October 16, 2007
For immediate release
The Gevirtz School at UC Santa Barbara hosts the second annual Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) Implementation Conference
The Teacher Education Program in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UC Santa Barbara hosted the second annual Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) Implementation Conference on October 5 and 6. This conference, which brought together representatives from teacher education programs in 30 universities including all UC campuses, several California State Universities, and several private institutions including Stanford University, discussed the implementation of the PACT assessment system that is intended to improve teacher education program quality through authentic measures of teaching performance.
The Conference also featured a keynote talk by Professor of Education Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University. Dr. Darling-Hammond is arguably the most influential person in the field of teacher education and an effective advocate at the state and national levels for equitable, sound practices in K-12 schools. At Stanford University she has launched the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute and the School Redesign Network. Dr. Darling-Hammond was introduced by UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang to an audience of over 200 which included Gevirtz School partners in education.
The 150 attendees of the conference took part in workshops and roundtable discussions that included sessions entitled “Strategies for Aligning Coursework and the Teaching Event,” and “Creating an Assessment Culture: Using PACT for Program Improvement.” The topics of sessions were aimed at helping institutions use PACT to promote teacher candidate learning and strengthen the work of individual teacher education programs.
Tine Sloan, Acting Director of the Gevirtz School’s Teacher Education Program, says, “One significant feature of the PACT was the unprecedented collaboration between universities around developing and implementing this assessment system. The enlightened state policy enabled us (the consortium of universities) to develop measures that met high standards while maintaining our values. For this reason, we are engaged in using the assessment for much more than making high-stakes licensure decisions. We are using it to make the work of teacher education better.”
PACT was developed by a consortium of UCs, Stanford, and some CSU and private institutions in response to SB 2042, which called for new credential requirements and the use of a state-approved teaching performance assessment to determine the readiness of California teachers for the profession. The creators of PACT designed a system centered on a Teaching Event, for which candidates plan a series of integrated lessons, videotape their instruction, analyze student work, and reflect on their teaching. Piloted over a 5-year period, PACT was approved by the State just one day prior to the conference.
[Tine Sloan is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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Photo caption: (from left to right) Dilling Yang, Dean Jane Close Conoley, Chancellor Henry Yang, and keynote speaker Linda Darling-Hammond chat before Dr. Darling-Hammond's talk.