Test teachers, but first train them

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The new teacher performance assessment in New York state — the edTPA — has been built by the profession for the profession. The tasks in the edTPA are ones broadly valued by teacher educators who have been involved in its development. Unfortunately, the current implementation of the edTPA in New York state is not serving the teaching profession as it should.

The edTPA was modeled on highly regarded evaluations for novice and experienced teachers. In none of those contexts, however, were the performance assessments used as entry-level certification exams, given to student teachers who are guest interns in a mentor teacher's classroom. Moreover, the administration of the edTPA exam by an external commercial entity raises concerns.

Proponents argue that making this a certification exam is important to ensure that prospective teachers are "safe to practice." But New York's method of implementation makes the edTPA different and potentially harmful to the profession in New York state.;

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