Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium

Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC)

The Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) is a consortium of state education agencies and national educational organizations dedicated to the reform of the preparation, licensing, and on-going professional development of teachers. Created in 1987, INTASC's primary constituency is state education agencies responsible for teacher licensing, program approval, and professional development. Its work is guided by one basic premise: An effective teacher must be able to integrate content knowledge with the specific strengths and needs of students to assure that all students learn and perform at high levels.

Mission of INTASC

The mission of INTASC is to provide a forum for its member states to learn about and collaborate in the development of

  • compatible educational policy on teaching among the states
  • new accountability requirements for teacher preparation programs
  • new techniques to assess the performance of teachers for licensing and evaluation
  • new programs to enhance the professional development of teachers

Model State Teacher Policy

Standards are the Policy That Drive the System
INTASC believes that all education policy should be driven by what we want our P-12 students to know and be able to do. Thus, all aspects of a state’s education system should be aligned with and organized to achieve the state’s policy as embodied in its P-12 student standards.  This includes its teacher licensing system.  Teacher licensing standards are the state’s policy for what all teachers must know and be able to do in order to effectively help all students achieve the P-12 student standards.  The teacher licensing standards become the driving force behind how a state’s teacher licensing system (program approval, licensing assessments, professional development) is organized and implemented. Thus, a state’s process for approving teacher preparation programs should be designed to verify that a program is aligned with the teacher licensing standards and provides opportunities for candidates to meet the standards. The state licensing assessments should verify that an individual teacher candidate has the knowledge and skills outlined in the licensing standards. The state’s professional development requirements for re-licensing should document that in-service practicing teachers are receiving professional development that is aligned with and helping them reach the licensing standards.

State Teacher Policy Framework

To print out a PDF version of this diagram, click here.

What INTASC Has Accomplished So Far

Using the above conceptual framework for state teacher policy, INTASC has been working to develop model policy that states can use as a resource as they work to align their own teacher licensing systems.  So far INTASC has accomplished the following:

  • developed model “core” standards for what all beginning teachers should know, be like, and be able to do in order to practice responsibly, regardless of the subject matter or grade level being taught
  • translated the core standards into model licensing standards in mathematics, English language arts, science, special education, foreign languages, arts, and are developing standards for elementary education and social studies/civics
  • initiated development of a new licensing examination, the Test for Teaching Knowledge, which will measure a beginning teacher’s knowledge and skill in the core standards
  • developed and validated a model performance assessment in the form of a candidate portfolio in math, English/language arts and science that is linked to INTASC’s standards
  • developed principles for quality teacher preparation programs to guide teacher preparation programs on how to incorporate INTASC’s performance-based standards
  • hosts an annual professional development academy to help states develop capacity to implement a standards-based licensing system by teaching individuals to score INTASC portfolios, to serve as mentors for beginning teachers, and to reform teacher preparation programs so that they incorporate the model standards
  • provides ongoing technical assistance to states as they implement standards-based licensing systems
  • commissioned papers on the legal implications of a standards-based teacher licensing system, and on assessment instruments for teacher licensing.

Who Develops INTASC’s Model Policies?

Various committees of practicing teachers, teacher educators, school leaders, and state agency staff crafted INTASC’s standards, which articulate what all beginning teachers should know and be able to do to teach effectively. The various committees’ missions were to take the INTASC core standards and translate them into appropriate policy for the teacher licensing system, specifically into licensing standards for individual candidates and standards for institutions that provide preservice and inservice programs.  These committees worked from existing documents of the various professional associations, particularly with recommended subject area standards for P-12 students. The purpose of this work was not to create yet another standards document, but to consider the best thinking of education practitioners and researchers, and to articulate the collective voice of the states regarding sound teacher licensing policy.

Public Comment Is Requested on the Model Policies

INTASC engages the profession and the public in a dialogue about the soundness and appro­priateness of all the proposed teacher standards. First, INTASC collects feedback on the standards through a questionnaire. Second, INTASC conducts focus groups that respond to the model standards, analyze how current state policies and programs would have to be revised to reflect the standards, and sug­gest strategies for bringing about these changes. The purpose of the focus groups is not only to refine and fine-tune the standards, but also to start laying the groundwork necessary for states to take ownership of the standards.

INTASC’s Standards are a Resource for States

INTASC’s role is one of consensus building among the states, and not decision making. All authority for state policy resides within each state’s governance structure. The INTASC standards are “model” standards and intended to be a RESOURCE that all states can use to develop their own state standards. INTASC encourages states to take the model standards and discuss and debate them among their own stakeholders to come up with their own language. INTASC’s hope is that states will agree with and honor the values in the model standards, and in this way move us toward consensus and compatible educational policies around what good teaching looks like and how it can be assessed.