New Test, Same Question: The Washington State ProTeach Portfolio

This study aims to assess the relationship between teacher performance on a new Washington State assessment of effective teaching and student achievement.

As part of Washington State's efforts to improve and ensure the quality of its teacher workforce, the Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB) with assistance from Educational Testing Services (ETS) has recently introduced a new, evidence-based assessment of teaching called the ProTeach Portfolio. Specifically, PESB was charged with the task of developing and implementing a uniform assessment that, first and foremost, demonstrates teachers' knowledge and skills for producing a positive impact on students' learning.

To this end, the Center for Education Data & Research (CEDR) has been contracted by PESB to analyze the ProTeach assessment and its alignment with student academic achievement on the WASL. Our investigation seeks to answer four questions:

  1. How much, if any, of the variation in student achievement attributable to teachers is accounted for by the ProTeach composite score?

  2. How well do the twelve subcategories of the assessment capture variation in student achievement?

  3. Does the proposed ProTeach pass/fail cutline identify teachers who are less effective as measured by student achievement?

  4. Is the composite score differentially predictive of student subgroups, grade levels, or subjects?

For more information on recent findings see the following publication:

Cowan, J. and Goldhaber, D. (2014). Assessing the Relationship Between Teacher Performance on Washington State's ProTeach Portfolio and Student Test Performance. CEDR Working Paper 2014-2. University of Washington, Seatte, WA.