New Teacher Assessment Tool Making Headway in Education Programs

When Evelyn Perry — an administrator within the School of Education and Urban Studies at Morgan State University — first learned about a relatively new teacher assessment tool known as edTPA, her first reaction was, “This is a lot of work.”

But after learning more about the assessment and how it helps prepare aspiring teachers for the demands of the classroom, Perry concluded that incorporating the edTPA into the university’s teacher preparation program was also “worthwhile work.”

“It really made us focus on what we were doing,” Perry said during a panel discussion at the annual conference of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, or AACTE. “It was an assessment tool that was not business as usual.”

Morgan State’s use of the edTPA is part of a growing trend that AACTE is hoping to usher along even further. Indications are the edTPA will become a more prominent fixture on the landscape of teacher education — and soon.

Starting in the 2013-14 academic year, edTPA will become available nationally, according to AACTE.

Several states already have formally adopted the edTPA. In New York State, for instance, teacher candidates who apply for initial certification on or after May 1, 2014 will be required to take and pass the edTPA.

Other states are merely “considering” edTPA for statewide use to either license new teachers or approve teacher preparation program, according to AACTE.

Morgan State is one of more than 160 institutions of higher learning that is “field-testing” the edTPA. At Morgan State, Perry said, the edTPA accounts for 10 percent of a teaching candidate’s grade, making it a virtual requirement for a degree in teaching. <Read more.>

Via Jamaal Abdul-Alim, Diversity in Higher Education.