CAT and PACT FAQ's
WHAT IS THE CAT?
The CAT (Content Area Task) is to be completed in preparation for PACT (Performance Assessment for California Teachers). PACT is referred to as a teaching event and consists of five tasks (content for learning, planning, instruction, assessment, and reflection) and the CAT allows teacher candidates to focus on ONE of those tasks either in PLANNING, INSTRUCTION, or ASSESSMENT. As you may already know, the CATs are completed in the methods courses and should be incorporated as projects within the coursework. CATs are typically required for multiple subject candidates, but the Pepperdine faculty have decided that this is helpful for single subject candidates as well. The faculty ask that you focus on the PLANNING task this term.
WHAT IS A LEARNING SEGMENT?
The CATs and PACT refer to selecting a learning segment, a series of lessons or a unit, to instruct on one or several concepts. Remember, you should have students select one lesson plan and then focus on one TASK (planning). You should select the same task for all students.
WHAT IS TASKSTREAM?
Taskstream is the electronic platform used to collect and score these CAT assignments. If you have content issues or can't locate a student you should reach out to the PACT Coordinator/Director of Assessment.
WHAT RESOURCES CAN I USE?
I recommend visiting the website www.pacttpa.org to familiarize yourself with PACT and CATs. Scoring of the CATs uses the first 3 rubrics of the PACT event. A passing score of 2 is required and candidates may resubmit work to receive a score of 2. You can also contact the PACT Coordinator for further questions, and reaching out to colleagues who also teach a methods course can be very helpful.
WHAT SUPPORT ARE THE STUDENTS RECEIVING FOR PACT?
Your students are also receiving PACT guidance from their Clinical 1, 2, and 3 faculty as well as our PACT Coordinator. The students have had a basic overview of PACT in the Fall and they will have also completed 2 PACT Seminar days by March 1st, so they are receiving a lot of support. In our second PACT Seminar we are focusing on the Instruction task.
IS THERE A DEADLINE?
CAT deadlines are optional for you, but remember they will be working on their PACT Instruction task in March and many have them are actively working on the Planning task now. The PACT deadline is April 30th and it is recommended that you have your CAT due date in late March in order to give them the preparation and time they need for PACT.
WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED LENGTH OF A CAT?
The teacher candidates are experiencing a lot of work this term, so it is important they are gaining in preparation and practice. In some cases, depending on the students overall course layout and when they began their program in the academic year, students may be completing PACT while working on the CAT, so it is important to set deadlines early for CAT, so you can focus on the Planning portion of CAT and students feel prepared for PACT. Additionally, ensuring students are not overloaded we stress the importance of reviewing the demands of PACT. It is common for the CAT to be 5-8 pages in length, but more importantly it is about the student experience and making sure they are getting the appropriate feedback to improve should they need to submit more than one draft.