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Assessing Teacher Competency

Assessing Teacher Competency
Five Standards-Based Steps to Valid Measurement Using the CAATS Model

Foreword by Richard C. Kunkel

April 2007 | 408 pages | Corwin
"I have not seen anything quite as systematic as this material in guiding the reader through a process for developing a valid and reliable assessment plan. Covers all the areas one would want in designing a system for accreditation or for other purposes."
—Martha Gage, Director, Teacher Education & Licensure
Kansas State Department of Education

"Realistically reveals the extent of the task of teacher certification and provides us with a structured learning experience that should improve our abilities with this task."
—Pearl Solomon, Associate Professor
St. Thomas Aquinas College

A complete, step-by-step guide to teacher assessments that meet national accreditation and accountability standards.

Written in a reader-friendly style for busy faculty members and school administrators with little or no prior knowledge of statistics, this comprehensive model is designed to create fair, valid, and reliable assessments of teacher knowledge and skills.

Evaluation experts Judy Wilkerson and Steve Lang provide detailed guidance for the complete five-step assessment process, making this an ideal resource both for preservice and inservice settings, including accreditation reviews and teacher induction programs. Offering worksheets and activities to illustrate every step of the process, this all-inclusive handbook covers:

  • Definitions, contextual factors, and sampling
  • Aligning performance tasks with standards defined by NCLB, NCATE, INTASC, and other groups
  • Designing and implementing data tracking and management systems
  • Ensuring psychometric integrity

Valid and reliable decisions about teacher competency are based on fair, valid, and reliable assessment systems. Assessing Teacher Competency is the book all teacher educators, supervisors, and mentors have been waiting for.

A Step-by-Step Guide to the CAATS Model
Foreword by Richard Kunkel
About the Authors
1. Expectations and Options for Accountability and Teacher Assessment
What This Chapter Is About  
The Challenge from the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future  
Title II of the Higher Education Act Amendments of 1998  
No Child Left Behind Legislation  
National Research Council (2001) -- the Committee on Assessment and Teacher Quality  
What A Few Others Have Said: A Brief Review of the Literature on Testing and Licensure  
Standards: The Roadmap to Accountability and Scientifically-Based Performance Assessment  
The Principal Sets of Standards Governing Our Work  
National and State Pedagogical and Content Standards  
Unit Accreditation and Operational Standards  
Technical Standards for Measurement of Teacher Competency  
Some Major Threats to Validity in Most Current Assessment Systems  
Conceptual Frameworks: Pulling It All Together  
NCATE Standards  
INTASC Principles: Where NCATE and AERA, APA, & NCME Standards Converge  
Making Sense of Conceptual Frameworks  
Our Conceptual Framework: What We Value  
Assessment Options  
Records of Training Completed  
Tests and Exam Scores  
Observations of Performance  
Portfolios of Assessable Artifacts  
Job-Related Tasks and Work Sample Products  
K-12 Student Work Samples  
Activity #1: What’s Happening in Your State and School?  
Activity #2: Questionnaire for Faculty Views on Competency Assessment  
Activity #3: Assessment Belief Scale  
Activity #4: Assessment Options  
2. Portfolios – To Be or Not To Be?? That IS the Question!
What This Chapter Is About  
The Portfolio: Panacea or Pandora’s Box  
Portfolios as Certification “Tests”: Lessons from Standards and History  
Assessment Illiteracy, Paradigms Shifts, and Conflicting Purposes  
The Conflict of Formative vs. Summative Evaluation  
The Conflict of Program Approval vs. Accreditation  
The Conflict of Business or Legislative Personal/Professional Perspectives vs. Accountability Through Title II Requirements  
The Conflict of Academic Freedom vs. Accountability  
The Conflict of Constructivism vs. Positivism  
Recommendations for Use of Portfolios in Accountability Contexts  
Ten Recommendations for Assessment System Design  
A Recommended, Standards-Based Model  
Overview of “Competency Assessment Aligned with Teacher Standards” (CAATS) Model  
CAATS Step 1: Define content, purpose, use, and other contextual  
CAATS Step 2: Develop a valid sampling plan  
CAATS Step 3: Create or update tasks aligned with standards and  
CAATS Step 4: Design and implement data aggregation tracking and management systems  
CAATS Step 5: Ensure credibility and utility of data  
A Note about Chapters 8 and 9  
Activity #1: Review Your Feelings  
Activity #2: Thinking about Conflicting Paradigms  
Activity #3: Getting Your Action Plan Started  
3. CAATS Step 1: Assessment Design Inputs
Where We Have Been So Far  
What This Chapter Is About  
CAATS Step 1A: Define the Purposes and Uses of the System  
The Importance of Purpose and Use  
Different Strokes for Different Folks for Different Purposes  
Purpose and Use in the Accountability Context  
More on Accountability Based Systems: State Program Approval  
CAATS Step 1B: Define the Propositions or Principles that Guide the System  
CAATS Step 1C: Define the Conceptual Framework or Contents of the System  
So What Is Assessment Content?  
Standards as the Link between Purpose, Use, and Content  
CAATS Step 1D: Review Local Factors That Impact the System  
Wrap Up  
Worksheet #1: Purpose, Use, Propositions, Content, & Context Checksheet  
Worksheet #2: Purpose, Use, Content, Draft  
Worksheet #3: Propositions  
Worksheet #4: Contextual Analysis  
4. CAATS Step 2: Planning with a Continuing Eye on Valid Assessment Decisions
Where We Have Been So Far  
What This Chapter Is About  
CAATS Step 2A: Organize Standards into Content Domains  
All Those Standards Sets  
Organizing for Alignment  
“A Rose Is a Rose” Or More of the Same  
Why Bother?  
Crosswalks and Standards  
CAATS Step 2B: Visualize the Competent Teacher Based on the Standards  
CAATS Step 2C: Brainstorm a Set of Summative Tasks (Sampling Plan)  
CAATS Step 2D: Sort Tasks into Formative and Summative Assessments  
CAATS Step 2E: Build Assessment Frameworks  
Framework Options  
A Special Case: Aligning Tasks with NCATE Requirements  
Worksheet #1: Organizing for Alignment (Version 1)  
Worksheet #1: Organizing for Alignment (Version 2)  
Worksheet #2: Our Critical Skills  
Worksheet #3: Visualizing the Competent Teacher  
Worksheet #4: Critical Task List  
Worksheet #5: Sorting Formative and Summative Tasks  
Worksheet #6: List of Summative Assessments by Competency Type  
Worksheet #7: List of Summative Assessments by Levels of Inference  
Worksheet #8: List of Summative Assessments by Points in Time  
Worksheet #9: Matrix of Standard by Competency Type  
Worksheet #10: Matrix of Critical Tasks by Competency Type and Benchmark  
Worksheet #11: Aligning Tasks with NCATE Thematic Portfolios  
5. CAATS Step 3 -- Writing Tasks Designed to Maximize Validity and Reliability
Where We Have Been So Far  
What This Chapter Is About  
CAATS Step 3A: Determine the Task Format for Data Aggregation  
What Happens When There Is No Format?  
Can I Use Percents and Total Points? No, They Don’t Cut It!  
Elements of a Common Task Format  
CAATS Step 3B: Create New Tasks or Modify Existing Tasks  
Basic Concepts about Tasks  
Hints and Advice about Writing Tasks  
Rubric Examples: A Rose is a Rose  
CAATS Step 3C: Conduct First Validity Study  
CAATS Step 3D: Align Tasks with Instruction  
Worksheet #1: Proficiency Level Descriptions  
Worksheet #2: Task Design  
Worksheet #3: Standards and Indicators Coverage Report  
Worksheet #4: Individual Task Review for Job-Relatedness  
Worksheet #5: Checklist for Reviewing Individual Tasks  
Worksheet #6: Instructional Alignment  
6. CAATS Step 4: Decision-Making and Data Management
Where We Have Been So Far  
What This Chapter Is About  
CAATS Step 4A: Determine How Data Will Be Aggregated  
So What Is Data Aggregation?  
The Relationship of Data Aggregation (Step 4A), Cut Scores, (Step 4B), and  
An Approach to Decision-Making without Using Points and Percents  
CAATS Step 4B: Set Standards for Minimal Competency  
Different Strokes for Different Folks – Déjà Vu or Purpose Revisited  
Is 100% Really Reasonable?  
Criticality Yardstick Approach (CYA) to Cut Score Setting in Complex  
Performance Assessments  
First Cut  
Second Cut  
Working with Judges  
An Example of What to Say to the Judges  
CAATS Step 4C: Select and Develop a Tracking System  
Sharing Information for Decision-Making: The Big Challenge  
Data Storage Option #1: Course Grades or Records of Participation/Attendance  
Data Storage Option #2: Teacher Folders  
Data Storage Option #3: Portfolios  
Data Storage Option #4: Electronic Data Management System  
Reporting Aggregated Data  
CAATS Step 4D: Develop Management System  
Advising and Due Process  
Scoring Procedures  
Worksheet #1: Cut Score Decisions  
Worksheet #2: Sample Format for Candidate/Teacher Tracking Form  
Worksheet #3: Format for Data Aggregation  
Worksheet #4: Management Plan  
Worksheet #5: Rater Monitoring Record  
7. CAATS Step 5: Credible Data
Where We Have Been So Far  
What This Chapter Is About  
What Is Psychometric Integrity and Why Do We Have to Worry About It?  
CAATS Step 5A: Create a Plan to Provide Evidence of Validity, Reliability, Fairness, and Utility  
Elements of a Plan  
Element #1: Purpose and Use  
Element #2: Construct Measured  
Element #3: Interpretation and Reporting of Scores  
Element #4: Assessment Specifications and Content Map  
Element #5: Assessor/Rater Selection and Training Procedures  
Element #6: Analysis Methodology  
Element #7: External Review Personnel and Methodology  
Element #8: Evidence of Validity, Reliability, and Fairness (VRF)  
CAATS Step 5B: Implement the Plan Conscientiously  
Wrap Up  
Worksheets and Examples  
Worksheet #1: Assessment Specifications  
Worksheet #2: Analysis of Appropriateness of Decisions for Teacher Failures  
Worksheet #3: Program Improvement Record  
Worksheet #4: Expert Rescoring  
Worksheet #5: Fairness Review  
Worksheet #6: Analysis of Remediation Efforts and EO Impact  
Worksheet #7: Psychometric Plan Format  
Example #1 (Empirical Data): Logistic Ruler for Content Validity  
Example #2 (Empirical Data): Computation of the Lawshe (1975) Content  
Example #3 (Empirical Data): Disparate Impact Analysis  
Example #4 (Empirical Data): Computation of Cohen’s Kappa (1960) for  
Example #5 (Empirical Data): Spearman Correlation Coefficient and Scatterplot:  
Example #6 (Empirical Data): Pearson Correlation Coefficient and Scatterplot:  
Example #7 (Empirical Data): Correlation Matrix and Scatterplots Knowledge,  
Example #8 (Empirical Data): T-Test Comparing Mathematics and Science  
Example #9 (Empirical Data): Differential Item and Person Functioning  
8. The Trouble with Tribbles: Standard Setting for Professional Certification
What This Chapter Is About  
An Overview of Cut Score Setting  
From Norm-Referenced Objective Tests to Criterion-Referenced Subjective Tasks  
Controlling Human Judgment  
Difficulty vs. Importance  
Social Consequences  
Tidbits to Remember  
Cut Scores Setting in Traditional, Objective Tests  
Holistic Impressions: Method One  
Item Content: Method Two  
Performance of Examinees: Method Three  
Combination Approach: Method Four  
Standard or Cut Score Setting in Performance Tests for Professionals: Is it the Same as Multiple Choice?  
Quotes to Remember  
The Extended Angoff Procedure for Performance Assessment  
The Judgmental Policy Capturing Approach for Performance Assessment  
The Dominant Profile Judgment for Performance Assessment  
Standard Setting Using Item Response Theory  
What’s Really Wrong with Current Approaches to Cut Score Setting  
Berk’s Suggestions and Commentaries Over the Years  
The Criticality Yardstick Approach  
Wrap Up  
Activity #1: Change the Difficulty of an Item  
Activity #2: Change the Criticality of a Task  
Activity #3: Replicate a Cut Score  
Activity #4: Take Your Choice  
9. Using Teacher Scores for Continuous Improvement
What This Chapter is About  
Reasons Why We Use the Rasch Model  
The Classical Approach  
A Quick Overview of Where Rasch Fits Into the Grand Scheme of IRT Models  
Rasch: The Basics  
Getting Started  
Differences that Item Writers Make  
Guttman Scaling  
A Sample Rasch Ruler  
From Pictures to Numbers  
The Fit Statistic  
Gain Scores – Real or Imagined?  
Ratings and Raters  
Learning More about Rasch  
Wrap Up  
Activity #1: Decision Making Tool for Measurement  
10. Legal Integrity
What IF?? A Legal Scenario  
Psychometric Issues and Legal Challenges  
Legal Issues and Precedents  
End Note  
Appendix: Tasks Developed for Florida Alternative Certification Program

"Provides possible solutions for the problems faced in the assessment of future teachers, and realistically reveals the extent of the task of teacher certification. It provides those responsible for teacher certification with a structured learning experience that should improve our abilities with this task."

Pearl Solomon, Associate Professor
St. Thomas Aquinas College

"I have not seen anything quite as systematic as this material, which guides a reader through a process for developing a valid and reliable assessment plan.  It covers all the areas that one would want to see covered in designing a system for accreditation or other purposes."

Martha Gage, Director
Teacher Education & Licensure, Kansas State Dept. of Education

"Structurally accurate, complete, and readable. The activities at the end of each chapter are among the best I have ever seen."

Elaine L. Wilmore, Professor of Educational Leadership
Dallas Baptist University

"Wilkerson and Lang provide readers a solid foundation and strong design to help them think through the use of data collected on teacher preparation program graduates that impact the national mosaic.", June 2007

"The authors show how to track teacher performance in a way that ensures credibility through the use of collected data and scoring methodologies for differentiating between effective and ineffective instructors."

The School Administrator, December 2007
American Association of School Administrators
Key features
  • A comprehensive guide to designing and implementing accurate, reliable, and useful teacher assessments
  • Assessments are aligned with the standards and benchmarks defined by NCLB, NCATE, INTASC, and other key programs and groups in education
  • Provides background, context, guidelines for designing and implementing data tracking and management systems, and ensuring psychometric integrity 
  • Includes worksheets and activities to illustrate every step of the process
  • includes a Glossary, Index, and a Step-by-Step Guide to the CAATS Model 
  • Appropriate both for pre-service and in-service faculty, administrative staff, and supervisors


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ISBN: 9781412941204
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