Missouri Teacher Assessment Tests Classroom Teaching Skills


The State Board of Education approved a recommendation for a passing score on the Missouri Pre-Service Teachers Assessment (MoPTA) this week. The MoPTA measures an educator candidate’s ability to apply what he or she has learned to real teaching environments with K-12 students.

The new passing score sets a new standard for student teachers as part of the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments (MEGA). The MoPTA consists of four tasks, and the fourth task includes a video or non-video requirement that allows evaluators to assess teacher candidates in action in the classroom.

“While content knowledge is certainly important, so is demonstrating that you are able to teach,” said Paul Katnik, assistant commissioner for the office of educator quality. “This new performance assessment provides us with a tool to determine if teacher candidates can effectively help students learn.”

A panel consisting of 23 Missouri educators, comprised of PK-12 teachers and teacher preparation faculty, recommended a standard score of 37 after defining the “learner-readiness” of a beginning teacher. Data from the first year of testing (2015-16) was also presented. This recommendation was unanimously supported by both the Missouri Advisory Council for the Certification of Educators (MACCE) and the Missouri Advisory Board for Educator Preparation (MABEP), allowing implementation for candidates enrolled in teacher preparation programs beginning in Fall 2016.

The MoPTA was developed at the request of the State Board of Education, to ensure that new teachers are ready and able to make a positive impact on student learning beginning their very first day. More than 3,500 student teachers were assessed using the MoPTA in 2015-16.