Framework for classroom observation developed

Teachscape and Educational Testing Service (ETS) have partnered to create the Framework for Teaching Proficiency System. Developed in conjunction with Charlotte Danielson, the developer of the Framework for Teaching, the Proficiency System offers a complete research-based online solution for training and testing observers to accurately and reliably assess teaching practice – an essential foundation in preparing for teacher evaluations.

The Teachscape and ETS partnership stems from the companies’ work on the Measure of Effective Teaching (MET) project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As part of the project, Teachscape captured video footage of 20,000 lessons from 3,000 classrooms. The systems, tools and methodology for then scoring these classroom lessons relative to the Danielson instructional framework was also developed by Teachscape, in collaboration with Danielson and ETS.

“The MET-based Proficiency System has now been implemented successfully with hundreds of observers from the MET study,” said Mark Atkinson, founder and chief strategist of Teachscape. “In the MET project, we were able to develop a first generation proficiency test of this kind. Now, the Framework for Teaching Proficiency System is available to help all districts improve the accuracy, reliability and validity of the teacher observation process.”

As a result of state and federal policy initiatives and an increasing emphasis on performance-based teacher evaluation systems, there is an ongoing need to train observers and provide evidence of their ability to accurately and reliably assess teaching practice. To address this need, the Framework for Teaching Proficiency System offers three components containing more than 15 hours of self-paced online training and more than 100 master-scored videos covering all proficiency ranges for grades K-12.

“Together with Teachscape, we can now deliver sound, tested and practical tools for teacher evaluation,” said Linda Tyler, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Teacher Licensure and Certification, ETS. “The Proficiency System is instrumental in providing districts the support they need to train and certify observers so that they demonstrate understanding of how to accurately and reliably assess teaching practice. It is a vital component of any fair and equitable approach to teacher evaluation.”