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The State Board for Educator Certification met Friday, Feb. 10, 2023.

SBEC discusses performance assessment, teacher residency programs at first 2023 meeting

Teach the Vote
Teach the Vote

Educator Preparation | Certification

Date Posted: 2/10/2023 | Author: Mark Wiggins and Jennifer Mitchell

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) held its first 2023 meeting on Friday, Feb. 10, beginning with recognition of its new and outgoing members. The brunt of the board's discussion focused on the board’s proposal to implement a new, nationally administered performance assessment as a required certification exam. 

ATPE has been reporting for the last few years on the effort by SBEC and Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff to replace the current pedagogy and professional responsibilities (PPR) certification exam with the edTPA performance assessment, which was developed at Stanford University and is now administered and marketed by Pearson.  

Stakeholders have expressed nearly unanimous objection to using a performance assessment as a high-stakes summative exam and instead recommended incorporating any performance assessment into educator preparation program (EPP) curriculum requirements. SBEC nonetheless continued to limit its consideration to two paths, both of which require replacing the PPR with a high-stakes performance assessment as a certification exam.   

ATPE and other stakeholders have also expressed concern with Pearson’s edTPA product, noting that it is aligned to Common Core, which is illegal in Texas. Additionally, edTPA does not test candidates on their understanding of the Educator’s Code of Ethics. Although TEA and SBEC expressed interest in allowing a Texas-developed alternative teacher performance assessment, TEA staff said the agency has not begun formal procurement processes.  

State Board of Education (SBOE) Member Audrey Young (R-Apple Springs) submitted a letter to SBEC Friday echoing these concerns. The SBOE has veto authority over all SBEC rules and last year vetoed the previous attempt to replace the PPR with edTPA.

SBOE Member Audrey Young“There is no such thing as a 'temporary' adoption of edTPA as a required licensure exam,” wrote Young. “Once edTPA is required in any capacity, everyone’s focus will immediately have to be adapting to specific edTPA requirements, structure, and language; ALL other options will be rendered moot.” 

Young added, “All of the critically important considerations that went into the unanimous SBOE vote to reject adoption of edTPA have yet to be addressed, including but not limited to cost, negative impact on teacher pipeline/production, test bias, lack of impact on readiness for intern teachers.”  

SBEC members discussed an alternative timeline after members raised questions over whether the current implementation timeline would discourage EPPs that have been required to conform their programs to edTPA from adopting an alternative that becomes available at a later date. The alternative timeline would require either edTPA or an approved alternative as the high-stakes certification exam by the 2026-27 school year.   

The board is scheduled to take the edTPA issue up again as a discussion item at its next meeting in April, followed by board action in July. SBEC could adopt the change as early as September, which would place the rule before the SBOE for final review in November. 

Also discussed during the February SBEC meeting was the possibility of creating a new route to certification for those who participate in a teacher residency program. The board heard testimony about some Texas EPPs that have already been experimenting with teacher residency models, in which candidates spend a full year in the classroom – first observing the teacher of record and then taking on additional functions as the year progresses. Proponents of the approach say teaching residents are better prepared when they become teachers of record and more likely to stay in the profession compared to others who go through alternative certification of a traditional student teaching experience.

TEA staff have advised that SBEC could create an entirely new class of teaching certificate or modify the alternative certification route for residents. It is likely that certification candidates who complete a residency would not have to take a pedagogy exam, merely being tested on content. Formal rulemaking has not yet begun, but we expect a continuation of the discussion at SBEC’s April meeting.

The board also discussed a proposed reorganization of 19 TAC Chapter 228, which includes SBEC’s rules outlining the requirements for EPPs. TEA staff recommended eliminating an option for intensive preservice, which provides EPPs with a method for exposing educator candidates to significantly more classroom time and opportunities for practical training and feedback before they become teachers of record.

Public testimony was unanimous in opposition to removing the intensive preservice section. A representative of the Texas Coalition for Educator Preparation (TCEP), of which ATPE is a founding member, contended that the intensive preservice option could serve as the foundation for an educator residency program, which the board is currently exploring. The option could also be a starting point for incorporating a performance assessment into EPP curriculum, which is what stakeholders have suggested would be more effective than using a performance assessment such as edTPA as a certification exam. 

The Ch. 228 agenda item was for discussion only; SBEC will have an opportunity to propose new rule text at its next meeting. 



Deann H Lee

I applaud Dr Young''s letter and the work of ATPE where few understand the intricacies of the topic.

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