The University of Wisconsin System, in partnership with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), will receive $600,000 over the next three years to create common accountability measures in preparing future math and science teachers.
Wisconsin’s grassroots Teacher Quality Assessment (TQA) Model project is designed to create reliable performance assessment tools used during student teaching. The assessments will document how well prospective teachers attain relevant math and science knowledge and skills, and information gathered will serve as a guide for ongoing changes in teacher preparation and professional development.
Data generated by this project will guide program improvement and reform across the 13 four-year UW System campuses that currently produce 3,400 new teachers each year. The UW System has invited Wisconsin’s private and independent institutions to join them in the state-wide initiative.
The project, endorsed by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, aims to have the new assessment standards in place by 2010. The project will have national significance, fostering identification and adoption of best practices, based on researched-based findings. Current evidence shows the dominant factor in determining student success is teacher quality, and the Wisconsin data will be used by universities nationwide to better assess the preparation of math and science educators.
Francine Tompkins of the UW System Administration and Mona Wineburg of AASCU will co-direct the project. The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), which promotes projects that promise to improve the quality of postsecondary education.