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A Standards-Based Approach to Improving Teaching: Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium


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Mariana Haynes, Senior Fellow, Alliance for Excellent Education
Peter McWalters, Consultant, Education Workforce, Council of Chief State School Officers
Ray Pecheone, Director, School Redesign Network, Stanford University
Sharon Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education

Teaching quality is recognized as the most powerful school-based factor in student learning. This does not mean, however, that all teachers produce powerful effects on student learning. Considerable evidence points to the enormous variation in teaching practice as a fundamental problem in improving high schools. The national policy community recognizes that in order for the United States to compete in a global knowledge economy, the concentration and distribution of effective teachers in secondary schools must be dramatically improved. However, fundamental policy questions remain unanswered about what approaches are best suited to ensure teaching quality.

On February 8, 2011, the Alliance for Excellent Education and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education cohosted a webinar about an initiative launched by the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium. This initiative holds promise for shaping a common vision of skilled teaching commensurate with the national goal of preparing all students for college and careers. Twenty states have joined the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the Council of Chief State Schools Officers, and Stanford University to create a common teacher performance assessment that can be used to make preparation and licensing performance based. The webinar facilitated a conversation about the pilot underway and the implications for policies to improve the quality, consistency, and coherence of teaching nationwide. The webinar included a question and answer period to address questions submitted by viewers across the nation.

A new policy brief from the Alliance, released February 8, calls for practical set of standards and assessments to measure the quality of teacher performance. “Transforming High Schools: Performance Systems for Powerful Teaching” recommends providing teachers with the quality education and ongoing training needed to greatly improve student outcomes. The brief proposes changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind, which would elevate the teaching profession, support robust performance assessments to reliably measure teacher competency, and encourage feedback systems to help teachers continually improve their craft.

“Transforming High Schools: Performance Systems for Powerful Teaching” (an Alliance policy brief)

February 8 press release 


Time (EST) Item
Time (EST) Item
1:00 pm Welcome and Introductions
Dr. Mariana Haynes, Senior Fellow, Alliance for Excellent Education
1:05 pm Teacher Performance, Assessment Consortium: Overview
Dr. Sharon Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
1:15 pm Building on the Performance Assessment for California Teachers
Dr. Ray Pecheone, Director, School Redesign Network, Stanford University
1:25 pm Panel Discussion: Creating a Systems Approach to Teacher Performance
Dr. Mariana Haynes
Mr. Peter McWalters, Consultant, Education Workforce, Council of Chief State School Officers
Dr. Ray Pecheone
Dr. Sharon Robinson
1:50 pm Question and Answer Period
2:30 pm Adjourn

The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. For more information about the Alliance, visit

The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) is a national, voluntary association of nearly 800 colleges and universities with undergraduate or graduate programs that prepare professional educators. AACTE’s member institutions graduate approximately two-thirds of the nation’s new teachers and other educators each year. The Association provides services in the areas of professional issues, research and policy, governmental relations, and professional development. AACTE—Serving Learners. For more information about AACTE, visit

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