Teacher Performance Assessment to evaluate teaching candidates

The Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC), represented by The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and TaskStream, provider of Web-based software and supporting services for electronic portfolios and performance assessment, today announced a partnership to support the implementation of a groundbreaking national effort to measure teacher effectiveness in the classroom.

The TPAC, comprised of more than 70 teacher preparation institutions from 21 pilot states, plans to pilot and implement a new Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) for evaluating teacher candidates, setting the stage for training teachers throughout their careers. The TPA is a systematic measure of teacher effectiveness modeled after the INTASC teacher portfolio project, and on the highly successful Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) for pre-service teachers.

The Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) 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’s electronic portfolio platform will streamline the collection, analysis and scoring of the evidence, providing teacher preparation programs with the tools they need to prepare effective teachers for the classroom and to inform continuous program improvement.

Ray Pecheone from Stanford University stated, “This initiative aims to design and field-test a nationally accessible performance assessment for beginning teachers to analyze teachers' ability to support and advance student achievement; 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 contribute in an important way to the development of a more coherent national policy environment for teacher licensure, recruitment, and in-service evaluation.”

“We are thrilled to see the pioneering work in teacher performance assessment extending out on a national level through TPAC,” said TaskStream President Webster Thompson. “This is an important initiative for American education, and TaskStream is committed to helping ensure its success.”

TaskStream has played a vital role in helping institutions assess the performance of their teacher candidates for over a decade by providing the technology and support necessary to collect and score student work, aggregate and report the results, and analyze the data to evaluate program effectiveness. Educators at these institutions and around the world use TaskStream’s e-Portfolio and performance assessment system to gather papers, projects, lesson plans, videos and other examples of students’ work, evaluate their learning and provide them with real-time feedback.

“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, while states and school districts will have a common framework to inform best practices for improving student learning,” said AACTE President and CEO Sharon P. Robinson, Ed.D. “TaskStream’s technology and expertise will be vital in helping these constituents to manage assessments successfully and expand the scope of work beyond teacher preparation and into the classroom.”

The partnership between TaskStream and TPAC will begin in spring of 2011, through administration of a pilot with approximately 1,700 students in teacher preparation programs and continue into 2012 with a full field test consisting of a much larger population of aspiring teachers.