TEA is reminding those seeking elementary-level certificates that after Dec. 31, 2020, candidates must also pass the Science of Teaching Reading exam to earn certification.

With passage of House Bill 3, the 86th Legislature established a mandate that all teachers pursuing certification in grades prekindergarten through 6 demonstrate their proficiency in the science of teaching reading on a new standalone certification exam beginning Jan. 1, 2021. The new requirement applies to the following certificates:

  • Early Childhood: EC–Grade 3
  • Core Subjects: Early Childhood–Grade 6
  • Core Subjects: Grades 4-8
  • English Language Arts and Reading: Grades 4-8
  • English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies: Grades 4-8

This requirement applies to:

  • Currently enrolled candidates pursuing certification in an HB3 impacted certification field who do not finish prior to Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Future candidates pursuing certification in an HB3 impacted certification field
  • Candidates who may have previously completed a preparation program who have not been issued a standard certificate prior to Jan. 1, 2021.
  • Candidates issued the Waiver Probationary Certificate who have not completed all testing requirements and have not been issued a standard certificate prior to Jan. 1, 2021.
  • Teachers seeking certification by exam for an HB3 impacted certificate field after Jan. 1, 2021.

Teachers who are currently standard certified in Core Subjects: EC-6, Core Subjects: 4-8, English Language Arts and Reading: 4-8, or English Language Arts and Social Studies: 4-8 will not be required to pass the STR exam for renewal of their certificate. The STR exam requirement only impacts candidates seeking certification after Jan. 1, 2021.  

Teacher candidates who complete educator preparation programs in Fall 2020 will need to take the following steps to ensure that their standard certificate is issued before the Dec. 31, 2020, deadline:

  • Pass all required certification exams
  • Complete fingerprinting
  • Pay all certification fees
  • Apply for their standard certificate, and
  • Obtain a recommendation from their EPP for a standard certification in ECOS*

*Note: Teacher candidates should actively communicate with their EPP to notify them that they have applied for their standard certification to ensure that they obtain the necessary EPP recommendation.

For more information on the Science of Teaching Reading exam requirements, click here.