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EdTPA program endorsed by educators

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Watertown Daily Times reporter Jacob Tierney provided an important update on EdTPA in his article on Feb. 20 regarding the new performance-based assessment for teacher candidates that New York has adopted statewide. I’d like to clarify some of the information shared by sources in the story, however, in an effort to encourage factual and accurate conversation about EdTPA during this important transition.

When we say that EdTPA was developed by educators, for educators, we mean it. With education and testing experts from Stanford University leading the work, more than 1,000 educators from 29 states and the District of Columbia have participated in the design, development, piloting and field testing of EdTPA since 2008.

EdTPA grew out of a demand by teacher educators across the nation who wanted a new and profession-driven system to support and assess teacher preparation. They reviewed and refined it at every step along the way.

The assessment focuses on what matters most. EdTPA requires teacher candidates to demonstrate teaching skills in five areas that research has shown to improve student performance, including how they tailor lessons that reflect the strengths and needs of their students and then assess the effectiveness of those lessons.

EdTPA is subject specific and includes versions for 27 different teaching fields. It is unique as the first nationally available, teacher-designed performance assessment for teachers entering the profession.

EdTPA is valid and reliable. Over two academic years more than 12,000 teacher candidates from 250 institutions in 26 states participated in field testing before EdTPA was launched as fully operational last fall. Today, more than 500 teacher-preparation programs in 34 states use EdTPA. It is endorsed by the National Education Association, the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, who are partnering with us to help make sure that all P-12 students have teachers who are ready for the classroom from day one.

Raymond L. Pecheone

Stanford, Calif.

The writer is executive director of the Stanford Center on Assessment, Learning and Equity.

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