Educational Testing Service

January 20, 2010 11:00 ET

ETS Leading Effort to Design and Develop Innovative Assessments of Knowledge for Teaching

PRINCETON, NJ--(Marketwire - January 20, 2010) - Educational Testing Service is leading an effort to design and develop a set of innovative assessments of knowledge for teaching. The basis of new measures will be a framework that taps into the specific subject matter knowledge teachers regularly use in their day-to-day practice.

ETS is working with the University of Michigan on the project, which the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting through its Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) venture. Distinguished Researcher Drew Gitomer and Research Scientist Courtney Bell are the lead ETS researchers on the approximately $2.2 million effort that will produce a set of assessments by December 2011.

"Teachers ought to know the subject matter that they teach," Gitomer says. "Research establishing empirical relationships, however, between measures of teacher knowledge and measures of student learning is quite limited. The ETS and U-M MET project will be one of the most extensive explorations of teacher knowledge testing done to date."

Through MET, the researchers will develop frameworks for the assessment of teacher knowledge with the specific focus on content pedagogy and content knowledge. The project team will then use the frameworks to develop assessments of teacher knowledge in mathematics and English-language arts in grades 4 - 9 that address both general knowledge and specific focal topics.

Gitomer explains, "Our primary focus is on the design and development of new models of teacher knowledge assessment based on current theories of teacher knowledge, practice and assessment design."

As a way of understanding the potential of such measures, the development team also will attempt to understand the utility of well-established measures of teacher content knowledge as related to not only value-added measures, but also to different observational measures, classroom assignment quality, and teacher and student perceptions.

About ETS

At nonprofit ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English-language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually -- including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® test and The Praxis Series™ assessments -- in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.

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