Annual Administrative Report on edTPA® Data Shows Continued Growth and Support for the First Nationally Available Assessment of Teacher Candidates

November 3, 2017

Contact: Adam Bradley, 301-656-0348  Adam@thehatchergroup.com

WASHINGTON – Nov. 3, 2017 – A newly released public report on the third full year of edTPA implementation provides a detailed picture to date of edTPA’s continued expansion and support as the first nationally available performance-based assessment and support system for teacher licensure, program completion and accreditation. Nearly 35,000 candidate portfolios are included in the findings, and analyses are presented in the report to reaffirm reliability and consistency of scoring, examine evidence of validity and document trends in candidate performance by demographic group.

Growing Use of edTPA

edTPA, exclusively owned by Stanford University and developed by educators for educators, has been used operationally to assess teacher candidates since fall 2013; it is now used by educator preparation programs in 40 states. Membership in the edTPA online community, first launched in 2011, has grown to about 9,700 faculty from more than 750 educator preparation programs, the report notes. The extensive support infrastructure available to edTPA members includes more than 170 resources that have been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times.

Educative Assessment and Meaningful Support: 2016 edTPA Administrative Report presents analyses of the 34,786 edTPA portfolios from 31 states that were scored in 2016. Of those, 27,319 came from candidates in states where edTPA is required for licensure, certification or program completion/program approval, including Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin.

The annual report reviews scoring patterns to assess edTPA consistency and reliability. The findings show through multiple analyses that edTPA meets professional standards for validity and reliability (as per AERA, APA, NCME, 2014). In other words, edTPA effectively assesses the three job-related tasks for which it is designed – planning, instruction and assessment of student learning.

“edTPA prospective teacher performance data has demonstrated candidate growth progressively since national implementation was launched in fall 2013,” noted Raymond L. Pecheone, Executive Director of the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE), which led the development of edTPA with educators nationwide beginning in 2009. “We are very encouraged by these findings, and more importantly, that we are beginning to realize our primary mission – that all students, regardless of where they live, will have access to a high-quality teacher ready to teach day one.”

The report also finds that the national edTPA community continues to grow. More than 3,000 teachers and teacher educators have been certified as official edTPA trainers, scoring supervisors or scorers. In 2016, about half of scorers were teacher educators and half were classroom teachers; 25% of the practicing classroom teachers and 18% of the total qualified scoring pool were National Board Certified Teachers.

“As the field continues to gain experience with teacher performance assessments and becomes savvier about using them for program improvement, coaching and induction support, the value of edTPA also grows,” said Lynn M. Gangone, President and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. “The 2016 edTPA Administrative Report indicates the widespread scale the assessment has achieved as not only a measure for licensure and accountability but also a pedagogically useful instrument to inform teaching and learning into the future.”

Performance of Candidates in 2016

There are five rubrics for each of edTPA’s three core areas – planning, instruction and assessment – with each rubric scored on a five-point scale. Total scores can range from 15 to 75 points. The edTPA national recommended professional performance standard is 42, although states are free to set their own cut scores. Today, state-set cut scores range from 35-41. The report finds that in 2016 the average candidate score was 45.0.

On average, candidates did best in planning and instruction, with slightly lower average scores for how well they assess and give feedback to their students. Candidates scored higher in states where edTPA is required for licensure, certification or program completion: the average score in these states was 45.35, compared to 43.5 in states without consequential policy.

Differences by demographic group were small; women generally scored higher than men, and suburban teachers on average scored higher than teachers in other teaching contexts. Taken together, demographic variables such as gender, ethnicity, teaching placement context, education level and primary language explained approximately 3.8% of the total variance in edTPA scores. This result highlights that demographic factors account for a very small portion of the variables that contribute to how a candidate scores on edTPA. In other words, a candidate’s demographic characteristics alone are a poor predictor of edTPA performance or readiness to teach. The finding further supports the conclusion that while some statistically significant differences exist between subgroups, 96% of the explanation for that performance can be attributed to other non-demographic factors.

Reflections From Teacher Educators

Teacher educators from a variety of contexts have successfully integrated edTPA in their preparation programs and value the ways in which edTPA can be educative to candidates and provide actionable evidence to programs.

“Spelman College Education Department (serving Spelman and Morehouse College students) has a 90 percent first-attempt pass rate for Elementary Education and Secondary Math and Social Studies,” said Valeisha Ellis, professor at Spelman College. “Professionally, I attribute the edTPA success to Spelman’s rigorous admission policy. In addition, the faculty have intentionally incorporated the key elements of edTPA throughout the program, so that candidates have had several opportunities to practice and reflect on the high-leverage practices that we want our candidates to demonstrate prior to graduation. Lastly, Spelman has a strong historical tradition that requires all undergraduate students to conduct research during their junior and senior years. Spelman has a strong focus on culturally responsive pedagogy and advocacy that enhances our candidates’ capacity to be problem solvers and provide positive solutions to the issues that face the local school systems. edTPA gives them the opportunity to demonstrate that capacity.”

“Faculty have embraced the challenges of implementing the edTPA portfolio process over the past four years,” noted David Tiller and Judith Presley, professors at Tennessee State University. “The overall average teacher candidate score [at TSU] has increased from 39.03 in 2014 – when there was no required minimum score – to 43.86 in 2017, when the required minimum score was 37. Faculty have continuously worked on aligning course work with tasks and rubrics, planning supports for academic language and developing assessment strategies with authentic feedback techniques. In our recent Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accreditation site visit, our faculty cross-walked the programs’ conceptual underpinning with national and state standards that included Tennessee Licensure Standards, InTASC Standards, CAEP Standards, National Board of Professional Teaching Standards Core Propositions and the widely used TEAM Evaluation rubric. Furthermore, edTPA data were used as program outcome data and program impact data for the respective sections within CAEP Standards 1, 2, 3 and 5.”

The educative use of edTPA as an assessment and support system provides educator preparation program faculty and their P-12 partners with opportunities to engage in professional learning to improve student learning outcomes. The edTPA support system comprised of 9,700 educators mirrors the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ use of professional networks of experienced educators for professional learning. Used to measure the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for beginning teaching and aligned to the InTASC Standards, edTPA also contributes to the body of evidence required for the CAEP evidence-based accreditation process.

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