One of the most important challenges facing public education is to ensure that the nation’s increasingly young and inexperienced teacher workforce is prepared to meet the academic needs of all students. Teachers must be ready to teach, with the necessary skills needed to support student learning, from the first day they enter the classroom.
That is why Stanford University and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education formed a partnership to develop and share edTPA, formerly the Teacher Performance Assessment. For the first time, edTPA will give teacher preparation programs access to a multiple-measure assessment system aligned to state and national standards – including Common Core State Standards and the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC) – that can guide the development of curriculum and practice around the common goal of making sure new teachers are able to teach each student effectively and improve student achievement.
Recognizing the need for a uniform and impartial process to evaluate aspiring teachers, Stanford University faculty and staff at the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) developed edTPA. They received substantive advice and feedback from teachers and teacher educators, and drew from experience gained over 25 years of developing performance-based assessments of teaching (including the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the InTASC Standards portfolio, and the Performance Assessment for California Teachers). The more than 120 design and review team members included university faculty, national subject-matter organization representatives, and K-12 teachers.
Demand for edTPA grew so rapidly that Stanford University engaged Pearson as an operational partner to help deliver it to the wide educational audience that asked for it. Involvement with edTPA is endorsed by AACTE and the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC), comprised of 24 states and the District of Columbia and more than 160 teacher preparation programs participating in edTPA activities. edTPA was field tested in Spring 2012. Stanford University is the exclusive owner of edTPA.
edTPA is transformative for prospective teachers because the process requires candidates to actually demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to help all students learn in real classrooms. edTPA is intended to be used for teacher licensure and to support state and national program accreditation. edTPA complements existing entry-level assessments that focus on basic skills or subject-matter knowledge. It is comparable to the licensing exams that demand applications of skills in other professions, such medical licensing exams, the architecture exam, or bar exam in law.
edTPA is subject-specific with separate versions for Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle Childhood and Secondary licensure fields. edTPA includes a review of a teacher candidate’s authentic teaching materials as the culmination of a teaching and learning process that documents and demonstrates each candidate’s ability to effectively teach subject matter to all students.
Goals of edTPA
The primary goal of this initiative is to design, field-test, and offer at scale the first nationally accessible pre-service teacher assessment process designed by educators to:
- Improve student outcomes;
- Improve the information base guiding improvement of teacher preparation programs;
- Strengthen the information base for accreditation and evaluation of program effectiveness;
- Be used in combination with other measures as a requirement for licensure; and
- Guide professional development for teachers across the career continuum.
The edTPA Policy Advisory Board was appointed in April, 2013 to counsel edTPA partners on the edTPA design, implementation, policy and governance of the assessment. The board’s goal is to ensure that edTPA is a high-quality assessment that is well-used and effective in developing entering teachers, assessing their level of preparation and supporting teacher preparation programs.
The policy advisory board was designed to include a broad representation from the field in order to ensure that edTPA continues to be developed and led by the educators it was designed to serve.The members of the advisory board are:
William Buxton, Associate Professor, SUNY Cortland
Lynn Cherkasky-Davis, Quest Center Coordinator, National Board Certification Initiatives, NBCT, Chicago Teachers Union
Thomas Bordenkircher, Michigan and Ohio Director for Teaching Fellowships, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
Mitchell Chester, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
Jim Cibulka, President, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
Carl Cohn, Clinical Professor of Education, Claremont Graduate University
Mary Diez, Dean and Professor, School of Education, Alverno College
Daniel Domenech, Executive Director, American Association of School Administrators
Anne Marie Fenton, Program Director of Assessment, Georgia Professional Standards Commission
Chris Koch, State Superintendent, Illinois State Board of Education
Marvin Lynn, Dean, School of Education, Indiana University South Bend
Callie Marksbary, classroom teacher in Lafayette, Indiana, and Chair of the NEA Professional Standards and Practice Committee
Bill McDiarmid, Dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor of Education, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Kendra Phelps, Professional Issues Representative, Cincinnati Federation of Teachers
Becky Pringle, Secretary-Treasurer, National Education Association
Phil Rogers, Executive Director, National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification
David Sevier, Professor and Director of Teacher Education, University of Washington
Lee Shulman, Emeritus Professor, Stanford University
Kathleen Skinner, Director Center for Education Policy and Practice, Massachusetts Teachers Association
Ron Thorpe, President and CEO, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
Jennifer Wallace, Executive Director, Professional Education Standards Board, Washington
Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers
Bob Wise, President, Alliance for Excellent Education
Beverly Young, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Teacher Education and Public School Programs, California State University System
Current Status of the Project
The 2012 field test was conducted in both spring (nationwide) and fall (OH, WA, and TN) with a total participation of more than 9,000 teacher candidates in 21 states.
As a result of 2012 field testing, changes were made to edTPA prior to the 2013 field test, including:
- Updated assessment handbooks and new handbooks for additional content areas
- Updated scoring training and refined qualifications for scorer hiring
- Implemented and refined quality metrics for training and calibration
- Expanded implementation resources, including local evaluation materials
- Increased support to edTPA Coordinators and faculty
The 2013 field test is being conducted in states that have adopted policy or have policy pending (CA, CO, MN, NY, OH, TN, WA). More than 4,000 teacher candidates are expected to participate.
During summer 2013, the field test data will be analyzed and a field test report will be produced. The report will address validity and reliability of the assessment, and will include a nationally recommended passing standard for edTPA.
Beginning in the 2013-14 academic year, edTPA will become available for use nationally. Several states have already formally adopted or are considering edTPA for statewide use to license new teachers or approve teacher preparation programs. 28 states and the District of Columbia currently are members of the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC). They include:
District of Columbia
In addition, Western Governors University is also a member of edTPA and offers online accredited teacher preparation programs across the United States.
Policymakers and the public demanded an objective and trustworthy process to evaluate the performance of aspiring teachers before they lead an actual classroom. As the first nationally accessible teacher performance assessment, edTPA will:
- Help candidates develop the confidence and skills they need to be successful in urban, suburban, and rural schools.
- Provide a uniform and evidence-based process that can be used across states to confirm that aspiring teachers demonstrate their readiness for the classroom.
- Measure candidates’ ability to differentiate instruction for diverse learners, including English language learners and special education students.
- Inform teacher licensure and recruitment.
- Provide meaningful and consistent data that can be used to improve and update teacher education programs and renew program curriculum.
- Allow states, school districts, and teacher preparation programs to share a common framework for defining and measuring teaching performance.
- Create a body of evidence about teacher performance that will ultimately establish a national standard for relevant and rigorous practice that advances student learning.