Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor

Assessment Holds ‘Enormous Potential’

April 02, 2013 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

A few months ago, Education Week Teacher‘s Living in Dialogue blog ran a guest post from Ann Schulte titled “Teacher Performance Assessment Isn’t the Answer” (Dec. 14, 2012) that raised a concern about Pearson’s packaged edTPA curriculum. The push toward a standardized national teacher-preparation quality assessment is currently playing out in edTPA field studies under way in my home state of Ohio.

While the educational community awaits the final analysis, the initial results are promising. However, it concerns me that the edTPA has drawn some fire by pulling in a third party to facilitate the process of hiring and training assessors, as well as collecting and scoring portfolios. Critics claim the third party has potential for too much control and untoward influence on the assessment.

While anyone having a monopoly on a national assessment is a reasonable cause for concern, it does not negate the need for a national assessment like the edTPA.

Furthermore, it would be difficult to argue convincingly against the need to outsource the operational administration for an assessment of this magnitude, since it takes considerable infrastructure and expert know-how.

The decision to take on an operational partner should not be interpreted as a move toward privatization of the test. The Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity, or SCALE, will continue to own the rights to the edTPA and to drive the development of rubrics and instruments of assessment through ongoing collaborations with K-12 teachers and research educators. The result of this operational partnership in assessment information is hosted on a secure platform governed with oversight.

Today, classified information is routinely shared securely and responsibly through electronic means, and this has improved accessibility and reduced costs.

Why not the edTPA? A standardized, national teacher-preparation quality assessment, which the edTPA promises to be, holds enormous potential for educational reform by normalizing the preparation assessment of young teachers. It is already driving collaborations that will raise the bar and help us provide the best preparation possible while simultaneously addressing cost.

Renée A. Middleton


The Patton College of Education

Ohio University

Athens, Ohio

A version of this article appeared in the April 03, 2013 edition of Education Week as Assessment Holds ‘Enormous Potential’


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
When SEL Curriculum Is Not Enough: Integrating Social-Emotional Behavior Supports in MTSS
Help ensure the success of your SEL program with guidance for building capacity to support implementation at every tier of your MTSS.
Content provided by Illuminate Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Profession Webinar
Professional Wellness Strategies to Enhance Student Learning and Live Your Best Life
Reduce educator burnout with research-affirmed daily routines and strategies that enhance achievement of educators and students alike. 
Content provided by Solution Tree
English-Language Learners Webinar The Science of Reading and Multilingual Learners: What Educators Need to Know
Join experts in reading science and multilingual literacy to discuss what the latest research means for multilingual learners in classrooms adopting a science of reading-based approach.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession A Teacher Advises Colleagues: Find a School Where You Can Be a 'Magician'
In a new book, Patrick Harris remembers his teacher role models and urges his peers to find a school with the right fit.
2 min read
Patrick Harris
Patrick Harris
Teaching Profession From Our Research Center Better Pay Would Keep Teachers From Quitting. But There's More to It
We asked teachers which financial incentives would keep them in their jobs. Here's what they said.
6 min read
Image of incentives that are not working.
Laura Baker/Education Week and Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession Thanks, But No Thanks: Why Teachers Don't Want to Be Administrators
Despite more money and clout, teachers question the upsides to moving into leadership right now.
5 min read
3-d rendering of a reject decline cancel icon
iStock/Getty Images
Teaching Profession Opinion What Does It Mean to 'Overspend' on Teacher Salaries?
Is it really possible for a district to spend too much money on teachers? Higher pay sows benefits beyond teachers' earnings.
3 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."