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Teacher Performance Assessment

Early Childhood


The Washington Teacher Performance Assessment (WTPA) is being developed as the Washington version of a nationally available assessment of readiness to teach for novices. The national assessment is focused on student learning and is designed around the principles applied by successful teachers:

  • Develop knowledge of subject matter and subject-specific pedagogy.
  • Develop and apply knowledge of students’ varied needs.
  • Consider research and theory about how students learn.
  • Reflect and act on evidence of the effects of their instruction on student learning.

The Washington version adds a state emphasis of involving students in their own learning process and providing student-voice evidence. As a performance-based assessment, the Washington TPA is designed to engage candidates in demonstrating their understanding of teaching and student learning in authentic, experiential ways.

As a participant in this assessment, you will have an opportunity to develop a collection of materials that represents the ways in which you impact student learning in your “student teaching” classroom or other instructional settings. When developing your materials, you will be prompted to synthesize what you have learned throughout your preparation program and apply it with the students you currently teach. Your Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) evidence will demonstrate your current abilities, knowledge, and skills as a beginning teacher on your way to becoming a highly accomplished teacher.

Summary of Tasks

In this assessment, you will describe, analyze, and evaluate the teaching of a series of 3–5 related and coherent learning opportunities over the course of one week, referred to as a learning segment. The learning segment should promote children’s development of language and literacy skills and processes. Consistent with the 2010 National Association for the Education of Young Children Standards for Initial and Advanced Early Childhood Professional Preparation Programs and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards for Early Childhood, the learning segment should promote a developmentally appropriate and integrated approach to language and literacy development. The learning segment should attend to language development and the interrelated skills and processes of listening, speaking, reading, writing, and visually representing and should provide a healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environment. Although the full scope of an interrelated curriculum may not be feasible in a short learning segment, you should plan, support, and assess these skills and processes in a comprehensive and integrated way to promote language and literacy development.

You will complete three tasks for edTPA:

  1. Planning Instruction and Assessment
  2. Instructing and Engaging Children in Learning
  3. Assessing Children’s Learning

Evidence of Teaching Practice: Artifacts and Commentaries

To complete the assessment, you will submit artifacts and commentaries as evidence of how you planned and implemented instruction to promote language and literacy development. Artifacts represent authentic work completed by you and the children in your class. These include lesson plans, copies of instructional and assessment materials, video clips of your teaching, student-voice evidence, and sources of children’s learning (video or audio clips, observation notes, and work samples).

The commentaries are your opportunity to describe your artifacts, explain the rationale behind their use, collect student-voice evidence about their learning progress, and analyze and reflect on what you’ve learned about your teaching practice and the children’s learning. In each commentary, you will respond to prompts to provide evidence of what you know and understand about the children and their learning. Note that although your writing ability will not be scored directly, commentaries must be clearly written and well focused.

When preparing your artifacts and commentaries, refer to the rubrics frequently to guide your thinking, planning, and writing. Refer to the Early Childhood Evidence Chart for information about how your evidence should be formatted for electronic submission.

Evaluation and Scoring Criteria

The evidence you submit will be judged on six dimensions of teaching:

  1. Planning
  2. Instruction
  3. Assessment
  4. Analyzing Teaching
  5. Academic Language
  6. Student Voice

Evidence for the planning, instruction, assessment, and analyzing teaching dimensions will come from the corresponding tasks. Evidence for the academic language dimension will come from the Planning and either the Instruction or Assessment tasks. Evidence for the student-voice dimension will come from all tasks.

The rubrics used to score your performance on the TPA are included in the handbook and are linked electronically to each task. The descriptors in the five-level rubrics address a wide range of performance, representing the knowledge and skills of a novice not ready to teach (Level 1) to the advanced practices of a highly accomplished beginner (Level 5).

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.