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What Teacher Preparation Programs Teach About K-12 Assessment: A Review


"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.

Because a solid foundation in assessment is crucial to teacher effectiveness, ratings of teacher preparation programs in this area are a key part of the National Review of Teacher Preparation Programs that NCTQ will release in early 2013. Drawing on the data we have collected for the National Review, this report 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 our evaluation we asked three basic questions about the coursework taken by prospective teachers:
  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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."