induction, and teacher evaluation and compensation. The district collaborates with the University of Cincinnati in offering a fifth-year graduate internship program that places teacher candidates in one of seven professional practice schools in Cincinnati. The interns are mentored and evaluated by career and lead teachers. The district’s teacher induction program provides support and ongoing feedback to beginning teachers. The program uses experienced teachers as both mentors and evaluators of new teachers. The example of Cincinnati suggests that in addition to the role played by national, state, and local institutions, districts can play an active role in teacher assessment and licensing.

Performance-Based Teacher Education at Alverno College

In this case study the committee provides a description of teacher education and assessment as practiced at Alverno College, which undertook development of a performance-based baccalaureate degree over 20 years ago (Diez, et al., 1998). This change resulted in an overhaul of the college’s curriculum and approach to teaching. The new approach is characterized by publicly articulated learning outcomes, realistic classroom activities and field experiences, and ongoing performance assessments of learning progress. Alverno’s program is of interest because it provides an example of a system in which a party other than a state or district could warrant teacher competence. Thus, the focus here is on Alveno as a working program that can expand the debate about other models for warranting teacher competence.

All students enrolled at Alverno College are expected to demonstrate proficiency in the following eight ability areas: communication, analysis, problem solving, values within decision making, social interaction, global perspectives, effective citizenship, and aesthetic responsiveness (see descriptions in Appendix F). These abilities cut across discipline areas and are subdivided into six developmental levels. The six levels for each ability area represent a developmental sequence that begins with awareness of one’s own performance process for a given ability and that specifies increasingly complex knowledge, skills, and dispositions.

The teacher education program at Alverno College builds on the foundation provided by the eight general education abilities. The program’s performance-based standards require teacher candidates to demonstrate competency in five areas:

  • Conceptualization: Integrating content knowledge with educational frameworks and a broadly based understanding of the liberal arts in order to plan and implement instruction.

  • Diagnosis: Relating observed behavior to relevant frameworks in order to determine and implement learning prescriptions.

  • Coordination: Managing resources effectively to support learning goals.

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