Thursday, April 30, 2015

The edTPA: Assessment of the authentic teaching practice of the teacher candidate

            As noted in previous blogposts, the NYSTCE tests, include the ALST, EAS, CST, and edTPA.  The explicit purpose of the NYSTCE tests is to help identify for certification those candidates who have demonstrated the appropriate level of knowledge and skills that are important for performing the responsibilities of an educator in New York State public schools.  These trailing indicators of success require a demonstration of the appropriate level of knowledge and skills expected a beginning teacher.  As such, they are tools for demonstrating the appropriate level of knowledge and skills that are important for performing the responsibilities of an educator.  
            The diversity of assessed skills and the use of multiple modalities to evaluate the teacher candidate’s professional readiness provide a very interesting aspect of the NYSTCE tests.  This month’s blogpost will review the edTPA.  As a portfolio assessment, the edTPA is designed to align with the authentic teaching practice of the teacher candidate" (SCALE, 2014).
            Authentic assessments comprise diverse assessment techniques.  Typically, the educational literature discusses three variations of authentic assessment.  These include dynamic assessments (Newton, 2007), performance assessment (Meyer, 1992), and portfolio assessment (Salvia & Ysseldyke, 2004).  The edTPA is a portfolio assessment.  Crucially, Powers and Gamble (1969) found authentic assessments possess the following characteristics:
1.     Direct measurement of skills related to long-term educational outcomes.  For instance, success in the workplace;
2.     Tasks requiring extensive engagement and complex performance; and
3.     Analysis of the processes used to produce the response.
            Stanford University faculty and staff at the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) developed edTPA.  The development team received substantive advice and feedback from teachers and teacher educators.  The team garnered extensive experience from over 25 years of developing performance-based assessments of teaching.
               The edTPA Annotated Bibliography, developed by SCALE, with input from educators and researchers, is freely available and identifies the foundational research literature that informed the development of the edTPA.  The cited literature provides a research foundation for the role of assessment in teacher education, for the common edTPA architecture, and for each of the fifteen shared rubric constructs.  SCALE encourages educators, policy-makers, programs, and teacher candidates to utilize the literature review to examine the underlying constructs of edTPA as a measure of effective teaching.
            The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) is a national alliance of educator preparation programs dedicated to high-quality, evidence-based preparation that assures teacher candidates are ready to teach all learners at the beginning of their careers.  As a national edTPA implementation partner, the AACTE seeks to strengthen an edTPA professional learning community by supporting communications, implementation, professional development and resources to help all programs graduate teachers who are ready to educate each and every child.  AACTE believes that edTPA will help give the public and educators confidence that teacher candidates are graduating ready to be effective teachers from their first day in the classroom.  In this pursuit, AACTE facilitates the edTPA Resource Library.
            Teacher Candidates access the required edTPA handbooks, templates, and resources, via their teacher preparation institution.  They also can download these materials from the portfolio system they use to build their portfolios.  Registered faculty and teacher preparation institutions can access edTPA handbooks, templates, and resources via the edTPA Resource Library
            Recently. a New York statewide task force on the edTPA presented its recommendations to the New York State Board of Regents.  The appointed edTPA Task Force was created to refine the edTPA assessment.  The refinement mission included a review of the edTPA rubrics and handbooks, support for statewide implementation, and optimal collaboration between teacher preparation institutions, NYSED, and SCALE in order to identify and disseminate exemplary practices.
      The following edTPA process overview is provided as initial guidance for teacher candidates.  Teacher candidates will gain access to the required edTPA handbooks and templates from their teacher preparation institution.  Candidates may also be able to download these materials in the portfolio system.  Completing the Assessment requires careful adherence to completion of each edTPA task.  To optimize success, teacher candidates must:
  1. Review the submission and reporting dates, which allows proactive planning for edTPA submission with a required receipt of assessment results.
  2. Register for the edTPA. 
  3. Draft and edit edTPA materials prior to attempting submission. The teacher candidate must be online to upload and submit completed edTPA materials.  However, the candidate may download templates to his or her laptop or workstation for drafting and editing written materials in advance of submission. Similarly, task 2 video clips should be viewed and prepared locally before uploading.
  4. Build the professional edTPA portfolio in the system used at your institution.
  5. Submit your completed edTPA for scoring.  Follow directions for submitting the assessment.  Rejoice over your success! 
To cite:
Anderson, C.J. (April 30, 2015) The edTPA: Assessment of the authentic teaching practice of the teacher candidate
                    [Web log post] Retrieved from