During a December meeting, Texas Education Agency staff presented the State Board for Educator Certification with a phased-in certification redesign proposal that would require teacher certification candidates to pass a subject-specific pedagogical performance assessment before becoming certified, starting in 2022-23. Still in the discussion stages, the new requirements would not apply to currently certified teachers adding certification by examination.

Although the idea behind requiring passage of a performance assessment is to have a better measure to ensure that new teachers are sufficiently prepared to be successful in the classroom, some critics have expressed concerns about the particular assessment proposed by TEA (Stanford’s edTPA test), the increase in cost from $232-$252 to $397-$417, and the potential effect on teacher production numbers.

Currently, most teacher certification candidates take the relevant content test for the certificate they are seeking, plus an EC-12 Professional Practices and Responsibilities test. TEA’s certification redesign proposal would include developing new subject-matter tests that candidates not having a requisite number of subject-specific college semester hours in the certificate sought would have to take and pass in order to be admitted to an educator preparation program. Once admitted into a program, a candidate would have to pass a newly developed content pedagogy test in order to earn his/her intern certificate. Before earning full standard certification, the candidate would have to pass a subject-specific pedagogical performance assessment.

Although TEA staff recommended the edTPA assessment, they presented several other options to the board, including a redesign of the existing PPR test into a multiple choice/constructed response test or the state creating its own performance assessment. After hearing testimony from numerous educator preparation programs critical of edTPA, some of whom suggested that the state should develop its own subject-specific pedagogical performance assessment instead, board members expressed an interest in having TEA staff continue to meet with stakeholders to discuss these and other suggestions for moving forward.

SBEC is scheduled to hold its next meeting in mid-February, but it is not yet clear whether the certification redesign proposal will be included on the agenda as a discussion or action item. TCTA will continue to monitor developments as they occur.