- The Georgia Professional Standards Commission, which sets policy for teacher certification in the state, will decide by June 11 whether to stop requiring candidates to pass edTPA, a widely used portfolio assessment designed to determine whether aspiring educators have the skills to teach.
- Last Friday, Matt Arthur, executive secretary of GaPSC, posted a notice calling for public comment on the proposal, which would eliminate the assessment as of July 1. If at least 25 people, who would be affected by the decision, request it, an oral hearing will be held.
- "While we have gained much from edTPA, we, as an agency, need to be as responsive as possible to the expressed needs of schools related to staffing and capacity," Arthur wrote in an email Brian Lawler, an associate professor of math at Kennesaw State University, posted on Facebook. The state adopted the exam as a requirement for licensure in 2015.
Used in over half of the states, edTPA has been criticized for multiple reasons, including a $300 exam fee, the time involved in completing the multipart assessment and a videotaping component. Others, however, argue it sets an appropriate higher standard for entering the profession.
Meanwhile, the Connecticut General Assembly is considering a bill that would “cease implementation” of edTPA and move instead toward allowing teacher preparation programs to give their own assessments, beginning July 1. The Education Committee held a public hearing on the bill in early March, but any further action has been delayed because of the coronavirus.
Some critics of the exam argue the requirement also stands in the way of recruiting more people of color into the teaching profession and is disconnected from what candidates are focusing on in their student teaching placement.
“Rather than supporting students with my practical expertise, I have to narrow my own curriculum to address students’ anxiety regarding edTPA and answer logistical questions regarding the requirements and expectations, much of which they are not finding helpful to their practice,” Violet Jiménez Sims, an assistant clinical professor at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education, wrote in an op-ed.
Some who defend the test and say blaming edTPA for a lack of diversity in the teaching field is “a deficit way of thinking.”
“Education-preparation programs need to ensure that all candidates are fully prepared to enter the classroom and ready to teach,” wrote Michael Alfano, the dean of education at Sacred Heart University.
In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers suspended the state’s edTPA requirement because of the pandemic, allowing teacher preparation programs more flexibility to assess candidates’ performance during the atypical circumstances.