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What is the ETS® NOTE Program?

Transforming the way we measure teacher readiness

The ETS® NOTE Program is grounded in a growing understanding of the knowledge and skills essential to good teaching. Developed by ETS and TeachingWorks, two leaders in research on effective teaching, the NOTE program is a standardized performance assessment that brings a new focus on teaching practice to the field of licensure testing. It is administered in secure testing centers.

From the maker of the Praxis® tests

The NOTE program is being developed by ETS, the organization behind the Praxis® tests. And like the Praxis tests, which are part of the certification process required by many states and professional licensing organizations, the NOTE program is poised to become a standard part of licensure.

Grounded in high-leverage practices

The NOTE program is designed to focus on high-leverage practices (HLPs) of teaching, a set of classroom instructional practices that are critical to student learning. HLPs are the skills and behaviors that help teachers think and perform on their feet. HLPs are essential for beginning teachers because they are used with high frequency from day one, and have a significant impact on student learning. They’re also the kinds of practices that are challenging to evaluate through traditional assessments.

The ETS® NOTE Elementary Education: Practices for Teaching Content assessment measures candidates’ ability to engage in three HLPs of teaching content:

  1. modeling and explaining content (MEC)
  2. leading group discussion (LGD)
  3. eliciting student thinking (EST)

Learn more about the content and structure of the NOTE Elementary Education assessment.

Assessing candidates across three core HLPs in the NOTE Elementary Education assessment

These tasks focus on content topics that come from the elementary curriculum in mathematics and reading and language arts and across elementary grades (K–6).

Modeling and Explaining Content

Tasks assessing this HLP test the ability to introduce and support understanding of specific academic content, processes and practices using explanations, examples, modeling and other representations. As part of the candidate's performance, he or she uses virtual versions of common classroom tools and materials. These include a whiteboard and content-specific artifacts such as reading and language arts texts, student work samples and common mathematical manipulatives (e.g., base ten blocks).

Watch a sample performance video of an MEC task.

View transcript.

Leading Group Discussion

Tasks assessing this HLP call for a candidate to demonstrate the ability to facilitate an interactive, academically focused discussion to support student learning of specific content. An effective performance appropriately integrates student contributions and ideas and supports the specified content learning goals. In a performance, the candidate interacts with a small group of students in a simulated classroom. Virtual tools — including a whiteboard — are used to share visual content.

Watch a sample performance video of an LGD task.

View transcript.

Eliciting Student Thinking

Tasks assessing this HLP test the ability to have a content-focused conversation with a student about their work on, and understanding of, specific academic content. With the objective of bringing out a student's understanding of an idea, process or practice, the candidate's performance involves a one-on-one interaction with a student in a simulated environment, both spoken and using a shared virtual workspace that the student can show work on. With this task, the candidate is assessed both on their eliciting skill and their ability to evaluate from the student's work and responses how well the student understands the content.

Watch a sample performance video of an EST task.

View transcript.