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2015 November Language Arts, v93.2

Non-Member Price: $12.50

NCTE Member Price: $4.25

Issue Theme: Teacher Performance Assessment

Level(s): Elementary, Middle

ISBN/ISSN: 0360-9170


Language Arts
Volume 93, Number 2, November 2015
Issue Theme: Teacher Performance Assessment

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Calls for Manuscripts

Thoughts from the Editors: Disrupting the Rush to Standardization through the Squeaky Door
Guest Editors: Robyn Seglem and Mark Conley

Performance-Based Assessment for Certification: Insights from edTPA Implementation
Amy Johnson Lachuk and Karen Koellner
Abstract: In this essay, two teacher educators share the tensions they experienced in implementing program-wide interventions in response to the edTPA adoption. In particular, we share how we experienced tensions between 1) telling teacher candidates how to teach and supporting their growth through self-directed reflection, 2) carrying ourselves with confidence in the face of uncertainty about the newly state-mandated edTPA examination, 3) valuing teacher candidates' prior experiences with teaching and learning, and helping them reconstruct their experiences in a way that would support them with the edTPA examination. We share the insights we gained about edTPA implementation from experiencing these tensions

The Implications of Teacher Performance Assessment and the Impact on Teacher Decision Making
Renee Moran
Abstract: The issue of teacher accountability has been a part of the educational conversation for three decades, but only recently has this conversation been translated into policy as states begin directly tying teacher evaluation scores in part to student achievement on standardized tests. This qualitative study focuses on a group of teachers who are participating in this new form of evaluation (containing both qualitative and quantitative elements including test scores and lesson observations) and examines how they perceived the process. In particular, the study looks at how their personal reactions to a high-stakes evaluation impacted their instructional decision making in their literacy classrooms. Findings demonstrate that teachers had varying levels of change in instructional practice and that these changes were impacted by a variety of factors including personal beliefs and contextual issues. Additionally, findings demonstrated that participants found the qualitative portion of the model to be highly subjective which was considered especially problematic because of the high stakes nature of the evaluation.

Commentaries: Teacher Performance Assessment
Peter Smagorinsky, Sean Kottke, Arlene Lents, Paula McPhee, Meredith Dodson, Peter Leonard, Claudinette (Didi) Swartz, and John Barker
Abstract: Three commentaries center around the theme of teacher performance assessment. First, Peter Smagorinsky discusses growth through language arts and the conundrum of teacher assessment. Then Sean Kottke, Paula McPhee, Arlene Lents, and Meredith Dodson discuss the importance of community in teacher preparation. Finally, Peter Leonard, Claudinette (Didi) Swartz, and John Barker discuss performance assessments for teacher evaluation in the Chicago Public Schools.

Research and Policy: Not Whether, but How: Asking the Right Questions in Teacher Performance Assessment
Rachael Gabriel
Abstract: Despite best intentions, rubrics based on a set of core practices limit what counts as effective instruction to that which can be understood in relation to these practices. Though rubrics for evaluating teacher performance represent a marked improvement from more unidimensional concepts of what counts as good teaching, they are still closed sets. This essay examines the underlying questions of past, present, and future teacher performance assessments and suggests new possibilities for a growth and development orientation based on analysis of existing tools for evaluating teacher quality.

Professional Book Reviews: Reading, Thinking, and Teaching
Priscila Alvarado, Diane E. DeFord, Tasha Tropp Laman, Victoria A. Oglan, and Jennifer Stowe
Abstract: Reviews of books covering many aspects of teacher assessment, including the history of some problematic educational reforms, global and racial implications of teacher assessment, and new perspectives on teaching writing and reading.

Children’s Literature Reviews: 2015 Charlotte Huck and Orbis Pictus Awards
Committees for the Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children and the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children
Abstract: The award committees review books chosen for the 2015 awards.

A Conversation with Anne Haas Dyson and Celia Genishi, NCTE’s 2015 Outstanding Educators of the Year
Judith Lindfors
Abstract: Judith Lindfors interviews Anne Haas Dyson and Celia Genishi, the recipients of NCTE’s 2015 Outstanding Educators of the Year award. Dyson and Genishi discuss such things as the development of their literacy and education interests, the people whose work has contributed to their own, and their collaboration style for writing together.

Conversation Currents: Teaching ELA from an International Comparative Perspective: An Interview with Marc Tucker
Mark Conley and Robyn Seglem
Abstract: The Conversation Currents department is designed to provide diverse perspectives about key issues in education. The guest editors for this issue invited Marc Tucker to talk about his views on English language arts instruction in an international comparative context. Tucker is head of the National Center on Education and the Economy, the founder of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and a frequent writer about international comparisons among countries with regard to their educational systems and educational achievement.

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