This fall, a new assessment process called edTPA, which focuses on the skills and abilities of aspiring teachers, will be available nationally. The tool is intended to be used by states, institutions of higher education, and alternative certification programs as one of multiple measures for teacher licensure and to support accreditation of teacher preparation programs.
The edTPA process includes a review of a teacher candidate’s authentic teaching materials and a 15- to 20-minute video of the candidate teaching to document and demonstrate a candidate’s ability to effectively teach his/her subject matter to all students. Because it asks teacher candidates to demonstrate their performance in the classroom and focuses on student work, edTPA will help candidates develop the confidence and skills they need to succeed in urban, suburban, and rural schools.
History of edTPA Development
Formerly the Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA), edTPA was collaboratively designed by teachers and teacher educators under the leadership of Stanford University, the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE), and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).
Beginning in 2009 with 30 higher education institutions, the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC), led by AACTE and SCALE, set out to develop a way to assess the readiness of new teachers before they enter the classroom. The result of that work is edTPA, a pre-service assessment process that requires teacher candidates to demonstrate the skills necessary to meet the daily challenges of classroom teaching, such as:
- Planning around student learning standards;
- Designing instruction for students based on their specific needs;
- Teaching a series of lessons and adapting them to respond to student learning;
- Assessing student work;
- Developing academic language;
- Evaluating student learning; and
- Analyzing teaching through reflecting on how to improve student outcomes.
Successful Field Test
In June, more than 160 institutions of higher learning and 7,000 teacher candidates in 22 states participating in a national edTPA field test. Candidates electronically submitted portfolios in 13 content areas. Stanford developed scorer training materials for each area, and Pearson delivered them electronically, which is a new innovation in portfolio scoring. The field test data are being used to fine-tune assessment tasks and scoring rubrics and to set recommended edTPA passing standards.
States Consider edTPA for Licensure
Several states are moving toward using edTPA to license new teachers or for review of teacher preparation programs. Some states are also working with policymakers to position edTPA as part of their program approval process. As part of the release of edTPA nationally this fall, handbooks for the assessment will be available for faculty beginning in September. In January, candidates in participating institutions and states may begin registering for official scoring.
More information is available at the edTPA website at http://edtpa.aacte.org/.