Eau Claire (WQOW) - There's been a lot of talk about education reform in the past year.
That's something the Department of Public Instruction is already doing. It's working on a new assessment program focused on student teachers.
"There's a lot of argument that educators don't have a clear and valid way of assessing the teaching effectiveness of our graduates," says Dr. Marvin Lynn, UW-Eau Claire Associate Dean for Teacher Education.
UW-Eau Claire is part of a pilot program that hopes to change that.
"It just involves their student teaching and it asks them to take three to five learning segments from their student teaching experience, write about them, reflect on them and think about the assessment related to the instruction involved," says Lynn.
Information gathered from UW-Eau Claire will be used to create a statewide assessment standard and determine college curriculum.
"By participating in this study, we get the opportunity to give the DPI some early feedback best possible implementation strategies for this tool," says Lynn.
"The time to do that is during student teaching, that's where the rubber hits the road, that's the most authentic experience that a promising teacher's going to have in their preparation," says Dr. Brian McAlister, UW-Stout Education Department Director.
The assessment is sent off to an outside company who will evaluate the teacher's performance.
"Especially in today's world, what I want out of a teacher is someone who knows the difference between whether they did a good job or not and can then chart a path for their own self improvement," says McAlister.
How well a student teacher is assessed could depend on whether they're licensed as a teacher in the state.
"Some argue this is going to bring more credibility to the profession in some way because in every other profession; the legal profession, the nursing profession there's some nationally available assessment," says Lynn.
16 UW-Eau Claire education students are participating in the pilot program and will be required to have an assessment in May. It will not impact whether they are licensed. A statewide assessment could be implemented in a few years.