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During last week’s State Board of Education (SBOE) meeting, the Board voted to veto four of five charters approved by Commissioner of Education Mike Morath as well as State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) rules proposing the edTPA be used as a certification licensure exam for Texas teacher candidates. The board also had an opportunity to recognize and hear from the 2022 Texas Teachers of the Year.

Charter Votes and Vetoes

A TASA representative testified to the full board on Wednesday, sharing concerns about the proposed charters, and again on Thursday at the Committee on Initiatives to thank TEA for making changes to the charter application process recommended by TASA and many other public education stakeholder organizations.

The results of the Board’s vote on Friday were:

  • Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (Fort Worth) – 7 voted to approve and 6 voted to veto
  • Heritage Classical Academy (Houston) – 8 voted to veto and 5 voted to approve
  • ONE Collegiate (Houston) – 13 voted to veto and none voted to approve
  • Patterns High School of Technology (Austin/Del Valle) – 11 voted to veto and 2 voted to approve
  • Spelligent San Antonio – 12 voted to veto and 1 voted to approve

edTPA Veto

The SBOE also considered and unanimously vetoed edTPA, a high-stakes exam when used for teacher certification purposes, to replace the current multiple-choice exam called the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam.

TASA, along with 26 other education groups, has expressed a number of concerns about edTPA, including: significant, peer-reviewed, award-winning research studies that concluded it led to a teacher shortage in other states, among numerous other issues; the fact that five states have abandoned edTPA citing similar issues; the potential for it to drive candidates away from traditional EPP programs into alternative programs (which data shows generally have weaker outcomes) and the high cost of taking the exam. TASA’s stance is that a performance-based assessment would be more useful as part of the curriculum of EPP programs as opposed to a licensure exam. See the letter that TASA and 26 other groups submitted to express these concerns and make recommendations to the SBOE.

Throughout last week, Board members encouraged TEA staff to improve communication with all stakeholders moving forward and SBOE Chair Keven Ellis expressed a desire to unite those involved as soon as possible to consider all available alternatives to the current PPR exam.

Texas Teachers of the Year

The 2022 Texas Teachers of the Year were invited to address the SBOE and receive recognition for their work on the last day of the meeting. TASA facilitates the Texas Teacher of the Year program, so TASA Executive Director Kevin Brown introduced 2022 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year Jennifer Han from McAllen ISD and 2022 Texas Secondary Teacher of the Year Ramon Benavides from Ysleta ISD. The two gave passionate speeches about the important role that teachers play as well as the many hardships those in the profession currently experience. Listen and view the the speeches at the 13:12 mark.