Press Releases & Statements

AACTE Applauds the National Education Association's Push for Broad Expansion of the Teacher Performance Assessment

Official AACTE Statement

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(December 16, 2011, Washington, D.C.) – The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) celebrates further progress in the nationwide adoption of the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA), after National Education Association (NEA) President Dennis Van Roekel announced a new agenda  to strengthen the teaching profession and improve student learning that includes urging broad expansion of the TPA.

The TPA continues to capture increased interest across the nation with more than 10,000 teacher candidates expected to participate in the field test next spring. The NEA's support acknowledges the critical role that the TPA will play in ensuring that new educators possess the knowledge and skills to enhance student learning and exhibit classroom proficiency through clinical practice.

“The Teacher Performance Assessment's scientifically sound reliability and validity will make it a true game-changer for its ability to prove that candidates who pass it will be effective teachers,” said Sharon P. Robinson, Ed.D., president and CEO of AACTE. “The NEA's agenda to support expansion of the TPA will help bring to fruition the vision of an industry-wide measure of effectiveness for beginning teachers.”

With nearly 200 institutions in 27 states already participating in its development, the TPA will be the first nationally available, valid and reliable performance assessment for preservice teachers. It is being developed as a collaborative effort of the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC), comprised of states and educator preparation programs and led by AACTE, Stanford University and TPAC's operational partner, Pearson.

The TPA system seeks to engage teacher candidates in a developmental learning process and gauge their competencies before they become a teacher-of-record. It also helps those professionals who prepare and train future educators to identify the most effective preparation tools and techniques, and it can provide evidence to continually improve their programs and advance the educator preparation profession.

AACTE and members of the TPAC look forward to engaging in discussions with the NEA to develop strategies to bring the TPA to a greater national scale.

Funding for the development of the TPA has been provided by the Ford Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Pearson Foundation and Stuart Foundation.


The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education 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 fuels its mission of serving learners by providing all school personnel with superior training and continuing education. For more information on AACTE, visit