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Missouri To Launch Performance-Based Assessments for Teacher Candidates

Missouri has entered into an agreement to develop performance-based assessments for teacher candidates seeking licenses.

Part of the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments (MEGA) and dubbed the Missouri Standards-Based Performance Assessments, the tests will be developed by Missouri and Electronic Testing Services (ETS) under a three-year contract. With a focus on helping candidates to relate instruction to learning, the tests will be "designed to identify strengths and weaknesses, contribute to a development plan for professional growth, and develop more effective teachers in the classroom," according to an ETS news release.

The assessments will include entrance examinations with a formative task for candidates entering a teacher prep program, and exit examinations with one formative and three summative tasks. According to a news release about the agreement, areas assessed in the exit examinations will include:

  • "Beginning steps of student teaching";
  • "Assessment and the use of data collection to measure student learning";
  • "Instruction and Technology"; and
  • Standards and "a candidate's ability to use research-based instructional strategies, adapt instruction for individual needs and reflect on practice."

"In addition, the pre-service assessment is aligned to Missouri's Standards for Teacher Education Program, Content Standards, and the Common Core State Standards," said George Powell, ETS vice president and COO of teacher licensure and certification programs, in a prepared statement. "This provides the state with a quality, research-based assessment to help them place effective teachers in their classrooms."

After completion of the exit examination, candidates will receive a "Professional Competency Profile" outlining areas for individual professional development.

"One of our primary goals is developing and supporting effective educators who can provide students with the skills and knowledge they need for success in postsecondary education and the workplace," said Paul Katnik, interim assistant commissioner for the Office of Educator Quality at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, in a prepared statement. "The performance assessments will help prospective educators make the most of their student teaching experience as they prepare to enter the teaching profession."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].