Monday, May 30, 2016

Until Today I'd Not Heard Of This Test

See any potential for misuse or politicizing in the use of a test like this?
A new test known as edTPA, meant to better gauge if teachers are prepared for the classroom, is still getting mixed reviews, according to a pair of studies out this month.

While many teacher recruits like aspects of the test, for which they have to submit a portfolio that includes lesson plans, student assessments and videos of their teaching, they aren’t totally sold, according to a new study that surveyed teaching candidates in two states, Washington and New York. The states are the first to use the edTPA to decide which teachers can be certified to teach.

At the same time, another study released this month, which focused on Washington, found that higher edTPA scores correlated with higher student reading scores, although good results on the edTPA didn’t correlate to better math scores for kids.

More states will be using the test soon, and “ultimately,” according to the edTPA website, “the long-term expectation is that institutions of higher education, state education boards and professional standards boards throughout the United States will adopt edTPA as a mandatory requirement for the award of an education degree and/or for teacher licensure"...

Researcher Kevin Meuwissen, co-author of the Warner School study, had some words of caution as states consider making the test the main gateway into the teaching profession, saying there could be “problematic consequences that come from using the assessment as a pass/fail screening tool.”

“A lot of the stuff in the edTPA is pretty good,” he said. “The trouble emerges when the assessment is used as a policy tool.”

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