Friday, June 1, 2012

What Teacher Preparation Programs Teach about K-12 Assessment

Teachers need to know what their students have learned in order to help them learn more. Data from assessments of all kinds — from informal oral quizzes to standardized tests — is the compass by which good teachers decide how best to teach their students.

Drawing on the data collected for the National Review, this report from the National Council on Teacher Quality provides an overall appraisal of how well 180 teacher preparation programs in 30 states are preparing their elementary and secondary teachers candidates in this vital area.

In their evaluation they asked three basic questions about the coursework taken by prospective teachers:

Does it teach them about the many types of assessment — and require that they learn how to develop at least a small share of them?

Does it provide them with the tools to dig into assessment results on their own and with their peers to figure out what students have learned?

Does it build their capacity to use data to map out the instructional path to take in their next lessons?

The report provides answers to these questions as well as recommendations on how all programs can improve.

Percent of teacher prep programs that adequately build teacher's skills in the crucial area of student assessment.


Percent of teacher prep programs in which state standardized tests are rarely, if ever, addressed in coursework.


Percent of programs that have teacher candidates work collaboratively to analyze assessment results and/or use results to decide what to teach next.


Federal funding granted to states to build data systems, produce better assessments and build capacity to use assessment results.


The year new Common Core assessments, which will greatly increase the flow of student data to teachers, come on line.


Percent of teacher prep programs graduating teachers inadequately prepared to use student data in the way leading districts expect.


Proportion of schools (estimated) doing the most to close the achievement gap which have created strong cultures of data driven instruction.

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