The Texas State Board for Educator Certification recently adopted a new requirement that aspiring educators must meet before becoming certified.
While the new certification exam, called the edTPA, aims to increase the quality of the teacher workforce, it could also make it more difficult, costly and time-consuming to become a Texas teacher.
If you are considering becoming a teacher in Texas, perhaps now is the time to pursue that goal before the new requirements are put into law. Passing your exams now could make a difference in your pursuit of becoming a teacher.
Here is what you need to know about this new requirement for aspiring Texas teachers and how it might impact your timeline so that you can be prepared for what’s next.
What Is The edTPA?
The edTPA will eventually replace the current PPR exam requirement. The PPR, or Texas Examinations of Educator Standards Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities, is designed to assess whether an individual who wants to become a teacher has the requisite knowledge and skills necessary to be an entry-level educator.
However, unlike the PPR, the edTPA is not a one-time test. Stanford University faculty and staff at the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity developed this new assessment. The edTPA requires that student interns prepare a portfolio of materials during their learning experiences, primarily their teaching internship where they work directly with students.
What does the edTPA portfolio include? The portfolio involves a written reflective measure in which teacher candidates analyze whether the students they are teaching during their internships are learning. The portfolio should also demonstrate a readiness to teach by including:
How interns adjusted their instruction to better support their students’ strengths and improve areas where they struggled
Unedited video recordings of teaching interns working inside the classroom
When Does The edTPA Go Into Effect?
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) will phase in the edTPA standards over the next few years. Now and during the 2022-23 school year, teaching interns will have the option of either taking the PPR or choosing the edTPA assessment.
However, during the 2023-24 school year, teaching interns must incorporate the edTPA assessment into their certification requirements. After submitting a complete portfolio, the teaching interns would pass.
Beginning with the 2024-25 school year, the TEA will implement a new cut score. This score will determine whether interns pass this certification requirement. This score has not been finalized.
Important - There is still opposition to the new edTPA program from several scholarly sources. We’ll keep you posted on any new developments.
How Much Will The edTPA Cost?
The cost of becoming a certified teacher in Texas is an important consideration when determining whether this is the path you want to take.
When the new edTPA certification requirement goes into effect, teaching interns will see a rise in costs associated with getting their licenses.
Currently, the PPR costs $116 to take. The price of the edTPA will be $311 for initial submission. That’s $195 higher than taking the PPR.
In addition to this initial cost, if interns fail certain elements of the edTPA, they must resubmit those portions to pass this certification component. Resubmitting an element can cost anywhere between $100 and $300 depending on the number of tasks that must be looked over again.
What This Means For Texas Teachers
Those in favor of the edTPA stress that this new certification component better prepares teachers for the classroom and helps with tasks like lesson planning and engaging students.
However, the edTPA also has some drawbacks, including cost and the amount of time it will take to create this portfolio.
If you’re considering earning your teaching license, it may be time to act now while you have the choice to either take the one-time test, the PPR, to earn certification or to incorporate the edTPA into your certification pathway.
An experienced educator preparation program (EPP) can also help you navigate these changing requirements and help you stay on track to complete your certification on your individualized timeline, especially if it includes the requirement of developing a portfolio.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can apply to an EPP, which is also called an alternative teacher certification program. This type of teacher preparation program offers you a path toward certification by enrolling in online or in-person courses or a combination of both.
Because you will receive guidance from your EPP throughout the development of your edTPA portfolio, it’s important to work with an experienced teacher certification program that provides continuous support and treats you as more than a number.
Micah is the Director of Curriculum & Technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in British Literature, from the University of North Texas and a Master of Arts in Teaching, from Louisiana College. In his previous career, Micah served for 14 years as a banker and bank manager. For the majority of this period, Micah managed the Downtown Fort Worth location of Frost Bank.
In 2005, Micah finally surrendered to his true calling to be an educator. After a brief, but fulfilling term teaching high school English at Flower Mound High School in Lewisville ISD, Micah went to work for the family business, training teachers.
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