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New Principles to Help Secure Student, Teacher Privacy in Performance Assessment

A set of principles released this month gives educators and policy makers new guidance on the secure and ethical use of video and other classroom materials gathered as part of preservice teacher preparation. A task force of educators led by AACTE created the principles to ensure the privacy of those whose images and work are captured in the performance assessment of aspiring teachers.

The 27-member task force began convening last fall, meeting several times to develop the principles and supporting documents. Their brief brochure, “Securing Personal Information in Performance Assessment of Teacher Candidates,” explains the importance of videos and other artifacts in teacher performance assessment and introduces nine principles to guide those involved in creating or reviewing materials that include student images or identifying information.

The task force was made up of educators and officials in local, state, and national roles from both PK-12 and higher education. The roster included representatives from the Data Quality Campaign, the National Center for Learning Disabilities, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association, and AASA, the School Superintendents Organization, among others.

“The widespread participation in the task force underscores the education community’s recognition of the importance of this issue,” said AACTE President/CEO Sharon P. Robinson. “As the performance assessment of teacher candidates continues to grow, every one of us is committed to making student, candidate, and teacher privacy—and the public’s confidence—a top priority.”

AACTE convened the task force to help address questions and improve practices around the collection of teacher work samples from classrooms.

Such samples, particularly video recordings, are used frequently by higher education faculty to review the work of teacher candidates, or as part of state licensure or certification requirements. PK-12 schools are partners in this process, because they host student teachers in their classrooms and work with educator preparation programs to coordinate clinical experiences for aspiring teachers. 

“Teachers welcome the opportunity to work with aspiring educators and to mentor them through their clinical experience and assessment, but we want to make sure we’re incorporating new technologies appropriately and safeguarding everyone’s privacy,” said task force member Maria Leyva, Region 4 director, Arizona Education Association. “The task force put a lot of thought into creating practical guidance for teachers and educator preparation programs to promote the secure use of video and other classroom materials.”

Each year, an estimated 193,000 aspiring teachers graduate from some 2,200 preparation providers. Due to recent changes in state law, policies, or local program practices, many of these candidates now must complete performance assessments that require them to demonstrate they can teach by sharing examples of their work with faculty, peers, and independent reviewers. They submit evidence including lesson plans, student work samples, written reflections, and classroom video of actual teaching performance.

The brochure “Securing Personal Information in Performance Assessment of Teacher Candidates” is available for download from AACTE’s web site along with one-page handouts for different audiences, including parents, cooperating PK-12 teachers, and policy makers. Supporters also can download a digital badge and post it online to affirm their commitment to protecting the privacy of students, teachers, and teacher candidates as part of performance assessment.

For more information, visit http://aacte.org/qsc.

The following organizations were represented in the AACTE Information Privacy Task Force: AASA – The School Superintendents Association, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, American Federation of Teachers, American Indian Higher Education Consortium, Arizona Education Association, Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, Data Quality Campaign, Foresight Law + Policy, The Foundation Schools, Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Center for Learning Disabilities, National Education Association, National PTA, SAS Institute Inc., and Tennessee Department of Education.

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