ASHA has developed an accountability resource for members and administrators to use which measures the unique value and contributions that speech-language pathologists make to students, families, and the school community. The Performance Assessment of Contributions and Effectiveness of Speech-Language Pathologists (PACE) includes an extensive review of the research on value added assessment (VAA) for teachers, a performance review process, ways to advocate for the adoption of the PACE at the state and local level, and the PACE Matrix Portfolio assessment.
Several federal initiatives including the most recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (also known as No Child Left Behind) and the Race to the Top initiative have emphasized the importance of placing highly qualified teachers in classrooms and ensuring that accountability systems are put in place to regularly evaluate teachers. The VAA is being used to measure the effectiveness of teachers and is expanding to other professionals as a means of associating teacher value with student outcomes.
After an extensive review of the research to date, ASHA determined that the research focuses almost exclusively on teachers and while the goals of both teacher and speech-language pathologist (SLP) are related, the SLP typically addresses foundational skills that support learning rather than targeting specific subject areas. As a result, ASHA set out to develop a resource that members could use to advocate for an accountability system that would accurately reflect the SLP's unique role in contributing to a child's overall performance and success of the school community.
The PACE—which has undergone extensive peer review—is available as a PDF on ASHA's website. In addition to the document, supplementary tools have been posted to the site. These include sample parent, teacher, and student checklists. More advocacy items are being developed that include PowerPoint presentations to help members explain and advocate for the PACE and Frequently Asked Questions. These resources will be posted when they become available.
For more information, please contact Janet Deppe, ASHA's director of state advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Deborah Dixon, director of school services, at email@example.com.