Preparing Educators

Release of Massachusetts Candidate Assessment of Performance (CAP) Guidelines

To:Sponsoring Organizations with Teacher Preparation Programs
From:Elizabeth Losee, Assistant Director for Educator Preparation and Educator Assessment
Date:June 30, 2015

We are excited to announce the release of the Massachusetts Candidate Assessment of Performance (CAP) Guidelines. Together with our partner vendor and external stakeholders we have built a new assessment of teacher candidates that will ultimately replace the Pre-Service Performance Assessment (PPA) following the 2015-16 pilot of the CAP. These Guidelines are designed to: 1) outline expectations for the CAP and 2) support Sponsoring Organizations (SO), program supervisors, supervising practitioners, and candidates as they work together to ensure successful demonstration of the Professional Standards for Teachers (PSTs). The CAP, previously referred to as the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA), is designed to assess the overall readiness of teacher candidates. By demonstrating readiness through CAP, Massachusetts will be able to ensure that teacher candidates enter classrooms prepared to be impactful with students on day one. The CAP is the culminating assessment required for program completion in the Commonwealth and in this way creates an intentional bridge from training to practice by aligning expectations with the Massachusetts Educator Evaluation Framework. Through the CAP, teacher preparation providers will be able to ensure that candidates have the skills and knowledge necessary to be effective teachers in Massachusetts. The goals of the CAP are:
  • To ensure teacher candidates are ready to make impact with students day one;
  • To measure teacher candidates' practice on key indicators as outlined in the Guidelines for the Professional Standards for Teachers (PSTs) Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document; and
  • To support teachers in improving their practice based on targeted feedback and performance evaluations.
*Please Note: These guidelines apply to all initial licensure teacher candidates except the following specialist licenses: Academically Advanced, Reading, and Speech, Language, and Hearing Disorders teachers. It is the expectation of ESE that programs endorsing in license areas not covered by CAP, develop and implement a performance assessment appropriate for the license.

CAP Pilot (2015-16):

Following the release of these Guidelines, SOs with approved teacher preparation programs will be required to participate in the pilot of the CAP in the 2015-16 academic year. Although not all teacher preparation programs within an SO are required to pilot the new CAP, we expect at least one or more programs (with ten program completers or more) within a SO to participate. If a SO does not have any programs with ten or more program completers, SO's should plan to pilot CAP with multiple programs that add up to ten or more program completers. Any teacher preparation programs within a SO not participating in the pilot of the CAP, will be required to use the current PPA to assess teacher candidates. The timing for the piloting of the CAP within the 2015-16 academic year will be up to the teacher preparation program. SOs may choose to begin the pilot in the Fall semester or choose to do so only in the Spring semester. All results from the pilot will be submitted to ESE electronically. The submission requirements and platform for submitting those results will be forthcoming.

CAP Resources:

In support of the CAP pilot ESE will be:
  • Conducting a webinar outlining the new CAP system (July/August 2015)
  • Developing training modules for SO's to use in training Program Supervisors and Supervising Practitioners (Summer 2015)
  • Providing training to key personnel within SO's to support the pilot/implementation (Fall 2015)
  • Developing a platform for SO's to use in collecting and sharing CAP information and data (Summer 2015)
  • Posting these Guidelines, recorded webinars and all training resources on the ESE website

CAP Implementation (Begins 2016-17):

Following the CAP pilot in 2015-2016, successful completion of the CAP will be a requirement for program completion from all teacher preparation programs* beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Last Updated: August 4, 2015

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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