the presentation with an impression that the process is complex and multidimensional, and that it allows teachers to demonstrate a level of thinking and performance that one might expect of accomplished teachers. We were also impressed by the extent to which the video portfolios captured aspects of teaching that could not be assessed with a paper and pencil assessment, such as the effectiveness of their classroom interactions with students.

We note, however, that prior to this demonstration, we were not able to get a full sense of the nature of the assessment. At the beginning of our study, no sample portfolio entries had been publicly released, and none was made available to us. Clearly the need to respect candidates’ and students’ confidentiality poses a challenge, but teachers who are considering applying or in the process of preparing their submissions would benefit greatly from the opportunity we were afforded in order to fully understand what is expected of them. Moreover, our reaction to the presentation demonstrated the importance of conveying the nature of the assessment to school administrators, policy makers, and others so that they better understand what is required of teachers who earn board certification.

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