Educator Assessments | News

TaskStream, TPAC Partner To Measure Teacher Effectiveness

In an effort to evaluate new teaching candidates more effectively and with better long-term results, the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC) and Web software provider TaskStream have joined forces to pilot an in-depth teacher performance assessment (TPA).

The pilot TPA is modeled upon such assessment efforts as the INTASC teacher portfolio project and the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) for pre-service teachers. With a pilot group of more than 70 teacher preparation programs in 21 states, the goals, said Ray Pecheone, executive director of the Stanford Center for Assessment Learning and Equity (SCALE) at the Stanford University School of Education, are "to design and field test a nationally accessible performance assessment for beginning teachers to analyze teachers' ability to support and advance student achievement; [to] play a key role in a system of state assessments, beginning with educator preparation and used in the professional development of in-service educators throughout their careers; and [to] contribute in an important way to the development of a more coherent national policy environment for teacher licensure, recruitment, and in-service evaluation."

According to the TPAC, the assessment "requires candidates to offer evidence of their practice and its outcomes along with analysis of student learning and reflective commentaries which explain the professional judgments underlying their teaching and learning artifacts." TaskStream will manage the data collection and interpretation via its electronic portfolio platform.

"Once the Teacher Performance Assessment has been successfully tested and launched, administrators and faculty in teacher education programs around the U.S. will have a valid, reliable tool to gauge their teacher candidates' effectiveness," said Sharon P. Robinson, president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), the lead partner in the operation of TPAC, "while states and school districts will have a common framework to inform best practices for improving student learning."

The pilot program is set to being in spring 2011 with approximately 1,700 students in the schools of teacher education mentioned. TPAC has slated a much larger field test of the assessment beginning in 2012.

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Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.