The Teacher Education Program in the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UC Santa Barbara hosts the fourth annual Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) Implementation Conference, “Building Knowledge and Practice,” on October 22 and 23. This conference, which brings together representatives from teacher education programs in 30 universities including all UC campuses, several California State Universities, and several private institutions including Stanford University, will discuss 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 will feature a keynote talk – “New Assessments for Students: Turning the Aircraft Carrier” – by Eva Baker on Thursday, October 22 at 6 pm at UC Santa Barbara Corwin Pavilion. Professor Eva Baker, an educational psychologist, is the director of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Evaluation and co-director of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST). She has concentrated her research on assessment and accountability models, as well as on the design and validation of technology-based learning assessment systems. She has published more than 450 scholarly articles and book chapters. Influential in educational policy, Baker has testified before Congress on numerous accountability issues. She has chaired the National Research Council’s Board on Testing and Assessment, as well as the Assessment Task Force of the National Council on Education Standards and Testing. Her international work is extensive and includes studies of performance standards and national assessment policies for the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Education Forum Project. She has been an adviser to ministries and universities in Latin America, the Middle East, Australia, Europe and Asia and to other international organizations, such as NATO. She is a past president of the American Educational Research Association.
“California has taken a lead with this state initiative, placing teacher preparation programs in an important yet challenging position,” says Tine Sloan, Director of the Gevirtz School’s Teacher Education Program. “An assessment that is an authentic, reliable, and useful indicator of how well a new teacher can teach is as much about its design as it is about how programs embed it, prepare candidates to do it, and support faculty in learning from it. This is why the conference is considered so important and why many participants spend their own dime to attend. It is a forum for teacher educators to learn from one another as they engage in a common process, speak a common language, and solve uncommon budgetary challenges. The efficacy of the assessment depends on our ability to implement it well.”
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.
[Tine Sloan is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
– end –