Politics of policy: Assessing the implementation, impact, and evolution of the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) and edTPA

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Abstract

Summative performance assessments in teacher education, such as the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) and the edTPA, have been heralded through polices intended to enhance the quality of the teaching profession and raise its stature among other professions. However, the development and implementation of the PACT, and subsequently the edTPA, have not been without controversy and debate. The purpose of this article is to assess the implementation, impact, and evolution of the PACT and edTPA. To do so, we review the growing body of literature on the impact and implementation of the PACT and critically analyze the state policies surrounding the edTPA. We raise questions about the practical and policy implications of the PACT’s evolution, as a statewide assessment, to the edTPA, a nationally available assessment.

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How to Cite
Reagan, E. M., Schram, T., McCurdy, K., Chang, T.-H., & Evans, C. M. (2016). Politics of policy: Assessing the implementation, impact, and evolution of the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) and edTPA. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 24, 9. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.24.2176
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Author Biographies

Emilie Mitescu Reagan, University of New Hampshire

Emilie Mitescu Reagan is an Assistant Professor of Assessment and Policy at the University of New Hampshire. Her research interests include assessment of and accountability in teacher education using quantitative and mixed methods research. She has published articles in journals such as Teacher Education and Practice, Journal of Education for Teaching, Teacher Education Quarterly, and Educational Research Quarterly.

Thomas Schram, University of New Hampshire

Tom Schram is Associate Professor and Director of the Division of Educator Preparation at the University of New Hampshire, where he coordinates master’s-level credentialing programs in teacher education, special education, early childhood education, and counseling.  He is a founding member and Vice President of the New Hampshire IHE Network, a nonprofit consortium comprised of all the higher education educator preparation programs in the state. He has authored books on qualitative research design, served as a research consultant for the Teachers for a New Era (TNE) evidence team at Boston College, and was the lead qualitative researcher of a nationwide study on reform in mathematics education and the NCTM Standards.

Kathryn McCurdy, University of New Hampshire

Kathryn McCurdy is a PhD candidate in the education department at the University of New Hamsphire. Her research focuses on novice teacher learning, with an emphasis on what and in what ways support structures encourage development across the beginning years of teaching.  She is also interested in the perceptions of school principals as teacher educators, teacher evaluation systems, and teacher effectiveness.

Te-Hsin Chang, University of New Hampshire

Te-Hsin Chang is a PhD candidate in Outdoor/Experiential Education at the University of New Hampshire.  Her research interests include the student-teacher caring relationships building, moral education, adventure/experiential education, and cross-cultural research.

Carla M. Evans, Department of Education

Carla M. Evans is a doctoral student in the Education Department at the University of New Hampshire. Her research focuses on the impacts and implementation of assessment and accountability policies on teaching and learning. She is interested in all levels of the system (national, state, district, school, and classroom), and focuses on three policy areas at the forefront of educational reform: comprehensive assessment and accountability systems, performance-based assessments, and teacher/teacher preparation program effectiveness initiatives.