On the Alignment of Teachers’ Mathematical Content Knowledge Assessments with the Common Core State Standards

Instruments designed to measure teachers’ knowledge for teaching mathematics have been widely used to evaluate the impact of professional development and to investigate the role of teachers’ knowledge in teaching and student learning. These instruments assess a mixture of content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. However, little attention has been given to the content alignment between such instruments and curricular standards, particularly in regard to how content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge items are distributed across mathematical topics. This article provides content maps for two widely used teacher assessment instruments in the USA relative to the widely adopted Common Core State Standards. This common reference enables comparisons of content alignment both between the instruments and between parallel forms within each instrument. The findings indicate that only a small number of items on both instruments are designed to capture teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge and that the majority of these items are focused on curricular topics in the later grades rather than in the early grades. Furthermore, some forms designed for use as pre- and post-assessment of professional development or teacher education are not parallel in terms of curricular topics, so estimates of teachers’ knowledge growth based on these forms may not mean what users assume. The implications of these findings for teacher educators and researchers who use teacher knowledge instruments are discussed.

Copur-Gencturk, Y., Jacobson, E., & Rasiej, R. (2021). On the alignment of teachers’ mathematical content knowledge assessments with the common core state standards. Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education.