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California Bill That Would Remove Teacher Credential Performance Assessments Advances

California Bill That Would Remove Teacher Credential Performance Assessments Advances

A second-grade teacher goes over a worksheet in class at the Cordova Villa Elementary School, in Rancho Cordova, Calif., in a file photo. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

4/28/2024

Updated: 4/29/2024

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A California Senate bill that would remove one of the last tests teachers are required to take to become credentialed in the state recently passed the Senate Education Committee.
State Senate Bill 1263, introduced by Sen. Josh Newman in February, would eliminate the California Teaching Performance Assessment, which requires teachers to demonstrate their competence via video clips of classroom instruction, as well as written reflections on their classroom experience.
At an April 17 hearing, Mr. Newman argued that removing the assessment would encourage more Californians to become teachers.
“Despite its well-intentioned purpose, the demands associated with preparing for the [performance assessment] have actually had the perverse impact of reducing the overall quality of teacher preparation by undermining the capacity of teacher candidates to focus on what’s most important, which is their clinical practice,” he said.
Mr. Newman also said the performance assessments duplicate other teaching credential requirements such as proving subject-matter competency and completing more than 600 hours of clinical experience.
The bill is also co-sponsored by the California Teachers’ Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union, which represents 310,000 educators across the state.
“The [performance assessment] is an onerous portfolio assessment that detracts from teacher candidates’ ability to focus on applying the concepts and skills of teacher preparation coursework in real classrooms supervised by mentor teachers during supervised clinical practice,” the union wrote in a Senate Committee analysis of the bill.
However, the bill is opposed by the Education Trust West, a nonprofit education research and advocacy organization, which wrote in the same analysis that teachers who scored high on their performance assessments tended to have classrooms with better test scores.
“Research on [performance assessments] suggests that candidates’ performance is predictive of their students’ learning gains as measured by standardized test scores,” the organization stated. “[Performance assessments] portfolios are designed to assess teachers’ ability to plan instruction, teach diverse learners, assess student learning, and reflect on and improve their practice.”
The bill will now move to the Senate Appropriations Committee for a hearing in the coming weeks.
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

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Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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