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Move to Performance Testing for Teachers Found Slow to Spread to Rural States


Although a growing number of states will require teachers to demonstrate their classroom skills for a teaching license, that's not true for some states with large rural populations or many small districts, according to an analysis by the Rural Blog.

A recent story by Stateline focused on the new assessments for prospective teachers, the most prominent of which is Standford University's edTPA, which previously was the Teacher Performance Assessment. The edTPA was launched last month, and it requires teaching candidates to "submit lesson plans, videos of them teaching real students, examples of their students' work and their own reflections on how they might improve." The story explored the concept of the test, which is aimed at ensuring teachers can put what they learn into practice, and some of the criticism surrounding it.

The Rural Blog, an effort of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues based at the University of Kentucky, analyzed a map provided by Stateline on states that were participating in edTPA (22 states and the District of Columbia). Eleven others were working toward doing so or already had approved a different performance assessment for teachers.

Of the remaining 17 states that don't have a performance-based assessment program, almost all have a large number of small schools or a relatively large share of rural residents, according to the Rural Blog. Some of those states include Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota; the full list is online.

CORRECTION: The original version of this post incorrectly identified the owner of edTPA. The assessment is owned by Stanford.

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