Preparing Educators

Update on the development of the new Candidate Assessment of Performance (CAP)

To:Teacher Preparation Program Providers
From:Heather G. Peske, Ed.D., Associate Commissioner for Educator Effectiveness
Date:May 14, 2015


In February 2014, the Department convened a Candidate Assessment of Performance Task Force made up of stakeholders working in K-12 schools and preparation programs across the state to provide a recommendation to ESE and the Commissioner on a Candidate Assessment of Performance in Massachusetts. Based in part on the considerations from the Task Force Download PDF Document  Download Powerpoint Presentation and the need to create better alignment from preparation to employment, Massachusetts decided to develop its own performance assessment for teacher candidates. We began work in December 2014 with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) to build a valid and reliable Candidate Assessment of Performance system and associated training resources that will set a high bar for our teacher candidate s and providers, and align with other educator effectiveness policies in the Commonwealth. The goals for the new CAP are to measure teacher candidates' practice across a range of key indicators as outlined in the Guidelines for the Professional Standards for Teachers Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document and support them in improving their practice based on the results.

Stakeholder Outreach:

Beginning in December 2014 and through April 2015 we conducted interviews and focus groups with key stakeholders from K-12, preparation programs and other key stakeholders to solicit information and feedback on the new CAP system. An Advisory Committee, consisting of the members from the Task Force as well two additional members, had their first meeting in February 2015. The role of the Advisory Committee is to provide specific actionable feedback on the CAP and the process. The final Advisory Committee meeting will be held in June 2015 when we expect to collect feedback on a complete draft CAP system that will be released at the end of June 2015.

CAP System:

As we work to finalize the CAP system in alignment with the MA educator evaluation model system and with feedback from the Advisory Committee, we expect that the new system will include the following:
  • Use of some Elements within the Teacher Evaluation Model Rubric Download Word Document;
  • Use of an Observation Protocol and supporting documents;
  • Use of multiple measures in support of determining a Summative Rating:
    • Measures of student learning
    • Observations
    • ESE Student Feedback Surveys
  • Use of the 5-step cycle; and
  • Training resources including videos and other materials to support consistent implementation across all organizations. These will not be released in June. Anticipated release for these resources is Fall 2015.

CAP Pilot:

Once the CAP system has been released in late June, ESE will continue working with key stakeholders to develop the series of resources to support implementation of the pilot in the 2015-16 academic year. The pilot of the new CAP will be required of all organizations with approved teacher preparation programs. Although not all programs within an organization will be required to participate in the pilot, we expect at least one or more programs (with ten program completers or more) within an organization to participate. Organizations may choose to pilot materials beginning in the Fall semester or choose to do so only in the Spring practicum season. All results from the pilot will be submitted to ESE electronically. The submission requirements and platform for submitting those results will be forthcoming. The CAP will be required for all initial teacher licensure programs with the exception of:
  • Reading Specialist
  • Academically Advanced Specialist
  • Speech and Hearing Disorders
Further information about the expectations for these programs will be outlined when the CAP system is released in June. Following the CAP pilot in 2015-2016, successful completion of the CAP will be a requirement for program completion in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Last Updated: August 4, 2015

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.