Subject-Specific Content Standards
SCALE teaching performance assessments (TPAs) share a focus on subject-specific pedagogical skills applied to the teaching of real students in real classrooms. They also provide an integrated approach to examining several dimensions of teaching – planning, instruction, assessment, or reflection – over an extended period of time.
At the pre-service level, a growing body of evidence suggests that the use of these kinds of performance-based assessments can focus preparation programs on helping candidates attain important teaching abilities (Tracz et al., 1994; Wilson, Darling-Hammond, & Berry, 2001; Pecheone & Chung, 2005). Boyd et al. (2006) assert that teachers who engage in coursework activities that are closely related to the practices they would engage in as new teachers were more likely to be effective in their first year. Engagement in authentic tasks of teaching applied to subject-specific standards and the context of real students creates an experience in which serious discourse about teaching can occur that can guide candidate development and program improvement.
SCALE recruits leading subject-specific experts to advise the assessment’s Design Team, building subject-specific elements into the design of the assessment and the rubrics used to assess a candidate’s performance.
Teaching Content Standards
Simultaneously, SCALE assessments assess candidate proficiency on state or nationally validated teaching standards. Assessment tasks and rubrics are aligned to state teaching standards. In the design of the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium assessment, a common assessment for use in teacher licensing decisions across 20 states, SCALE looked to existing common standards. SCALE used the current Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) standards along with anticipated revisions to the standards in the development of the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC) assessment. Alignment analyses described below, comparing the INTASC model standards to state teaching standards, showed considerable overlap. The INTASC Model Core Standards for Beginning Teacher Licensing, Assessment and Development, released in 1992, are used by 38 states.
Alignment of State Standards with the INTASC Standards
State education agencies and preparation programs participating in the TPAC planning grant were asked to recruit representatives to complete two analyses: 1) provide a mapping of the overlap between the INTASC model standards and the state teaching standards; and 2) perform an analysis of the degree of alignment between the teaching emphases in the state student content standards and/or curriculum frameworks for each subject area with the PACT Teaching Event.
Comparisons of the INTASC standards and state standards were completed by one or more institutions in seven states. While two states had essentially adopted the INTASC standards, perhaps with some minor modification, the standards in the five other states that submitted comparisons had at least some overlap with all of the INTASC standards. Key parts of each state’s standards that did not share overlap with the INTASC standards were also identified. The working assumption is that if the TPAC assessment is aligned with the current INTASC standards plus areas expected to be added in the current revision of the INTASC standards, it will be at least moderately aligned with teaching standards in these states.
The alignment analyses contributed to the design of the performance standards and scoring criteria (rubrics) by the TPAC Design Team.
Boyd, D., Grossman, P., Lankford, H., Loeb, S., & Wyckoff, J. (2006). How changes in entry requirements alter the teacher workforce and affect student achievement. Education Finance and Policy, 1(2), 176-216.
Pecheone, R. & Chung, R. (2006) Evidence in teacher education: The Performance Assessment for California Teachers. Journal of Teacher Education, 57 (1), 22-36.
Tracz, S.M., Sienty, S., and Mata, S. (1994, February). The self-reflection of teachers compiling portfolios for national certification: Work in progress. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, Chicago.
Wilson, S., Darling-Hammond, L., & Berry, B. (2001). A case of successful teaching policy: Connecticut’s long-term efforts to improve teaching and learning. Seattle: Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy, University of Washington.