ETS Launches Customized Performance Assessment for Missouri School Leaders

Jason Baran


Princeton, N.J. (Jan. 29, 2015) – Educational Testing Service (ETS) has developed a customized, performance-based assessment for Missouri so that the state can determine the instructional capability of leadership candidates seeking school leader certification. The School Leader assessment launched in October 2014 and is a part of the state’s Missouri Educator Gateway Assessments.

The Missouri School Leader Performance Assessment (MoSLPA) is designed to develop more effective school leaders, identify candidates’ strengths and areas for improvement of practice, and emphasize a candidate’s role in the area of instructional practice for the improvement of student learning.

“Our Missouri State Board of Education asked us to develop a performance assessment for school leaders. It is not enough for a future school leader to have passed a content assessment. It is imperative that the future school leader demonstrate that he/she can have a positive impact upon their students, teachers/staff, and school community,” said Dr. Paul Katnik, Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Educator Quality. “The MoSLPA is in the initial year of implementation, and we are already hearing positive comments from K–12 schools and leadership preparation programs. Our future school leaders are having the opportunity to be actively involved in school improvement projects during their internships. Missouri’s leadership preparation programs and the MoSLPA serve as the first step in entering our Leadership Development Program.”

ETS Vice President of Teacher Licensure & Certification Programs Diane Bailey said, “Missouri’s forward-looking assessment requirements provided the opportunity for ETS to work with school leaders in the state to develop a portfolio-based performance assessment for aspiring principals; the first of its kind. The State now has a quality, research-based performance assessment to help them place leaders in their schools, leaders who have demonstrated their ability to foster instructional excellence and teacher professional development in the context of their school and the community in which the school lives.”

The online assessment is composed of three tasks that are aligned with Missouri’s School Leader Standards and Quality Indicators. Task one requires problem solving in the field, task two requires supporting continuous professional development, and task three requires creating a collaborative leadership team.

As part of the three-year contract with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, ETS is also developing performance assessments for Pre-Service Teachers, School Counselors and Librarians. The School Counselor and Librarian performance assessments will be piloted in January 2015, and all performance assessments will be operational in fall 2015. ETS will administer and score the assessments.

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