ETS Developing National Pre-Service Assessment for Teacher Candidates

Missouri, Hawaii sign on to develop more effective teachers


Princeton, N.J. (June 6, 2013) —

To aid states in assessing the instructional capability of its teacher candidates prior to receiving a license, Educational Testing Service (ETS) is developing a performance-based assessment designed to identify candidates’ strengths and weaknesses, contribute to a development plan for professional growth, and develop more effective teachers in the classroom.

Last month Missouri signed a three-year contract with ETS for a customized version of the assessment, while Hawaii has recently agreed to use the national model.

The Praxis™ Pre-Service Portfolio, being developed in collaboration with 16 states, can be used by schools to determine the best fit for teacher candidates and by states to align success measurement with local and national standards including InTASC and the Common Core State Standards. In addition, it can be used to assess all new teachers whether they enter the profession through traditional or alternate routes. Candidates also gain an advantage from developing their professional portfolios, with an advisor, while in their programs instead of spending weeks putting one together after their programs end.

ETS Vice President and COO of Teacher Licensure & Certification Programs George Powell said, "The Common Core State Standards have focused attention on the need to ensure that teacher candidates understand and know how to implement the elements of effective teaching. More and more, education leaders in states are calling for pre-certification assessments that reflect these elements of effective teaching. Our performance assessment is designed to answer this call."

Powell further explained that ETS's evidence-centered approach to developing the performance assessment tasks builds the elements of effective teaching, as embodied in the InTASC Standards, into the test design itself. By embedding these formative and summative assessment tasks into a candidate’s clinical experience as a student teacher, a more complete picture of that candidate’s potential in the classroom emerges. The artifacts (including a video of the candidate teaching) and reflections that comprise the tasks are all easily and seamlessly submitted through an end-to-end electronic platform, allowing the assessment to complement rather than interrupt the clinical experience.

The performance assessments — developed to help candidates relate instruction to student learning — make up an extensive exit examination that leverages a candidate’s student-teaching experience. The exit examination consists of four tasks: one formative and three summative. Task One gives focus to the beginning steps of student teaching. Task Two focuses on assessment and the use of data collection to measure and inform student learning. Task Three focuses on instruction and technology. Task Four addresses a variety of standards while demonstrating a candidate’s ability to use research-based instructional strategies, adapt instruction for individual needs and reflect on practice. This final task includes a 15-minute video of the candidate teaching a lesson.

The professional growth plan component — the Professional Competency Profile — is created after completion of the four tasks and identifies areas for professional development that candidates can use when entering the teaching workforce.

About ETS

At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC ® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.


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