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edTPA Partners to Join National Board Effort To Improve Teacher Training in Math and Science

November 16, 2012

Grant Awarded to Support "Building a Pipeline of Teaching Excellence" Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The higher education partners behind the development of an assessment for beginning teachers today hailed the award of a federal grant to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards as one that will lay the groundwork for exciting improvements in teacher preparation. 

The $3 million “Investing in Innovation” grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Education, will allow the National Board to create an online repository of classroom videos and accompanying written materials that illuminate how master teachers go about the job of challenging and stimulating students to learn. 

The project will include faculty from Stanford University, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC). Those partners worked closely together to develop edTPA, a performance-based assessment tool to help determine if student teachers are ready for the classroom. edTPA is based on standards developed by the National Board to identify the most accomplished teachers among experienced educators. 

With the assistance of Stanford, the AACTE and TPAC, the new project calls for the development of instructional guidelines for integrating the National Board’s repository into college teacher preparation programs. The five-year research project, focusing on teachers of math and science in grades 3-to-6, also will seek to demonstrate that use of the repository has a positive impact on the skills of early-career teachers.
The National Board’s repository will be known as ATLAS, or Accomplished Teaching, Learning and Schools, and will be constructed through a project the National Board calls “Building a Pipeline of Teaching Excellence.”

Key faculty at Stanford University will help develop guidelines for integrating ATLAS into preparation programs and bring expertise in the use of video to inform and enhance the practices of beginning teachers. Stanford University partners will include: 

  • Linda Darling-Hammond, a co-principal investigator of the grant and the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education who helped develop edTPA;
  • Ray Pecheone, executive director of the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE), and
  • Andrea Whittaker, the director of Teacher Performance Assessment at SCALE. 

“This is cutting-edge work at the nexus of the nation’s two most important educational challenges: promoting educator effectiveness and strengthening science and math teaching and learning,” said Darling-Hammond. “The integration of the National Board’s repository of master teacher certifications into teacher preparatory programs will be extraordinarily beneficial.” 

“Importantly, creation of this online repository will provide a tremendous resource for student teachers to watch and read and understand what makes good teachers great,” added Pecheone, whose SCALE is being supported by TPAC in the development and deployment of edTPA. 

“edTPA requires student teachers to prepare a portfolio that includes video of them at work in the classroom,” Pecheone continued. “With this project, the National Board can make available a video digital library featuring experienced teachers who have earned National Board Certification.” 



About the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (
The founding mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards is to advance the quality of teaching and learning by: maintaining high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do; providing a national voluntary system certifying teachers who meet these standards, and advocating related education reforms to integrate National Board Certification in American education and to capitalize on the expertise of National Board Certified Teachers. Recognized as the “gold standard” in teacher certification, the National Board believes higher standards for teachers means better learning for students.

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