Press Release: Educators Gather for edTPA Southeast Regional Summit
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 10, 2015
Contact Adam Bradley
Educators Gather for edTPA Southeast Regional Summit
Convening Shows Growing National Consensus
On Standards-Based Assessment of New Teachers
SAVANNAH, GA – Nearly 300 educators representing 20 states convened last week to discuss effective implementation of edTPA, the first subject-specific, standards-based beginning teacher assessment and support system to be nationally available in the United States.
Participants at the edTPA Southeast Regional Summit included P-12 educators, educator preparation providers (EPPs), state agencies and other organizations working to build capacity for implementing edTPA. The assessment is currently used by more than 600 teacher preparation programs in some 40 states nationwide. The event produced a lively conversation on Twitter, which can be viewed by searching for the hashtag #edtpasummit15.
“This summit is inspiring because it represents a core principle of edTPA, which was developed by educators, for educators,” said Ray Pecheone, executive director of teacher performance assessment at the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE). “Leaders in P-12 and educator preparation sharing expertise in teaching and learning with their colleagues is central to the edTPA mission.”
Georgia EPPs and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission collaborated with SCALE, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson and an interstate planning team to host the summit. Attendees heard from directors of highly successful programs, edTPA curriculum experts and former edTPA candidates in addition to sessions that allowed for conversation and dialogue among stakeholders.
“As we implement edTPA, we do not want to limit critical thinking, creativity and innovation by focusing just on compliance,” said Kelly Henson, executive secretary of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC), in his opening remarks. “It is critical to keep the focus not on passing the assessment, but on the teaching and learning that goes with it.”
Georgia is one of many states moving toward full implementation of edTPA. More than 450 institutions of higher education and more than 1,000 educators participated in developing and validating the assessment. It was declared operational in the fall of 2013 after two years of field testing with more than 12,000 teacher candidates.
edTPA requires aspiring teachers to demonstrate readiness to teach through lesson plans tailored to their students’ strengths and needs; by engaging real students in the classroom; performing analysis of whether their students are learning and adjusting their instruction to become more effective. It builds on decades of teacher performance assessment development and research, including the foundational work of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), and aligns closely with state college and career readiness standards.
The event’s keynote speaker was Barnett Berry, partner and CEO of the Center for Teaching Quality, a national nonprofit organization in Carborro, N.C., that focuses on teachers transforming teaching for the benefit of all students. Berry encouraged EPPs and P-12 leaders to think of teaching as a career continuum that can build on the foundations laid by edTPA and NBPTS.
Anne Marie Fenton, the director of assessment at GaPSC, was instrumental in coordinating the summit, inspired by the success of past Georgia edTPA conferences. Fenton saw the potential for educators across the region to benefit from such a convening.
“The spirit of collaboration evident throughout the edTPA Southeast Regional Summit mirrors the strong collaboration of EPPs, their P-12 partners, states, educational organizations and others as they work together to foster the educative value of edTPA,” said Fenton. “We all share the same goal, which is to make a positive impact on student learning.”
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