The National Task Force on Assessment Education provides thought leadership and resources to foster a comprehensive understanding of assessment and its role in supporting student success. The Task Force convened to confront the very real challenge of the lack of assessment education for educators and to improve the national dialogue about the different uses of assessment and how to apply assessment data to support classroom learning.
In our Task Force Member Spotlight blog series, we next explore the background and thoughts from Kim Walters-Parker. Kim is a Reading Specialist at Woodford County High School in Versailles, Kentucky. She returned to teaching in 2015 after five years of service at the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). During her time at EPSB, Kim played key roles in retooling nearly every aspect of educator preparation, from admission through student teaching, and saw the state adopt literacy preparation standards for middle and high school certification programs.
Prior to joining the EPSB, Kim taught in the Education and Political Science Departments at Georgetown College, was an English teacher and high school reading specialist in the Fayette County (KY) Public Schools for fifteen years, and taught developmental reading at Eastern Kentucky University. She serves on the CAEP Accreditation Council and the AACTE Data Privacy Task Force, was a member of the CAEP State Alliance for Clinical Preparation and Partnerships, and worked with the Kentucky Network for Transforming Educator Preparation team. Kim received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Kentucky and her J.D. from the U.K. College of Law.
I have experienced educator preparation from just about every angle: candidate, teacher, teacher educator, regulatory agency staffer, and, once again, teacher. My current colleagues are beginning, mid-career, and experienced educators, and we are all on a constant learning curve to keep up with assessment trends, research, and data. After only a few weeks back in the role of classroom teacher, I have a new appreciation for what our prep programs are already doing well and a new understanding of some areas that need more attention. I expect participation in the Task Force to provide an avenue for sharing my new learning.
How might you use your learning and time with the Task Force to impact your current work over the next 12 months?
Because part of my teaching role involves working with other teachers, I expect I will have a clearer understanding of gaps we will need to fill with our future new teachers. Through my continuing work with CAEP and educator preparation in Kentucky, I will be able to inform implementation of standards to ensure all critical areas of assessment literacy are addressed adequately.
Have you had success in improving assessment education for teachers, either Pre- or In-service, in your work? If yes, please tell us a bit about the work and the results.
At the pre-service level, I think so. My beginning teacher colleagues definitely have a higher level of expertise than they would have had before recent efforts to emphasize assessment literacy in educator preparation. Nevertheless, the pace of change is going to have to pick up a bit, and the emphasis may need to shift to assessment principles rather than trying to keep up with specific examples, e.g., deeper understanding of measures of central tendency and regression rather than ability to interpret reports from a particular assessment.
Come back soon for our next Task Force Member Spotlight.