certificate? When you have completed the requirements of your MRT program and have passed the MRT Test, if necessary, your MRT program will recommend you for certification and complete a form that must be sent to SBEC along with a $75 check for the certificate. If your program submits this form within 60 days of the time that you are recommended for certification, the effective date of your certificate will be the date that you were recommended. This is especially important if you are eligible to receive an MRT stipend. Questions About Preparing for the MRT Test 1. How can I get a MRT Test Preparation Manual? You can download the MRT Test Preparation Manual from the SBEC website http://www.mrt.nesinc.com/ or obtain one from your MRT preparation program. 2. Will there be a form of the MRT Test that is released? Yes. A form of the test will be released for purchase to the MRT programs for use with MRT candidates. 3. On the MRT Test, is there a specific amount of time allotted for the case study assignment? No. The entire test must be completed in the five-hour session.
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