Teacher and Teaching Quality Theme for Innovations Fall Issue
Education reform efforts depend upon quality teachers, assessments and practical policies
- Tom Ewing
- Tom Ewing
Princeton, N.J. (November 2, 2009) —
30th anniversary of the TOEIC® test, world’s most popular business English exam, also featured
Education reform efforts, whether national or local, depend upon quality teachers, assessments and practical policies for measuring progress and achievement. These themes, and other items of interest, are featured in the fall issue of Innovations, Educational Testing Service’s quarterly magazine.
The lead story, “Assessment Across the Educator Curriculum,” spotlights teacher professional development and preparation and the surge of initiatives aimed at improving teacher effectiveness that are expected to come from the federal government’s K – 12 reform efforts. Insights on the issues are provided by experts from the Alliance for Excellent Education; the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality; the National Staff Development Council; and the Center for Teaching Quality. The article notes the sobering statistic that 40 percent of teachers leave the profession within five years of starting out, many because they feel their future in the field is limited.
“In this issue, ETS Innovations asked several leading educators for their views on the difference between teacher quality and teaching quality,” explained ETS President and CEO Kurt Landgraf in a letter to readers. These experts were asked, he noted, what systems of support should exist to help teachers develop abilities to deliver quality teaching. Insight is provided by:
- James G. Cibulka, President of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education;
- Carol Riley, Director of the National Principal Mentor Certification Program of the National Association of Elementary School Principals;
- Kimberly Oliver Burnim, first grade teacher at Broad Acres Elementary School;
- Andrew Rotherham, co-founder and publisher of Education Sector, a national educational policy think tank;
- Jane E. West, Director of AACTE’s Department of Policy, Programs and Professional Issues;
- Beverly Williams, Assistant Commissioner of Human Resources/Licensure for the Arkansas Department of Education; and
- Dr Jennifer Robinson, Executive Director of the Center of Pedagogy at Montclair State University.
Also featured in the fall issue is an article titled “What Are the ETS Standards for Quality and Fairness?” Barbara Kirsch, Executive Director of ETS’s Office of Professional Standards Compliance, details ETS’s core policy on assessment practice and how one defines quality and fairness. The 13 chapters of the policy booklet offer guidelines on standards for fair, valid and reliable testing and how ETS translates them into working policies and procedures.
In December 2009, ETS’s TOEIC® (Test of English for International Communication™) test celebrates its 30th anniversary. What began in Japan as a modest business English exam, has grown into the world’s most widely used exam, administered more than 5 million times each year. Major corporations and organizations worldwide utilize it for hiring, advancement and measuring workplace language effectiveness. Protase Woodford, former Director of the TOEIC program, looks at the beginning and the present.
In a related article, Philip Cary, Founding Director of the Departmento Universitauo Oberero Campesano (DuocUC), the largest technical training center and professional institute in Chile, discusses his organization’s use of the TOEIC test. “As Chile competes to be a global player in technology, value-added commodities, tourism, agriculture and other fields, English is a key competency,” says Cary. “At DuocUC, the English-language program uses TOEIC test performance data to measure incremental progress and to improve methodologies and outcomes.”
The final article looks at ETS’s new 27-page publication, “Guidelines for the Assessment of English Language Learners.” With English language learners representing one in nine students in U.S. classrooms and most of the five million of them concentrated in lower grades, producing valid and fair assessments for them becomes a pressing national concern. Copies of the Guidelines can be downloaded at www.ets.org/ellguidelines.
Finally, a selection of the latest publications from experts in ETS’s Research & Development Division and Policy Information Center is provided. Topics include teacher quality, addressing the achievement gap and adult education in America.
Copies of the fall issue of Innovations are available free of charge and downloadable at www.ets.org.
ETS is a nonprofit institution with the mission to advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services for all people worldwide. In serving individuals, educational institutions and government agencies around the world, ETS customizes solutions to meet the need for teacher professional development products and services, classroom and end-of-course assessments, and research-based teaching and learning tools. Founded in 1947, ETS today develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.