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Language Arts, Vol. 93, No. 2, November 2015

Table of Contents

Issue Theme: Teacher Performance Assessment

  • Calls for Manuscripts

  • Thoughts from the Editors: Disrupting the Rush to Standardization through the Squeaky Door [FREE ACCESS]

    Guest Editors: Robyn Seglem and Mark Conley

  • Performance-Based Assessment for Certification: Insights from edTPA Implementation [FREE ACCESS]

    Amy Johnson Lachuk and Karen Koellner

    Abstract: In this essay, two teacher educators share the tensions they experienced in implementing program-wide interventions in response to the edTPA adoption. In particular, we share how we experienced tensions between 1) telling teacher candidates how to teach and supporting their growth through self-directed reflection, 2) carrying ourselves with confidence in the face of uncertainty about the newly state-mandated edTPA examination, 3) valuing teacher candidates' prior experiences with teaching and learning, and helping them reconstruct their experiences in a way that would support them with the edTPA examination. We share the insights we gained about edTPA implementation from experiencing these tensions

    Keywords: Teacher Education, Teacher Certification, Elementary Education, Assessing Teachers

  • The Implications of Teacher Performance Assessment and the Impact on Teacher Decision Making

    Renee Moran

    Abstract: The issue of teacher accountability has been a part of the educational conversation for three decades, but only recently has this conversation been translated into policy as states begin directly tying teacher evaluation scores in part to student achievement on standardized tests. This qualitative study focuses on a group of teachers who are participating in this new form of evaluation (containing both qualitative and quantitative elements including test scores and lesson observations) and examines how they perceived the process. In particular, the study looks at how their personal reactions to a high-stakes evaluation impacted their instructional decision making in their literacy classrooms. Findings demonstrate that teachers had varying levels of change in instructional practice and that these changes were impacted by a variety of factors including personal beliefs and contextual issues. Additionally, findings demonstrated that participants found the qualitative portion of the model to be highly subjective which was considered especially problematic because of the high stakes nature of the evaluation.

    Keywords: high-stakes teacher assessment, policy implementation, Race to the Top, teacher decision making

  • Commentaries: Teacher Performance Assessment

    Peter Smagorinsky, Sean Kottke, Arlene Lents, Paula McPhee, Meredith Dodson, Peter Leonard, Claudinette (Didi) Swartz, and John Barker

    Abstract: Three commentaries center around the theme of teacher performance assessment. First, Peter Smagorinsky discusses growth through language arts and the conundrum of teacher assessment. Then Sean Kottke, Paula McPhee, Arlene Lents, and Meredith Dodson discuss the importance of community in teacher preparation. Finally, Peter Leonard, Claudinette (Didi) Swartz, and John Barker discuss performance assessments for teacher evaluation in the Chicago Public Schools.

    Keywords: Chicago Public Schools, community teacher preparation, teacher performance assessment

  • Research and Policy: Not Whether, but How: Asking the Right Questions in Teacher Performance Assessment [FREE ACCESS]

    Rachael Gabriel

    Abstract: Despite best intentions, rubrics based on a set of core practices limit what counts as effective instruction to that which can be understood in relation to these practices. Though rubrics for evaluating teacher performance represent a marked improvement from more unidimensional concepts of what counts as good teaching, they are still closed sets. This essay examines the underlying questions of past, present, and future teacher performance assessments and suggests new possibilities for a growth and development orientation based on analysis of existing tools for evaluating teacher quality.

    Keywords: Professional Development, Assessing Teachers

  • Professional Book Reviews: Reading, Thinking, and Teaching [FREE ACCESS]

    Priscila Alvarado, Diane E. DeFord, Tasha Tropp Laman, Victoria A. Oglan, and Jennifer Stowe

    Abstract: Reviews of books covering many aspects of teacher assessment, including the history of some problematic educational reforms, global and racial implications of teacher assessment, and new perspectives on teaching writing and reading.

    Keywords: Writing Instruction, early literacy learning, international education

  • Children’s Literature Reviews: 2015 Charlotte Huck and Orbis Pictus Awards [FREE ACCESS]

    Committees for the Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children and the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children

    Abstract: The award committees review books chosen for the 2015 awards.

    Keywords: children’s literature

  • A Conversation with Anne Haas Dyson and Celia Genishi, NCTE’s 2015 Outstanding Educators of the Year

    Judith Lindfors

    Abstract: Judith Lindfors interviews Anne Haas Dyson and Celia Genishi, the recipients of NCTE’s 2015 Outstanding Educators of the Year award. Dyson and Genishi discuss such things as the development of their literacy and education interests, the people whose work has contributed to their own, and their collaboration style for writing together.

    Keywords: Cultural Studies, Early Childhood, Anne Haas Dyson, Celia Genishi, NCTE Outstanding Educator

  • Conversation Currents: Teaching ELA from an International Comparative Perspective: An Interview with Marc Tucker

    Mark Conley and Robyn Seglem

    Abstract: The Conversation Currents department is designed to provide diverse perspectives about key issues in education. The guest editors for this issue invited Marc Tucker to talk about his views on English language arts instruction in an international comparative context. Tucker is head of the National Center on Education and the Economy, the founder of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and a frequent writer about international comparisons among countries with regard to their educational systems and educational achievement.

    Keywords: educational policy, global education, NBPTS, NCEE

* Journal articles are provided in PDF format and can be opened using the free Adobe® Reader® program or a comparable viewer. Click here to download and install the most recent version of Adobe Reader.

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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts