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The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) held a work session July 21, 2022. TEA staff facilitated the session, first briefing Board members on the June State Board of Education (SBOE) meeting, at which SBEC’s proposed rule to adopt the edTPA as a state licensure exam was unanimously vetoed. TEA staff and the Board then discussed potential future rule-making options related to educator preparation programs (EPP), EPP accountability, and educator certification for several hours.

The Board heard from an invited panel of stakeholders that included a representative for school districts/human resources administrators, traditional higher education, alternative certification, certification/testing, and the SBOE. Karen Dooley, TASB assistant director of HR service, represented TASB, TASA, TASPA, TACS, and TEPSA. Marisa Perez-Diaz represented the SBOE.

TEA staff provided a limited number of options that the panel could consider for next steps prior to the meeting:

  • Option A: Maintain current state until a Texas-created performance assessment is ready as a replacement for the PPR.
  • Option B: Implement edTPA and add alternatives, including Texas-created TPA, as additional options when available through an annual RFP.
  • Option C: Embed statewide or local TPA in 228 as a program requirement without a standard cut score and update/improve the PPR exam for certification.
  • Option D: Implement edTPA as a certification exam with no/low cut score for candidates but scaled accountability for EPPs within ASEP, consider alternatives as options via RFP when available, and don’t require edTPA for CTE/fine arts fields.

The following questions, themes and consensus emerged from the panelists’ testimony:

  • Consensus that clarity is needed before solutions can be created. What problem is SBEC trying to solve?
  • Consensus that no one is advocating for maintaining the status quo.
  • It is clear from the SBOE conversation and veto that there is a need for improved communication and buy-in from the field.
  • Consensus that all stakeholders want accountability for programs and EPPs.
  • Why is a new certification program being introduced without a careful review of the existing program and consideration of remedies for improvement of that program?
  • Consensus that the SBEC and TEA should not rush the process, and should instead take a deep dive and engage in robust conversations with stakeholders.
  • How does a performance assessment work as a certification exam?
  • When should a performance assessment be included in the learning process for teacher candidates?
  • Exams don’t prepare teachers, programs do.
  • Texas-specific programs should be considered.
  • There are concerns with the demographics in the sample size of edTPA pilot participants.
  • Our students deserve the very best, and we must not forget that a first-year teacher may not have taken a traditional EPP route.
  • Legislative changes should be explored and considered.
  • Explore ways to embed the T-TESS, which measures how teachers grow over time, and the T-TESS coaching model.
  • Consensus that panelists received TEA’s complex decision-making matrix and four options just days before the meeting and there was not sufficient time to seek feedback from the members of the organizations they are representing to make formal recommendations.
  • Options B and D were not considered viable choices for the stakeholder organizations.
  • Elements of options A and C had potential but would need modification.
  • Consensus that the panel believed SBEC should continue to explore options as those that TEA proposed did not represent a plan that could be supported.

At the conclusion of the work session TEA staff said that they thought they had enough information to prepare a discussion item for SBEC’s September 30 meeting agenda.