edTPA:Teacher Candidates Share Experience with Board

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                   Contact: David Brenna

                                                                                    360-725-6238 david.brenna@k12.wa.us

Olympia, Washington – August 7, 2012


Teacher Performance Assessment: First Group of Teacher Candidates Share Experience with Board.

On Monday, July 30, the New York Times ran an article on the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) which aims to be a requirement for individuals completing teacher preparation programs and an accountability measure for preparation programs.  On the same day, the Professional Educator Standards Board heard from a panel of teacher candidates who had recently completed the assessment. While the Times article talked about states moving to adopt the pre-service assessment, Washington State is preparing to implement the edTPA as a requirement next school year after completing this year’s field trial.

Washington is part of a 25-state consortium working together to implement the Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA). Washington State leads the nation in the development and implementation of the edTPA in part because of the ground-breaking work on another portfolio assessment, the ProTeach Portfolio; the first ever to be delivered and scored entirely online, that went into effect in 2010. Portfolio assessments differ from other assessments in that they require a teacher to collect “artifacts” or evidence of their work in the classroom, including lesson plans, student work and video sessions of their teaching.

While teacher candidates testifying to the board all confessed apprehension at the beginning of the portfolio assessment, most of the comments were very positive. “For me the TPA was intense and profound reflection.  It helped show me how everything I was doing was coming together and what it meant for impact on the kids and their learning” said Maria Ponce, teacher candidate from Heritage University and the first in her family to attend college. Echoed Clem See, a former engineer now an elementary teacher candidate from the University of Washington: “I don’t think anybody WANTED to do it . . . . but the TPA turned into something I valued quite a bit by the end because it was the first time that I took everything I’d absorbed over the first three months of being in the classroom, and really thoughtfully put it together like a puzzle.” 

Adrienne Wicklund, University of Washington, who has taught in a private school for two years acknowledged that returning to teacher preparation was needed because she “didn’t have enough tools to continue“ and added, “[the] TPA gave me insight into the entire teaching cycle.  It gave me a picture of what an excellent teacher really does day in and day out”.

PESB members asked the panel about the challenges and impediments they encountered as the first group to complete the edTPA.   Candidates on the panel pointed to some difficulties related to being the first to take the test, but also suggested that supervising teachers in classrooms will need better understanding of the assessment to support candidates. The edTPA becomes consequential for teacher candidates in 2013. For more information on the edTPA, contact Patti Larriva at PESB: 360-725-6277.