Teacher Performance Assessment Frequently Asked Questions
- Which specific NCATE/SPA requirements are being met by TPAC?
At the first national meeting, relative to the TPA grant and possible modification of the PACT assessments to be used in multiple states, the following statement was disseminated to the participating IHEs and SEAs in attendance:
“Because PACT meets the profession’s standards for validity and reliability, NCATE will accept the data from PACT for meeting all of the elements of Standard 1 (Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Professional Dispositions) related to the initial preparation of teachers with the possible exception of professional dispositions. In addition, the use of PACT by institutions would meet most of the requirements of Standard 2 (Assessment System and Unit Evaluation) for initial teacher preparation. Therefore, reporting requirements for accreditation purposes would be greatly reduced for institutions participating in the National Assessment project because the assessment system and data collection, aggregation, and analyses already exist in PACT.
In addition, accredited institutions participating in the National Assessment project would be eligible to select a continuous improvement option rather than a regular accreditation visit for its next NCATE visit. This option would allow the institution to design its self-study around the development and implementation of PACT.
- What is the relationship of the tasks and rubrics to the SPA reports?
See question #1. NCATE is continuing to look at the relationship of SPAs with TPA, since the assessments are content specific teacher performance assessments.
- Will TPAC become a licensure requirement?
That is a consideration for the state SEA(s) to determine.
- How will TPAC be implemented in the resident educator program?
Summative assessments embedded within the Resident Educator Program are currently being discussed. Some conversation has focused around a possible Tier II-type TPA Assessment, to be administered during year three of the four-year Resident Educator Program.
- What is the status of developing assessments for content areas not presently available?
The design team at TPAC is currently working on the development of the assessment tool for Special Education and Early Childhood Education. Other initial teacher education areas unique to Ohio and other states, such as Middle Childhood and others will be developed over time. The goal is to have all Ohio initial teacher preparation licensure areas completed.
- Are there a minimum number of candidates that must be engaged in a pilot?
- May the Phase II Ohio IHEs attempt multiple tasks in their pilot?
Yes, for example if your IHE would like to try planning in one program and assessment of student learning in another that would be fine. As noted at the TPA state conference, “dabble a bit, to get your feet wet.” was advised. Additional advice was to begin with stronger teacher candidates, since the assessment involves more writing than most student teaching assessments.
- Can the complete assessment (3 tasks) be completed during a student teaching experience?
Yes. TPA is considered a capstone-type assessment, so should occur at the end of one’s clinical practice, aka student teaching, for initial teacher preparation programs.
- Can candidates be prepared for the tasks throughout their licensure program?
Yes, think of it as capstone experience, built upon previous learning experiences. For example, as candidates are learning about theorists in foundation courses, one might note possible application of the specific theories in one’s teaching practice.
- How should the tasks be distributed across semesters/terms?
Piloting a task should be completed during a teacher’s clinical practice/student teaching experience.
- How should cooperating teachers be involved in the development of the tasks and rubrics?
They should be made aware of the new task, as one would for any new element being added to a clinical experience. The degree of involvement may vary depending upon the setting and cooperating teacher relationship.
- What will be the process for the Memo of Understanding?
The MOUs will go through an approval process at the Ohio Board of Regents before distribution can occur. They will then be sent to the Dean/Head of the IHEs that attended the November 10 State TPA training conference. Upon completion and submission the tasks will be distributed for the pilot process to begin.
- What is needed to gain IRB approval?
Each IHE participating in the pilot project will need to submit the required paperwork through their respective IRBs.
- What assignments might the TPA replace that we’re already doing?
That will differ according to the structure of one’s current program. Examples of possible similarities might be:
- the Impact on Student Learning assessment being incorporated in task three, Assessment of Student Learning, or
- if a program uses a Teacher Work Sample.
- How is the TPA assessed and who should become trained as assessors?
Trained and calibrated assessors who score candidate performance on each of the TPA are typically education professionals, such as university faculty, K-12 teachers, administrators, supervisors, mentors and support providers, as well as well as retired faculty, teachers, and others. Each teacher preparation program sponsor identifies and ensures that its own assessors have the necessary background and training to assess candidate performance reliably and accurately.
- How is TPA scored?
Each TPA rubric is scored from a low of 1 to a high of 4. The scoring rubrics describe what the candidate’s performance would look like at each score level.