Teachscape and ETS Join Forces to Develop Online Observer Training and Testing System for Teacher Evaluations

Sep 13, 2011, 10:00 ET from Teachscape

Based on Charlotte Danielson's Framework for Teaching, the new system helps observers to make reliable, consistent, and defensible judgments of teaching practice

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teachscape, the leader in delivering Web-based professional learning content, innovative technologies, and expert services to improve teaching practice, and Educational Testing Service (ETS), the global leader in providing fair and valid assessments and related services to advance quality and equity in learning, have partnered to create the Framework for Teaching Proficiency System. Developed in conjunction with Charlotte Danielson, the developer of the Framework for Teaching, the Proficiency System offers a complete research-based online solution for training and testing observers to accurately and reliably assess teaching practice – an essential foundation in preparing for teacher evaluations.

The Teachscape and ETS partnership stems from the companies' work on the Measure of Effective Teaching (MET) project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As part of the project, Teachscape captured video footage of 20,000 lessons from 3,000 classrooms. The systems, tools and methodology for then scoring these classroom lessons relative to the Danielson instructional framework was also developed by Teachscape, in collaboration with Danielson and ETS.  

"The MET-based Proficiency System has now been implemented successfully with hundreds of observers from the MET study," said Mark Atkinson, founder and chief strategist of Teachscape. "In the MET project, we were able to develop a first generation proficiency test of this kind. Now, the Framework for Teaching Proficiency System is available to help all districts improve the accuracy, reliability and validity of the teacher observation process."  

As a result of state and federal policy initiatives and an increasing emphasis on performance-based teacher evaluation systems, there is an urgent need to train observers and provide evidence of their ability to accurately and reliably assess teaching practice. To address this need, the Framework for Teaching Proficiency System offers three rigorous and robust components containing more than 15 hours of self-paced online training and more than 100 master-scored videos covering all proficiency ranges for grades K-12.

"Together with Teachscape, we can now deliver sound, tested and practical tools for teacher evaluation," said Linda Tyler, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Teacher Licensure and Certification, ETS. "The Proficiency System is instrumental in providing districts the support they need to train and certify observers so that they demonstrate understanding of how to accurately and reliably assess teaching practice. It is a vital component of any fair and equitable approach to teacher evaluation."  

To learn more about the Framework for Teaching Proficiency System, visit www.teachscape.com.  

About Educational Testing Service (ETS)
At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org

About Charlotte Danielson
Charlotte Danielson is an internationally recognized expert in the area of teacher effectiveness, specializing in the design of teacher evaluation systems that, while ensuring teacher quality, also promote professional learning. She advises State Education Departments and National Ministries and Departments of Education, both in the United States and overseas. She is frequently a keynote speaker at national and international conferences and is as a policy consultant to legislatures and administrative bodies.

Ms. Danielson's many publications range from defining good teaching ("Enhancing Professional Practice: a framework for teaching," 2007), to organizing schools for student success ("Enhancing Student Achievement: a framework for school improvement," 2002), to teacher leadership ("Teacher Leadership that Strengthens the Profession," 2006), to professional conversations ("Talk about Teaching! Conducting Professional Conversations," 2009), to numerous practical instruments and training programs (both onsite and online) to assist practitioners in implementing her ideas. For more information on Ms. Danielson and her work, visit the Danielson Group at http://www.danielsongroup.org/index.htm.

About Teachscape
Teachscape uniquely combines innovative technology, engaging content and expert services to develop great teachers. From its Classroom Walkthrough technology, to its powerful web-based content delivery platform, to its online masters programs, Teachscape's award-winning products and services have been inspired by its dedication to sparking transformative change in teaching practice.  Since 1999, Teachscape has worked with schools and school districts, charter networks, archdioceses, universities and state education departments to measurably and continuously improve the effectiveness of teachers and instructional leaders to produce gains in student achievement. Teachscape's partners include Charlotte Danielson, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ETS, Stanford University, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Kogeto to help shape its vision, its products, and its strategies. To learn more about Teachscape and its complete collection of professional development offerings, go to http://www.teachscape.com.

SOURCE Teachscape