Following on the heels of the announcement by the AFT about a “bar-exam for teachers” and announcements by states of prospective teacher tests that include practical teaching elements, the educational testing giant ETS will begin offering their own version of this sort of test.
Field-testing began last month for the Princeton, N.J.-based Educational Testing Service‘s new exam, which purports to measure many of the same competencies as the edTPA, a licensing test seven states have recently adopted and many others are considering.
“We’re two years behind the edTPA, so I don’t expect to leap into the market with a 50 percent share off the bat, but there is a lot of interest,” said Seth Weiner, the ETS’ executive director of teacher licensure and certification.
The exam, known as the Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers, or PPAT, was developed at the same time as a version tailored for Missouri, which plans to begin administering it in the 2014-15 school year. It gauges, broadly speaking, candidates’ ability to plan lessons, gather information on students’ grasp of material, and adapt instruction accordingly.
In one of the major differences with the edTPA, candidates carry out four separately completed tasks over the course of their student teaching.
The first exercise will not be formally scored; mentors will review it and use the results to support prospective teachers’ problem areas. The subsequent three tasks will each make up part of the overall grade, and the final task includes a 15-minute video recording and an analysis of each candidate’s classroom instruction.
ETS officials say the format will help assessment double as a learning tool for candidates, who receive a “professional growth plan” as part of the test.