Teaching Assessment for Teacher Human Capital Management: Learning From the Current State of the Art

WCER Working Paper No. 2011-2

Anthony T. Milanowki, Herbert G. Heneman III, and Steven M. Kimball

March 2011, 45 pp.

ABSTRACT: This paper reports on a study of several prominent systems for assessing teaching practice: the Classroom Assessment Scoring System, the Continuum of Teacher Development, the Framework for Teaching, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification assessment, the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) licensure assessment, the PRAXIS III licensure assessment, and the Teacher Advancement Program performance evaluation process. The purpose of the study was to (a) review the systems, summarizing the competencies measured, assessment methods used, and reliability and validity evidence provided; (b) determine the current state of the art in the assessment of teaching practice; and (c) develop specifications for a teaching performance assessment that could be used in a comprehensive human capital management system for teachers. Documents describing each model were collected and reviewed, and model developers were contacted and interviewed. The review suggests that the systems intend to assess many of the same teaching competencies, though the NBPTS and PACT systems put more emphasis on content knowledge and content-specific pedagogy. Though the reviewed systems represented two different evidence collection approaches (classroom observation vs. performance tasks), some similarities in methodology were noted, such as the use of multilevel rubrics or rating scales. Evidence on the reliability and validity of the systems varied considerably. Based on the review, this paper presents a set of desirable characteristics for a teaching practice assessment system for several human resource management uses and suggests a process for states and districts seeking to develop such a system. The paper concludes with a discussion of how teaching assessment ratings and value-added measures of teacher productivity can be used together to make decisions on matters such as tenure and career ladder movement.

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keywords: Teaching Assessment; Teacher Evaluation; Teacher Effectiveness; Teacher Performance; Human Capital Management