that uses standardized patients1 is being piloted for use during the second stage of licensure testing (Swanson et al., 1995).

States are now beginning to explore performance-based assessment of prospective and beginning teachers’ competence. For example, as noted in Chapter 3, 10 states are participating in the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium’s (INTASC) Performance Assessment Development Project to develop prototypical classroom performance assessments that can be used to evaluate new teachers’ performance against INTASC’s professional standards <>. In California, prospective teachers can take the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment as a video-based performance assessment <>. In Connecticut, beginning teachers prepare discipline-specific teaching portfolios for second-stage licensure. In this chapter the committee describes assessments that are used and assessment research that is under way nationally and in several states.

It is important to clarify certain terms used in this chapter. Readers are reminded of the distinction made earlier between testing and assessment. The committee defines tests as paper-and-pencil measures of knowledge and skill; performance on them is evaluated and scored using a standardized process. Assessment is considered to be a broader term and a broader enterprise than testing. While assessment encompasses standardized paper-and-pencil measures, it also refers to other kinds of performance-based evidence. Moreover, it may describe a collection of different kinds of evidence, systematically gathered over time, to inform particular decisions or interpretations.

Selecting Assessment Cases

The committee’s initial search for performance-based assessment identified only one state that used performance assessments operationally to make initial licensure decisions. The committee then expanded its search to include performance assessments used by teacher education programs to warrant teacher education students’ competence and performance assessments used in second-stage licensure and certification. The committee selected four cases to illustrate different relevant assessments of teacher performance. They and the systems in which they have been developed and implemented are described here.

The committee chose to study the assessments of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) because its subject-specific portfolio and assessment center exercises are among the most established and prominent


Standardized patients are nonphysicians taught to portray patients in a standardized, consistent fashion. Examinees interact with standardized patients as though interviewing and examining real patients. Standardized patients are trained to complete checklists and rating forms to summarize their observations of the examinee’s skill in the targeted areas.

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