sed seal                                                                                                 

 

THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

 

To:                                             Higher Education Committee
 
From:                                        Joseph P. Frey
 
Subject:                                    Conceptual Approval of Examination Framework for Teachers and School Leaders
 
Date:                                         May 7, 2010
 
Authorizations:                        

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Issue for Discussion

Should the Board of Regents approve the plan for implementation of the November 2009 and December 2 009 Board of Regents policy decisions regarding the conceptual design for teacher and school leadership certification assessments.

 

Reason(s) for Consideration


              Review of Policy
             

Proposed Handling

The item is being presented to the Board of Regents for discussion and conceptual approval to proceed with implementation.

Background Information

At the November and December 2009 Board of Regents meetings, the Board approved a number of initiatives for the purpose of transforming teaching and school leadership and ensuring an equitable distribution of qualified teachers in New York State.  One of those initiatives was the creation of performance-based assessments for the certification of teachers and school leaders. Staff have been working with the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson, the contractor for certification assessments, to plan the implementation of performance-based assessments for Initial certification. In combination with more rigorous content exams, the performance-based assessments would require teacher candidates to demonstrate the knowledge and skills that research has shown to be linked to classroom effectiveness.  For school leaders, performance-based assessments will require the demonstration of skills in instructional leadership focused on school improvement.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Board of Regents approve the conceptual design for both the teacher and school leader performance-based assessments for certification as outlined in the attached and authorize the Department to continue its work with our certification assessment contractor, Pearson, in developing these assessments.

Attachments


Information in Support of Recommendation

Teachers

Several of the Regents initiatives to transform teaching will use a set of teaching standards as a foundation.  The standards will be used to:

 

 

At the April meeting, we shared with the Board a proposed conceptual framework for a set of teaching standards.  With the Board’s approval, we are now working with interested parties to obtain feedback from the field and prepare a final draft of teaching standards for the Board’s review in the fall.  As these standards are completed and approved by the Board of Regents, SED will collaborate with Pearson, institutions of higher education, and the P-12 educational community to develop the new formative and summative performance assessments in accordance with the design outlined in Attachment A.   Attachment A contains a chart showing the proposed assessments that would be used for a teacher earning an Initial teaching certificate.  These include a formative and summative portfolio of teaching skills and a content specialty test.  Also included in Attachment A is a visual representation of how the teaching standards, currently under development, will be used as the foundation for these portfolio assessments of the knowledge and skills a new teacher must have.

The Teaching Standards will define the requirements and expectations for the certification of new teachers.  The Standards will form the basis for the assessment of the knowledge and skills required of teachers before they enter a classroom.  They will also provide a guide for candidates seeking certification through a detailed explanation of the behavior and skills that are required of a successful teacher.

The observable behavior and skills associated with the Standards can be demonstrated in the classroom.  A portfolio, which contains a record of practice consisting of artifacts in electronic digital media, e.g., videos, audio, text, or graphics, can capture teacher behavior and work products for analysis by the preparation institution and SED.  Portfolio artifact submission requirements may include videos depicting classroom instruction, lesson plans and assessments, and self-evaluations. 

Clinical Assessment: Formative Performance Portfolio

The Formative Portfolio is implemented and managed at each teacher preparation program, and is a preparation program requirement.  At the formative stage, the performance-based artifacts of teaching practice are submitted electronically to the program by the candidate. Faculty members and advisors at the preparation program provide critique and suggest resubmission, if the entry indicates that the candidate’s performance is not satisfactory.  The Formative Portfolio activity is an iterative process, encouraging feedback to the candidate to further develop the behavior and skills required by the New York State Teaching Standards.  Some artifacts contained in the Formative Portfolio subsequently may be submitted to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) for teacher certification as part of the summative performance portfolio requirement for Initial certification. 

Clinical Assessment: Summative Performance Portfolio

The Summative Portfolio is created by the candidate at the end of the preparation program and submitted to SED as a requirement for Initial teacher certification.  The Summative Portfolio Management System implemented by Pearson will be managed by an experienced team of assessment specialists, in cooperation with SED. The Summative Portfolios are scored by highly-trained and qualified scorers contracted by the State, to maintain rigorous criteria and to assure fairness to candidates by consistent, valid, and reliable scoring.  The Portfolio Management System includes candidate registration; submission of performance-based artifacts; statewide consistent scoring of artifacts; results report transmission to candidates; and the provision of timely, systematic, and well-designed reports that will provide a basis upon which the state and preparation programs can make data-driven decisions.

Content Assessments

In addition to the new performance assessment of teaching skills, a more rigorous Content Specialty Test is being developed to assess new teachers’ mastery of knowledge in the content area in which they will be teaching, along with skills related to teaching of all students.  The new, more rigorous Content Specialty Test will include a module for the candidate to demonstrate his or her literacy and writing skills, which must be passed independent of the overall score.  In addition, the Content Specialty Test for early childhood, childhood, and middle childhood education would include a separate subtest for Literacy/English Language Arts and a separate subtest for mathematics.  Candidates would be required to pass each of these subtests.  Requiring candidates to independently pass each of the major subtests for the Content Specialty Test will provide more rigor in these assessments and better assure that candidates have the necessary knowledge and skills to help students meet New York State’s Learning Standards in each subject area.

Within the Content Specialty Test, there will be a module on teaching all students, intended to address:

 

Focus topics could include: second language acquisition, ELL teaching strategies

 

Focus topics could include: modifying materials to address individual special needs, integrating IEP goals into instructional activities

 

Focus topics could include: supporting cultural, economic, gender diversity

 

Focus topics could include: understanding students’ rights, understanding teachers’ responsibilities in various situations

School Leaders

At its December 2009 meeting, the Board of Regents approved the initiative to implement performance assessments for Initial School Building Leader (SBL) certification for school principals.

Clinical experience required by individual colleges as part of the program to be certified as a school building leader varies across the State.  The nature of the work and means for assessing proficiency are decisions made by the program at each institution of higher education.

The Regents policy determination calls for a comprehensive, performance-based assessment designed by the State Education Department and administered by school leader preparation programs to ensure that candidates have experienced authentic, problem-based clinical experiences requiring “real world” leadership responsibilities focused on school improvement initiatives, as part of a new “Clinical Services” model of school leader preparation.

The Educational Leadership Policy Standards: ISLLC 2008 as adopted by the National Policy Board for Educational Administration will define the nature and type of leadership responsibilities that candidates must experience during the clinical services phase of their program leading to SBL certification.  ISLLC is widely regarded as the “industry standard” for the profession and has re-grounded over 200 years of research and practice from a management perspective to a focus on instructional leadership.  The ISLLC Standards also provide a guide for candidates seeking certification through a detailed explanation of the behaviors, skills and dispositions necessary to be successful as an instructional leader.  Many of these skills, qualities and leadership attributes are difficult, if not impossible, to accurately gauge through the written examinations currently required for SBL certification in New York State.  Thus, the Board of Regents and State Education Department are interested in expanding the scope, nature and focus of the existing certification examinations to include a strong performance-based assessment component designed to more accurately determine the leadership capabilities of candidates.

Performance-Based Assessment Model

SED is currently in consultation with Pearson, the contractor for certification assessments, to modify the New York State School Leader Certification System to include rich performance-based assessments to help ensure that SBL candidates possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to serve effectively as instructional leaders.  The system currently under design (see Attachment B) includes formative and summative assessments captured in portfolio exhibits.  In order to determine a candidate’s leadership acumen, evidence documenting performance in authentic leadership roles and functions during the clinical services phase of their preparation program needs to be compiled.  Likewise, the impact of a candidate’s clinical service performance should be ascertained and documented as a significant factor leading to certification.  Collectively, the electronic media artifacts and exhibits contained within the portfolio will present this evidence (including but not limited to video, audio, text, and graphics) and demonstrate the candidate’s acquisition of leadership skills and behaviors aligned with the Standards.  Formative assessment of a candidate’s clinical service is implemented and managed by the approved program provider in concert with the candidate.  Artifacts which demonstrate authentic leadership responsibilities performed by the candidate throughout the clinical services phase of the program become part of a Formative Portfolio and are reviewed for quality.  Only when the program provider, in consultation with the candidate, has determined artifacts to be of exemplary quality based on established rubrics, will they be approved for submission to SED in a Summative Portfolio.  The Summative Portfolio Management System implemented by Pearson will be managed by an experienced team of assessment specialists in cooperation with SED.  Highly-trained and qualified scorers will review the Summative Portfolios based on rigorous criteria to assure fairness to candidates based on consistent, valid, and reliable scoring.

Content Assessment

In addition to the new performance-based assessments, candidates will need to demonstrate an understanding of the content knowledge with regard to effective leadership practice.  To accomplish this end, the currently required written examination for SBL certification will be revised.  Because candidates will be scored on their performance-based assessments, an anticipated reduction from two sections (8 hour total) to one section (4 hour total) is expected as a result of this re-design.

Attachment B contains a summary of the requirements for certification as a school leader.  The second page of Attachment B demonstrates how the school leadership standards would be assessed by a portfolio summative assessment at the conclusion of the college program.

Implementation Timeline

Attachment C provides a development timeline for the teacher and school leader performance assessments.  We expect the assessments for both teachers and school leaders to be available for candidates to use by January 2012.  This timeline is consistent with the Regents initiative for clinically-rich pilot programs approved at the April meeting.  Once an RFP is issued for the clinically rich preparation programs and pilot programs approved, pilot program completers would be able to take the new performance-based assessments to qualify for Initial certification.

 

 

 

Attachment A & B

   

Attachment C

New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE)

Development Timeline - Milestones

May 4, 2010

Assessments for Teachers

 

Component

Task

Start Date

End Date

       

General

Establish advisory committees for standards and assessment development

Nov, 2009

Jun, 2010

Standards

Develop New York State Teacher Pedagogy Standards

Nov, 2009

Sept, 2010

       

Portfolio

Design and develop performance assessment management system for portfolio

April, 2010

Feb, 2011

       
 

Field test performance assessment system at approved preparation programs in New York

Mar, 2011

May, 2011

       
 

Implement performance assessment system

Jan, 2012

Jan, 2012

       
 

Score portfolio submissions and set passing standards

Jan, 2012

April, 2012

       
 

Report scores to the state, candidates, and preparation programs

May, 2012

May, 2012

       

Content Tests

Redesign content tests

Apr, 2010

Mar, 2011

       
 

Validate and field test content tests

Apr, 2011

Dec, 2011

       
 

Administer redesigned tests

Jan, 2012

Jan, 2012

       
 

Score tests and set passing standards

Jan, 2012

April, 2012

       
 

Report scores to the state, candidates, and preparation programs

Apr, 2012

May, 2012

       

Assessments for School Leaders

 

Component

Task

Start Date

End Date

       

General

Establish advisory committees for assessment development

May, 2010

Aug, 2010

       

Portfolio

Validate standards for New York State school leader assessments

July, 2010

Sept, 2010

       
 

Design and develop performance assessment management system for portfolio

May, 2010

Feb, 2011

       
 

Field test performance assessment system at approved preparation programs in New York

Mar, 2011

May, 2011

       
 

Implement performance assessment system

Jan, 2012

Jan, 2012

       
 

Score portfolio submissions and set passing standards

Jan, 2012

April, 2012

       
 

Report scores to the state, candidates, and preparation programs

May, 2012

May, 2012

       

Content Tests

Redesign content tests

June, 2010

Mar, 2011

       
 

Validate and field test content tests

Apr, 2011

Dec, 2011

       
 

Administer redesigned tests

Jan, 2012

Jan, 2012

       
 

Score tests and set passing standards

Jan, 2012

April, 2012

       
 

Report scores to the state, candidates, and preparation programs

Apr, 2012

May, 2012