EdTPA, The State’s Teacher Certification Exam, Will Be Canceled By A Vote Of New York Officials

The contentious edTPA, a nationwide evaluation that some have criticized as a barrier to diversifying and expanding the teaching field, will no longer be required for New York State’s prospective teachers.

To abolish this prerequisite for obtaining a teaching credential from the New York State Board of Regents, the state’s education governing body, was overwhelmingly approved Tuesday. April 27 is the date of the transition.

Before accepting the adjustment, the board members had not discussed the issue with one another. Many Regents, like New York City-based Kathleen Cashin, praised the proposal when it was initially offered in December.

Pearson evaluates and charges a $300 fee for the edTPA, which is broken down into many sections. For their portfolios, teacher candidates should include their written and video-recorded lessons, as well as an evaluation of their students’ progress in those lessons and a commentary on those lessons.

As a result of the pandemic and other recent revisions to New York teacher certification, the state has decided to abolish the requirement. Tests have also been pushed out by instructors in New Jersey lately.

A written test has been substituted for the edTPA by state education authorities due to the current public health crisis, and teacher preparation programs have welcomed the adjustment. William Murphy, the state education department’s deputy commissioner of higher education, informed the Regents in December that several of them had asked for the abolition of the exam completely.

When asked by Murphy if their students were learning anything during student teaching, program directors responded that their students were more focused on fulfilling edTPA requirements. They also had a difficult time balancing the exam’s many components.

Teacher preparation programs will be expected to develop their own “multi-measure assessment” that meets New York’s teaching requirements by September 1, 2023, if they choose not to administer the test.

Those opposed to the test have long argued that it excludes qualified applicants of color from the teaching profession, which is already suffering from a severe shortage. When compared to their white or Hispanic colleagues, Black test takers failed the edTPA by almost two times the percentage in 2017. Officials in the state have refused to provide any more current test results.

The state’s teachers’ union, which has opposed the test since it was originally introduced in New York in 2014, welcomed the modification. According to the union’s executive vice president, the test has long been criticized for being too difficult and resulting in some applicants dropping out of their teacher training programs..

DiBrango said that now is a “critical moment” to eliminate the test because of the state’s teacher shortage. A drop of more than half in state teaching programs’ enrolment since 2009, according to union data.

Teacher preparation programs in New York are well regarded and trusted by the state, DiBrango added. One-size-fits-all doesn’t actually work for anybody in this state.

Even though teacher preparation programs in Washington State are free to design their own assessments, researcher Dan Goldhaber observed that this would lead to an uneven set of standards throughout Washington. He worked on a study to see how the edTPA affected teachers. A policy reform of this kind may not result in better-qualified instructors, he noted.

New York initially suggested the move in December, and Goldhaber told Chalkbeat at the time that “I believe we need to attempt to measure what is occurring in teacher preparation based on the effect that teachers, who are prepared, have on student outcomes.”

These regulations should be reviewed in terms of whether or not they are “beneficial,” the state representative stated.

An investigation by Goldhaber indicated that Hispanic teachers in Washington state had a failure rate of almost three times that of white teachers.

That same research found conflicting evidence of a correlation between higher edTPA scores and improved student performance on state reading and math examinations, as judged by their scores. Higher edTPA scores were linked to better arithmetic performance, but not to better reading performance.

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