Have measures of candidate content knowledge increased overall or in any particular subject areas like STEM?
The WEST-E is used to measure the subject-specific content knowledge of candidates prior to receiving an endorsement for the subject on their teaching credential. Generally, there has been little or no increase in this measure over time.
Although there is little difference in WEST-E scores over time, we do see differences between programs. Using the WEST-E to measure subject content knowledge, completers from some programs have more subject-specific content knowledge than candidates from other programs.
The edTPA is the new preservice performance assessment required for completion of a Washington teacher preparation program. Washington is the lead state in a 22-state consortium implementing this assessment. Researchers are currently looking to understand how the edTPA correlates, or does not correlate, with teacher performance in the classroom. The assessment became fully operational in January, 2014, so it is still too early to draw conclusions based on the data. Additional charts and information in the side bar above offer some early observations. As the first state implementing this new assessment, the PESB set the passing score conservatively, with plans to raise it in 2017-2018 school year.
Washington's second-tier certificate exam is called the ProTeach. A recent study found, generally, teachers who pass the ProTeach are more likely to be effective teachers. Like all exams, the ProTeach is likely to have a number of false positives and false negatives, the study suggests these are important considerations for policy-makers.