2011 Delivering Well Prepared Teachers Policy
The state should use a licensing test to verify that all new teachers meet its professional standards.
Wisconsin does not currently require new teachers to pass a pedagogy test.
Wisconsin is part of the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) Consortium and began a pilot program in Spring 2011.
Require that all new teachers pass a pedagogy test.
Wisconsin should verify that all new teachers meet professional standards through a test of professional standards.
Ensure that performance assessments provide a meaningful measure of new teachers' knowledge and skills.
While Wisconsin is commended for the use of a performance-based assessment, the state should proceed with caution until additional data are available on the Teacher Performance Assessment. Additional research is needed to determine how the TPA compares to other teacher tests as well as whether the test's scores are predictive of student achievement. The track record on similar assessments is mixed at best. The two states that currently require the Praxis III performance-based assessment report pass rates of about 99 percent. Given that it takes significant resources to administer a performance-based assessment, a test that nearly every teacher passes is of questionable value.
Wisconsin noted that its preparation programs must be standards- and performance-based. A signature component of the program is the required portfolio of evidence for each candidate, and pedagogical knowledge and skills are inherent within the performance assessments and evidence documented in these portfolios. The clinical program evaluations required within pre-student and student teaching must also measure pedagogical skills. Wisconsin added that it is utilizing the data collected through the TPA pilot project to study the TPA.