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2012 News | College of Education

UW participates in Teacher Performance Assessment Field Test

By Allen Trent, associate dean for undergraduate studies

The University of Wyoming College of Education is part of a 21-state consortium of colleges and universities field-testing the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA), a summative assessment for student teachers at (or near) the end of their programs.

Approximately 10,000 student teachers across the U.S. will be completing the TPA this year. This assessment is designed to measure a set of core teaching skills that support student learning.

For the TPA, teacher candidates plan and teach a learning segment of three to five connected lessons, videotape some of this teaching, assess their students’ work, provide feedback to support continued student progress, and finally, reflect on the effectiveness of their teaching practices throughout.

The student teachers submit documentation that includes lesson plans, video clips of instruction, student work samples, and self-assessment of their teaching practices used during the learning segment. Trained evaluators then score these assessments.

This spring (2012) all UW elementary education, and secondary English, mathematics, social studies and science student teachers completed this assessment. Additionally, we are introducing components of the assessment throughout the Wyoming Teacher Education Program to position our preservice teachers for success on this evaluation, and ultimately, to be successful classroom practitioners with the knowledge and skills to support all students’ learning.

The TPA has been developed to be a nationally accessible teaching performance assessment that will allow states, school districts and teacher preparation programs to share a common framework for defining and measuring teacher competence.

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and the National Education Association (NEA) have all endorsed the TPA. The data from this field test will be used establish a national standard for entry-level teachers. We are excited about participating in this consortium and believe the performance assessment will help us to continue to produce highly effective teachers.

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