New teachers getting ready to be graded on classroom work

From JSOnline
By Erin Richards

Before he could start student teaching in January at Sennett Middle School in Madison, Andrew Johnson had to pass a multiple-choice test.

The 23-year-old wants to teach high school science, so the exam he took tested his knowledge of biology, chemistry and physics. He had to know the basic properties of an atom and the difference between oxidation and combustion reaction.

But this spring, Johnson will take a practice version of a new performance assessment that goes beyond asking what he knows about his subject.

Formally known as the Teacher Performance Assessment, the portfolio-based assessment will be required for anyone completing a teacher-education program and seeking a teaching license in Wisconsin after Aug. 31, 2015, the Department of Public Instruction has decided.

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