Authentic Alternatives to Accountability and Standardization
Edited By Joe Bower and Paul L. Thomas
Chapter Five: Solidarity and Critical Dialogue: Interrupting the Degradation of Teacher Preparation
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Solidarity AND Critical Dialogue
Interrupting the Degradation of Teacher Preparation
JULIE A. GORLEWSKI AND DAVID A. GORLEWSKI
In recent decades, teachers, students, and communities served by public schools have experienced top-down reform initiatives grounded in standardization and privatization (Noddings, 2007; Levin, 2006). Public-private partnerships that tend to enrich corporations while draining state budgets are stretching now to encompass teacher education programs. As part of the federal Race to the Top grant, New York State planned to develop a standard performance assessment required for teacher certification. Initially, the assessment was to be developed by the New York State Education Department in consultation with K–12 and higher education faculty. However, this plan was discarded; instead, the state contracted with the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) and Pearson, Inc. (Bloom, Regenspan, & McDowall, 2015). Despite concerns raised by teacher educators, New York State officials proceeded to implement the performance assessment, known as edTPA (the Teacher Performance Assessment in Education), and mandate it for certification beginning in May 2014 (Gorlewski, & Gorlewski, 2015).
The authors—lifelong educators whose work has focused on assessment, teacher and administrator preparation, and ongoing professional development—attended closely to the content and process of edTPA. Troubled by the prospect of standardizing what counts as good teaching, as well as by the hazards of outsourcing the scoring of the assessment itself, they sought to intervene without...
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