(January 24, 2014, Washington, D.C.) AACTE shares the National Association of Multicultural Education’s (NAME) goal to support equity and multicultural education. In fact, that is a key reason that AACTE supports the new rigorous, authentic assessment system edTPA. It represents a groundbreaking step by the profession to integrate into teacher preparation the awareness, pedagogy and skills necessary to educate students from all backgrounds from the teacher’s first day in the classroom.
A new teacher is ready for practice when he or she can help each student in the classroom understand and improve their learning from Day One on the job. In other words, new teachers should be able to apply what they learned in their preparation program and translate that knowledge into real-world skills. edTPA is subject-specific and requires candidates to produce a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates to the preparation program faculty and professional community that they have the ability to support the learning of each student in their classroom.
AACTE agrees with NAME’s position that “the practice of critical multicultural education cannot, by its nature, be standardized, nor can the development of teachers who will engage critical multicultural education in their classrooms.” At the same time, we support the profession’s desire and efforts to identify the core practices we know impact student learning in PK-12 classrooms and a common set of metrics for evaluating that practice. edTPA is one such assessment, developed by the profession for the profession, which contributes to that movement.
“You think about this and all the variability that existed in one college of education, and then the state and the nation,” said Maria Hyler, Ph.D., assistant professor of education at the University of Maryland College of Education when reflecting on why the College is using edTPA. “There is a body of knowledge and skills that can help make us more effective. Shouldn’t we be looking for that and using it?” Dr. Hyler provides additional perspective on edTPA in this .
AACTE also agrees with NAME’s principle that authentic assessments of teacher candidates “be conducted by those who know teacher candidates and their work in the classroom” and those who are “best able to support and assess the developmental work of becoming a teacher.” edTPA was developed by teacher educators and classroom teachers, and candidates’ performance is evaluated and scored by accomplished university faculty and PK-12 educators – half of which are Nationally Board Certified. Further, in order to be accepted, edTPA scorers must undergo 20-25 hours of intense training and demonstrate:
- Expertise in the subject matter at relevant grade levels;
- Teaching experience in the field for which they are scoring a candidate;
- Experience mentoring or supervising beginning teachers; and
- Scoring consistency among portfolios.
Gwynne Rife, Ph.D., professor of biology and education and chair of advanced professional programs at the University of Findlay College of Education (OH), is one such edTPA scorer who confirms the rigorous nature of the selection process. “The process was very intensive,” said Rife. “It began with a lot of online materials and modules to work through, then webinar conferences followed by practice portfolios and live training.”
Despite the misconception, edTPA portfolios are not outsourced for scoring. They are scored by members of the professional community who apply common metrics for assessing teacher candidate performance and have proven scoring consistency.
AACTE continues to support the use of edTPA as one assessment in a multiple-measures evaluation system that teacher preparation programs can use to assure teacher candidate readiness. For more facts about edTPA, visit http://edtpa.aacte.org.
Sharon P. Robinson, Ed.D., president and CEO of the American Association of College for Teacher Education
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to the highest quality professional development of teachers and school leaders in order to enhance PK-12 student learning. The 800 institutions holding AACTE membership represent public and private colleges and universities in every state, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam. AACTE’s reach and influence fuel its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education. For more information, visit www.aacte.org.