By Dr. Amy Burkman, Senior Manager of Assessment & Accreditation, School of Education, American Public University System
Last year brought significant change in how educator preparation programs across the country are assessed for effectiveness and how education candidates are assessed for certification. These changes have caused state education departments and higher education organizations to make changes to the way they do business, including the following:
- Council for the Advancement of Educator Preparation: (CAEP): The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) merged to make the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) the sole specialized accreditor for educator preparation. According to CAEP, this accreditation is comprised of a set of national standards designed “not only to raise the performance of candidates as practitioners in the nation’s P-12 schools, but also to raise the stature of the entire profession by raising the standards for the evidence the field relies on to support its claims of quality.” The merging of these organizations has created systemic change in the application for and continued accreditation of educator preparation programs.
- The Degree Qualifications Profile: The Lumina foundation created the Degree Qualifications Profile to illustrate what students should be expected to know and be able to do once they earn a degree at any level. The profile creates a common vocabulary for sharing good practice, through a better method of communicating the function of higher education to the general public, and as reference points for accountability. This tool is applied from the associates to doctoral level in all programs offered in higher education settings. It is essentially a universal tool against which all programs can be measured and assessed.
- edTPA: This was designed by educators to be a pre-service measure of candidate’s preparedness for the classroom. The edTPA is a review of a portfolio which contains authentic teaching materials and is assessed for effectiveness in the teaching and learning process when teaching his/her subject matter to all students. This is a national assessment that is submitted to and scored through Pearson.
These recent trends in how organizations that prepare educators are evaluated, assessed, and aligned influence programmatic decision-making. Keeping current with these changes allows educator preparation programs to stay relevant and effective in this age of increased assessment and accountability.
About the Author Dr. Burkman has over 15 years of experience as a K-12 educator, as a teacher, librarian and administrator. Dr. Burkman has also served as a professor of educational leadership, first in a part-time capacity and then full time, for the past seven years. In addition to working as an educator, she has also been a provider of professional development for the Texas Education Service Center for Region 11 and several school districts in Texas. Dr. Burkman received a Master’s Degree in Library Sciences from Texas Woman’s University, where she was also inducted in Beta Phi Mu, the International Library & Information Studies Honor Society and she was awarded her doctorate from Texas Christian University.