Only 3 percent of a nationwide sample of teacher-training programs adequately address assessment, according to a
The NCTQ looked at syllabi and coursework from 180 of the nation’s 1,130 teacher-training programs and ranked them on a five-part scale from “inadequate” to “adequate” in three domains: assessment literacy, or understanding types and purposes of assessments; analytical skills, or analyzing data from assessments; and instructional decisionmaking, or working independently or collaboratively to use data to shape instruction. All but five programs addressed assessment in some way, but most did not meet the authors’ definition of adequacy, which entailed covering the topic in coursework and giving teachers-to-be practice in crafting and using assessments.
The report recommends more federal guidance for teacher-preparation programs, including amending the Higher Education Act to provide incentives for offering more instruction about assessments, and using Elementary and Secondary Education Act funds for training on assessment. The authors also call on states and foundations to push for more focus on the topic and recommend that districts test teacher-applicants on their assessment skills.
The report, expanding on a brief from the NCTQ released in March, is part of a broader review of teacher-preparation programs the NCTQ is conducting in conjunction with U.S. News & World Report.
A version of this article appeared in the June 06, 2012 edition of Education Week as Study: Future Teachers Lack Testing Training