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Kansas, ETS to Create Teacher-Leader Test

Kansas is one of just a handful of states that have begun to create formal standards for "teacher leaders," pathways for such teachers to earn teacher-leader certification, and preparation programs in its teachers' colleges. Now, the state is pioneering another step in the process: a teacher-leader exam.

The state will be working with Princeton, N.J.-based Educational Testing Service to develop the exam. It envisions using the test as a capstone of its teacher-leader-certification system.

No details yet on what the test might look like, but one suspects it will probably take some cues from the performance-based teacher assessments in place in California, Connecticut, and Arkansas.

Although the definition of the term "teacher leader" can vary, it typically means an experienced veteran who begins to take on some roles in the school beyond a classroom teacher, such as acting as an instructional coach or department head within a school, and who may take on some administrative roles, such as participating in mentoring and teacher evaluation. Sometimes, the positions are linked to a career ladder that provides additional compensation to accompany the added responsibilities.

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