The Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) has partnered with the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) and Pearson to create and deliver a reliable and valid performance assessment system for enhancing the quality of teachers in the United States. SCALE developed a pre-service teacher assessment system that is nationally available for states and teacher preparation programs to use in program improvement, licensure, and accreditation. The assessment may also play a key role in strengthening other teacher quality initiatives underway in many states.
The development of a nationally available teacher assessment draws upon the work on teaching standards and teaching assessments in the last two decades. Both the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (National Board) and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) have developed standards and assessments to measure teaching quality. The National Board identifies accomplished teachers and the INTASC prototypes assess beginning teachers in induction. Both Dr. Darling-Hammond and Dr. Pecheone of SCALE have been engaged in National Board development work. Dr. Pecheone led the development of Connecticut’s induction portfolio assessment as well as the INTASC prototype assessments. Both the Connecticut and INTASC assessments differ from previous teacher assessments in that they focus on subject-specific pedagogy and use evidence drawn from an authentic experience teaching a group of students. Both Dr. Darling-Hammond and Dr. Pecheone led the development of a pre-service teacher assessment, the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT).
SCALE led the development work with the assistance of national and state design teams, including representatives from the NCATE Specialized Program Areas (SPAs) and national subject matter organizations. The assessment system is aligned with the newly revised InTASC standards and the Common Core Standards in mathematics and literacy.
The assessment system consists of two components: 1) Embedded Signature Assessments (ESAs) that vary across programs and 2) a common summative portfolio of authentic teaching artifacts and commentaries (TPA). The ESAs are distinctive, formative signature assignments embedded in coursework. They are mission-driven and reflect program-specific teaching philosophies or goals that contribute to the unique character of program graduates. For example, ESAs might include child case studies, planning instructional units, analyses of student work and observations of student teaching.
The edTPA consists of a multiple measure assessment system that documents teaching and learning in 3-5 day learning segment for one class of students. The edTPAs are subject-specific with 17 separate versions for Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle Childhood and Secondary licensure areas. The specific records of practice (evidence) in the edTPA consist of artifacts of teaching (lesson plans, video clips of instruction, student work samples) and reflective commentaries, which justify the professional judgments underlying the teaching and learning artifacts.
With a planning grant from the Ford Foundation, SCALE began recruiting states (the department of education and, if different, the licensure agency) and institutions of higher education (IHEs) as partners in the 2008-09 academic year. A pilot of the edTPA was conducted in 2010-11 in about a dozen states and nearly 1500 candidates. The Consortium now includes 25 states and nearly 200 IHE partners. This Spring (2012), the assessment was field tested with 9000 teacher education candidates from around the country. The assessment is available for state and IHE adoption and delivered operationally by Pearson as of the 2012-13 academic year.
For more information, please see the AACTE edTPA website by clicking this link.