Performance assessments that serve as a gateway to teacher preparation programs (i.e., Praxis Core, similar state-developed assessments) are intended to measure students’ basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics. While these skills have no correlation to a candidate’s ability to be successful in a preparation program or relationship to effective teaching, many states require educator preparation programs (EPPs) to ascribe to the use of entrance assessments as a perquisite for program admissions.
The AACTE Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA) is examining how cut scores are being set for these assessments and its impact on aspiring teachers and the teacher-of-color pipeline. In its recent infographic, The Impact of Program Entrance Assessments on Aspiring Teachers and the Teacher of Color Pipeline, AACTE highlights key themes and findings from focus groups held with in-service teachers, teacher candidates of color at various institutions, and faculty of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
As we head into Congressional recess, behind the scenes things are heating up surrounding the passage of an FY22 appropriations bill which includes historic increases for education funding. The Senate passed a stop-gap funding measure on Thursday that, once signed by the President will give Members and their staff another three weeks to cement a deal on FY22. The proposed increases to education funding are critical in supporting rebuilding and diversifying the educator pipeline-now is the time to make sure your voices are heard.
This perspective, written by the North Carolina Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NCACTE) Advocacy and Policy Committee, originally appeared on NdNC.org and is reprinted with permission.
The purpose of this update is to provide feedback to educational partners on the North Carolina Association for the Colleges of Teacher Educator’s (NCACTE) collective perceptions of the current policy discussions related to revising the teacher licensure process in North Carolina. These proposals were originally suggested by the Human Capital Roundtable and have been reviewed over the last year by PEPSC subcommittees. This document was created by the NCACTE Advocacy & Policy Committee, almost all of whom serve on one of the subcommittees.
After spending many months in meetings, reviewing documents, and listening to feedback from all stakeholders involved, we have synthesized our thoughts here. While we believe this work has progressed, there are still several areas where we believe additional work is needed. We would like to thank PEPSC for this work and continue to offer our service as these issues evolve. We ask for the reader’s indulgence in reviewing this entire document carefully.
In our discussions, three priorities emerged (in no particular order):
For nearly a decade, AACTE hosted the informational website containing assessment materials and resources to support the exploration and implementation of the edTPA as a communication partner with Stanford University and the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson.
Beginning in January 2022, AACTE transitioned out of its role as a communication partner and edTPA users are now being supported by the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson.
AACTE’s Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA) project recently released a framing paper titled The History, Current Use, and Impact of Entrance and Licensure Examinations Cut Scores on the Teacher-of-Color Pipeline: A Structural Racism Analysis. The paper addressed the following questions: (1) How are standardized entrance and licensure tests being used as a gateway into the profession? (2) Who determines cut scores for these tests? and (3) What is the historical significance and implications of these tests on the diversity of the profession today?
Lindenwood University represents one of fourteen lead institutions that comprise the CREA project. Tammy Moore, director of certification and field/clinical experiences at Lindenwood, reflects on the effects of entrance assessment requirements at her institution and her institution’s plans to ensure equitable access for all students who choose to pursue teacher education.
Why did Lindenwood University pursue membership in the CREA project?
Lindenwood University – College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) pursued the CREA project to participate in an initiative designed to support our continual efforts to recruit and retain teacher candidates of color. In direct alignment with Lindenwood COEHS commitment to “… an open, diverse, and inclusive learning environment that nurtures the growth and development of all …” the CREA project embodies our commitment to diversifying the teaching profession.
AACTE’s Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA) project recently released a framing paper titled The History, Current Use, and Impact of Entrance and Licensure Examinations Cut Scores on the Teacher-of-Color Pipeline: A Structural Racism Analysis. The paper addressed the following questions: (1) How are standardized entrance and licensure tests being used as a gateway into the profession? (2) Who determines cut scores for these tests?, and (3) What is the historical significance and implications of these tests on the diversity of the profession today?
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (UWW) represents one of fourteen lead institutions that comprise the CREA project. Lana Collet-Klingenberg, professor and interim associate dean at UWW recently reflected on the effects of entrance assessment requirements at her institution and her institution’s plans to ensure equitable access for all students who choose to pursue teacher education.
Why did University of Wisconsin – Whitewater pursue membership in the CREA project?
Increasing the diversity in our educator workforce is a high priority for our state and our institution. By many measures Wisconsin is failing when it comes to equity in our schools and in our educator workforce. As the EPP that prepares the most first-time licensed teachers in the state, we are interested in any initiative that advances the cause. In addition, in an effort to lessen the number of barriers for prospective teachers, our state changed rule, providing EPP with flexibility regarding what measures we use for admission. In our state, students can meet requirements with GPA OR test scores. Our state is continuing to address removal of barriers by recently changing rule again to allow for alternate measures to GPA for licensure (which, in turn, will allow greater flexibility with admission requirements). I believe our inclusion in the project is a means of sharing these avenues with states still requiring standardized test performance as the primary admission pathway.
As the fall semester creeps to a close, it’s easy to forget about all that is available to you via your AACTE membership. Check out these member resources:
Resource Library – Have you accessed the AACTE Resource Library lately? If so, you have probably noticed a few changes, including a single sign on system. AACTE has completed its database migration and with that you will find a seamless way to transition between your AACTE profile and the improved AACTE Resource Library. Feel free to view some of the latest resources below:
The reading and mathematics scores of 13-year-old students fell between 2012 and 2020—the first time in the almost 50-year history of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) long-term trend (LTT) assessment—according to results released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The performance of 9-year-olds remained the same in both subjects compared to 2012.
In both age groups and subjects, the scores of lower-performing students declined since 2012, the previous assessment year, mirroring patterns observed in other subjects assessed by NAEP, also known as The Nation’s Report Card.
The University of Rhode Island’s Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies will represent the state as a lead institution in the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments, an initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that engages 14 states in a study of state-level tests and qualifying scores for entry into educator preparation programs.
URI will collaborate with the Rhode Island Department of Education, Rhode Island College, Central Falls School District, and Pawtucket School Department to examine state data and practices, as well as engage in quarterly convenings to inform guidelines and recommendations for setting qualifying cores for educator preparation program entry and exit.
The Consortium for Research-Based and Equitable Assessments (CREA) is seeking your help to recruit teacher candidates, teachers, and faculty for its upcoming focus groups. The Consortium, which is comprised of educator preparation programs (EPPs) and state and local education agency representatives across 14 states, is examining the processes and considerations that states use to determine cut scores for entrance (i.e., Praxis Core) and teacher licensure examinations.
Through data collection of key stakeholders, analysis of trends and policies, and shared learning, the Consortium will produce recommendations and guidelines to establish equitable criteria for setting qualifying scores and model state policies that promote equity and diversity in the profession.
This fall, AACTE is excited to continue supporting an opportunity for members to try out the PlanWise™ tool, a Chrome Extension developed by ETS and focused on delivering formative assessment practices and strategies. The PlanWise™ tool meets teachers where they are in a number of ways, including providing suggestions for formative assessment strategies to teachers and pre-service teachers while they are lesson planning in Google Docs.
Five AACTE member institutions have participated in introductory sessions and have determined that they are interested in trying out the PlanWise™ tool with their pre-service teachers. We are welcoming an additional five institutions to try out the tool this fall.
This article originally appeared in Diverse Issues in Higher Education and is reprinted with permission.
The “fragility of our democracy” was made evident by the events of Jan. 6 at the United States Capitol, which was incited by rhetoric around election fraud, according to Harvard University’s James Bryant Conant University Professor Dr. Danielle Allen.
As misinformation and government-related conspiracy theories continue to divide the nation, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the Educating for American Democracy initiative co-hosted a webinar on Tuesday to discuss the need to promote civic readiness within the K-12 education system.
The event, “Monitoring Civic Learning Opportunities and Outcomes: State of the Field and Future Directions,” noted inadequate support for civics education from policymakers and education leaders.
Have you tried using video in your methodology courses? As the place where student teachers connect theory to practice, methods courses are perfect for video—whether you teach in person or online.
Many teacher ed programs relied on video for remote instruction during the pandemic, but some used it long before 2020—and for good reason. Research shows that video plus feedback improves student skills. In methods courses, video gives you a way to
- Show students what theoretical methods look like in practice.
- Enable students to practice methods in small groups.
- Record and give personalized feedback as students apply methods in the field.
Don’t miss your opportunity to pilot test PlanWise™ tool, a Chrome Extension developed by ETS and focused on delivering formative assessment practices and strategies.
AACTE, in collaboration with ETS, is excited to provide all of its members with this exciting opportunity. The PlanWise™ tool meets teachers where they are in a number of ways, such as providing suggestions for formative assessment strategies to teachers and teacher candidates while they are lesson planning in Google Docs. After an initial pilot with K-12 teachers, novice teachers noted the value and the utility of the tool in identifying a variety of new formative assessment strategies and indicated that the strategies increased their use of formative assessment with students.
There is wide recognition that history and civics have been neglected disciplines in American K-12 education. Recent events, including the January 6 insurrection of the U.S. Capitol, underscored this point and the need to elevate learning in these essential disciplines.
The Educating for American Democracy (EAD) initiative has garnered broad cross-partisan and stakeholder support as a way to re-imagine and re-prioritize the important civic mission of K-12 public education. AACTE became an EAD organizational Champion in 2021 and is developing professional development that addresses inquiry-based civic instruction in our member educator preparation programs. AACTE is participating in the upcoming webinar, Monitoring Civic Learning Opportunities and Outcomes: State of the Field and Future Directions, on July 13