Common Performance Assessments

There is increased emphasis on accountability of educator programs throughout the nation. Much of the accountability efforts focus on mandating standardized tests for both educators and their students. While principals are key players in the school reform effort, Washington state has not mandated a standardized test specific for educational leaders.

However, there is still a need for common measures among the approved preparation programs to ensure consistency and quality. To meet this need, the Washington Council of Education Administration Programs (WCEAP) agreed to implement the Common Performance Assessments beginning with the summer/fall 2012 cohorts.

WAC 181-78A-270 requires principal preparation programs to require candidates to engage in an assessment process using the standards-based benchmarks. Specifically, WAC 181-78A-270(2)(a)(ii) states:

"Performance assessment. An approved preparation program for principals shall require that each candidate engage in an assessment process using the standards-based benchmarks approved by the professional educator standards board. The benchmarks may not be changed without prior professional educator standards board approval. All candidates shall exit the residency certificate program with a draft professional growth plan."

The Board and WCEAP agreed that the Common Performance Assessments met the intent of this WAC.  All programs have agreed to implement the updated Common Performance Assessments beginning in the 2012-2013 academic year.

The templates will give guidance to programs so that each program may design performance tasks that match curriculum in order to judge the quality of candidate preparation for the certificate. Each program is expected to use this guiding document to create performance tasks and related rubrics for each standard. In addition, the WCEAP membership has agreed, at its quarterly meetings, to regularly review and discuss sample tasks from different member universities.

It is important to note that there will be variation within the common work products among programs. Just as institutions vary in delivery systems, there is some flexibility as to the structure of each product. However, all residency level benchmarks must be addressed. Reflection is a required component of each common work product. Programs may infuse the common products into coursework or require completion during the internship. For accountability purposes, each program will develop a program portfolio that includes the Common Performance Assessments and rubrics for each standard for review by site visit teams.