(Bond et al., 2000). Additional information on these studies can be found at the NBPTS’s website <www.nbpts.org> and in professional journals.
Connecticut, working in collaboration with INTASC, exemplifies a state that has implemented a licensing system that relies on performance-based assessments. Connecticut’s Beginning Educator Support and Training Program is a comprehensive three-year induction program that involves both mentoring and support for beginning teachers and a portfolio assessment. The philosophy behind Connecticut’s program is that effective teaching involves mastery of both content and pedagogy. This philosophy is reflected in Connecticut’s Common Core of Teaching, which in intended to present a comprehensive view of the accomplished teacher. The Common Core of Teaching specifies what teachers should know, how they should apply their knowledge, and how they should demonstrate professional responsibility (see Appendix F). The Common Core of Teaching guides state policies related to preservice training, induction, evaluation, and the professional growth of all teachers. The state also has subject-specific standards.
The preservice training requirements for prospective teachers are specified in terms of a set of competencies as distinct from a list of required courses. The competencies encompass the body of knowledge and skills the state believes individuals should develop as they progress through the teacher education program. Prospective teachers must pass Praxis I to enter a teacher preparation program and Praxis II to be recommended for licensure.
During their first three years of teaching, beginning teachers receive support from school- or district-based mentors and through state-sponsored professional development activities. During their second year, teachers must compile and submit a discipline-specific teaching portfolio. In the portfolio, teachers document their methods of lesson planning, teaching, assessment of student learning, and self-reflection in a 7- to 10-day unit of instruction. The portfolio includes information from multiple sources, such as lesson logs, videotapes of teaching, teacher commentaries, examples of student work, and formal and informal assessments. The state offers seminars that instruct teachers in ways to meet professional standards through the portfolio process.
Scorers are trained to evaluate the portfolios using criteria based on content-focused teaching standards. Portfolio scorers receive up to 70 hours of training and must meet a proficiency standard before being eligible to score. If the portfolio does not meet the acceptable standards, the teacher is provided with another opportunity to submit a portfolio during the third year of teaching. If a teacher fails to meet the standard by then, he or she is ineligible to apply for a Connecticut provisional certificate and cannot teach in Connecticut public