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The State of Effective Teaching: Educator Certification Examination

August 4, 2022
As educators across the state are gearing up to begin a new school year – conversations as to how best equip future Texas Teachers continue to be had by various state agencies. Effective teaching is a key priority of Philanthropy Advocates. We have prepared an overview of the ongoing state regulatory discussions impacting educator certification examination at the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) and State Board of Education (SBOE).  
A Brief Timeline of Events:
April 29, 2022 – SBEC adopts full implementation of edTPA – a portfolio-based educator certification exam

June 14-17, 2022 – SBOE voted against the adoption of statewide implementation of edTPA as the state’s educator certification exam

July 21, 2022 – SBEC held a special meeting to discuss next steps and options for a new statewide educator certification exam

July 26, 2022 – SBOE members, Chairman Keven Ellis and Tom Maynard, are called to testify at the House Public Education Committee hearing to discuss their decision to strike down edTPA
In April, SBEC voted to adopt an amendment to the Texas Administrative Code that would allow SBEC to transition to full implementation of edTPA as the state’s educator certification exam. This program would effectively replace the current Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam that all teachers must take before becoming certified to teach. The proposed amendment discussed in the April 29, 2022, SBEC meeting can be found: here.
This amendment was subject to a review by SBOE in their next meeting, taking place from June 14 -17, 2022. It was during this meeting that SBOE met and voted to reject SBEC’s recommendation to replace the current Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam with edTPA. Chairman Ellis provided considerations and clarifications for SBEC to address in their next meeting. Those considerations are as follows:
  1. Review the PPR exam requirement and consider replacement of the PPR with a performance-based assessment
  2. Require a formative performance assessment as a program requirement rather than the certification exam itself
Additional clarification on these considerations can be found in the slide below:

Most Recent Update – SBEC Work Group Session Overview:
With SBOE rejecting the SBEC proposed amendment to fully implement edTPA, the discussion of updating educator certification examination is now back in SBEC’s charge.  On July 21st, SBEC held a work session to discuss options moving forward that consider SBOE’s concerns with the original proposal. At this work session, TEA staff presented four options, each addressing Chairman Ellis’ concerns through different methodologies.
To help SBEC members understand the changes that would be made to statutory rules with each of these options, TEA developed a “Decision Matrix” highlighting different decisions SBEC would make given any change to the current Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam.


The different options presented for SBEC to consider, as summed by TEA staff, are below:
  • Option A: Maintain current state until a Texas-created performance assessment is ready as a replacement for the PPR
  • Option B: Implement edTPA and add alternatives, including Texas-created Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA), as additional options when available through an annual request for proposal (RFP)
  • Option C: Embed completion of TPA in Chapter 228 as a program requirement without a standard cut score (with educator prep program (EPP) choice to implement a local or state-procured TPA), and update/improve PPR for certification
  • Option D: Implement edTPA as a certification exam with no/low cut score for candidates but scaled accountability for EPPs within the Accountability System for Educator Preparation (ASEP), consider alternatives as options via RFP when available, and don’t require edTPA for career and technical education (CTE)/ fine arts fields
  • Add-On to Any Option: Increase alternative certification program requirements and increase incentives for high quality programs (Note: This is not a standalone option, but one that could be added to any of the above options should SBEC warrant it).
During this work session, SBEC members held a discussion period on each of the above options to ask clarifying questions and raise concerns with TEA staff. After the presentation of the options was complete, SBEC then invited stakeholders, including school districts/HR administrators, teacher organizations, traditional higher education, alternative certification programs, and traditional certification/testing to give their feedback and thoughts on the various options. During this time, the different stakeholders agreed that options A and C have the most potential moving forward whereas B and D are not as viable.

With this initial feedback from stakeholders, TEA staff and SBEC will continue to explore these options, seek additional feedback from other stakeholders, and revisit this topic on the September 30th SBEC meeting. The agenda will be posted roughly one week prior to this meeting: here.

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