Developing a Professional Development Plan
The Teacher Education and Development group of Pearson provides professional development strategies based on research, evaluation, and best practices to schools and districts across the country. Our collective body of experience, our breadth of resources and services, and our strong relationships with schools and districts make Pearson the organization to guide schools through this next generation assessments process.
One example of our successful partnership is Pearson Learning Teams (LT), a school improvement model built on 19 years of research in schools that uses teacher collaboration and distributed leadership to improve achievement and school culture in low-performing schools. LT is currently serving 175 schools in five states, working with 6,500 teachers and impacting the achievement of 176,000 students. The LT distributed professional development would work well in a model such as that proposed by PARCC, where the consortium does not intend to supply the training directly, but will provide educators with the tools they need to improve student achievement.
In addition, the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson develops rigorous, standards-based custom teacher certification programs, collaborating with state education agencies and teacher preparation programs to provide support for prospective teachers.
Including Educators in the Process
Teachers need the opportunity to participate in different activities that illustrate how tests are developed, built, validated, and scored, to improve teaching and learning.
A full professional development curriculum on assessment literacy could include the following components:
Standards—Understanding the common assessment standards and the objectives connected to each standard.
Item Writing—Training educators on the criteria for high-quality test items and involving educators in the item writing process.
Item Review—Training educators on and facilitating their participation in review cycles so that they develop a full understanding of the test development process.
Field Test Training and Scoring—Facilitating teacher involvement in field testing and scoring, including the range finding process where groups of teachers are convened to set scoring standards and to score, discuss, and select the student papers to be used in scorer training.
Pearson provides these and other professional development services for many state assessment programs today. The training can be modified to align to the new standards while leveraging years of best practice for including teachers in the assessment process.