Texas: A New, More Difficult Teacher Certification Test Is Getting Closer To Being Implemented

On Friday, a state board agreed to require a new certification test for incoming teachers in an attempt to better prepare them and retain them in the field.

The Educative Teacher Performance Assessment, or edTPA test, was approved by a vote of 8-1 by the 11-member State Board for Educator Certification, which regulates teacher training, certification, and behavior standards. Board member Jean Streepey, who was absent, and board member Tommy Coleman both voted against the motion.

Before the exam may be used for new Texas teachers, it must be approved by the State Board of Education. In June, the board is set to take up the issue.

The Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities exam, a 100-question multiple-choice examination that has been in use since 2002, will be replaced by this new license test. The PPR teacher certification exam has been criticized as a less-than-precise method of evaluating a new teacher’s potential. Because the exam consists entirely of multiple-choice questions, passing it is a lot simpler.

The Stanford University-developed edTPA asks instructors to submit essays, lesson plans, videos of themselves teaching in the classroom, and progress reports on their students.

Those in favor of the new exam think the videos and written analysis offered by the test will better help and retain new instructors because of this. Those who oppose the edTPA claim that the cost of the PPR is about $200 higher than the cost of the edTPA. New York and Washington, two states where it was mandated, have also done away with it.

It will begin as an optional examination in 2022-23, then become a pass/fail exam in 2024-25 if the State Board of Education approves the edTPA.

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