September 15, 2020: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

September 15, 2020

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

student at computer, remote learning


Today is the final day for reporting ASEP data into ECOS for the 2019-2020 reporting year. Thank you all for your continued effort in reporting all of this data! Our team has been working through your Help Desk Tickets and emails to provide support as we approach this deadline. To assist you as we transition into our next phase of the year, we have provided updates about numerous initiatives and deadlines below. 

As we are still in the early days of this new mailing list, we encourage you to forward this newsletter to faculty and staff within your preparation program as needed. In addition, if others within your program would like to receive the newsletter, please have them sign up at the link below.  

Table of Contents

Upcoming Events

9/23/2020: The ETS® Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL) Webinar: (link, pw: webinar1!) 

9/30/2020: Form & Function Webinar (link) 

10/9/2020: SBEC Meeting (the meeting webcast can be viewed here, beginning at 8:30am) 

Upcoming Deadlines

Topic Action Item Due Date
Educator Testing Begin to communicate with all candidates who are impacted by the STR exam transition ASAP
ASEP Data Submission Complete All Annual Submissions

September 15, 2020

5:00 PM CST 

Waiver Certificate Issuance All Waiver Intern certificates recommended and support candidates in completing everything needed for issuance September 30, 2020
EPP Support Submit the STR Exam Letter of Attestation form to your TEA program specialist December 1, 2020
Educator Testing 

Deadline for candidates to submit new, missing information, or corrections for the Test-Limit Waiver application for HB3 impacted fields. 

December 1, 2020 

Any information submitted after December 1st is not guaranteed to be reviewed prior to the implementation of the STR exam requirement.
Educator Certification 

Final day for standard certifications to be issued without the STR exam requirement for HB 3 impacted fields.

December 31, 2020  

Educator Preparation Program Support

Information and updates related to the Educator Preparation Program Management

2019-2020 ASEP Data Reporting is due TODAY at 5:00pm. 

All ASEP data is due in to ECOS today, 9/15/2020, at 5:00pm. At that time, all updates to the Finisher Records List, Observations, and Admissions for 2019-2020 must be complete. You can find 2019-2020 ASEP reporting information such as the ASEP Data Reporting Webinar on TEA’s Program Provider Resources page. The EPP team hosted a webinar to guide programs through their required annual data reporting on August 6, 2020. The video is posted here. For additional tips about loading Observation files, please see last week’s newsletter.  

Candidate Admission Record 

With updates to ECOS, the admission record now populates candidate information to both Test Approval and the program’s Finisher Records List. Once a candidate is formally or contingently admitted, the program has 7 calendar days to notify TEA of admission by creating an admission record. If the program adds test approval before creating an admission record, ECOS will block the admission record from being created. Please refer to the Data Reporting Manual for additional admission record information.  

Certificate Deactivation and Reactivation Reminder 

Don’t forget – certificate deactivation and reactivation requests are submitted to Preparation Programs in Help Desk. Please refer to 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(B)(vi) for deactivation reporting timelines.

State Reporting Reminders 

  • ASEP data is locked at 5:00 p.m. on 9/15/20 
  • ASEP data accuracy affidavit is due 9/22/20 and can be found here 

Call for Applications for Innovative Educator Preparation recognition 

The State Board for Educator Certification designates EPPs that have implemented innovative approaches in a defined area of emphasis to educator preparation. This year, the SBEC seeks to recognize EPPs with innovative practices related to authentic, practice-based educator preparation. EPPs can submit an application to be evaluated for this recognition. The call for materials is here, and an application checklist is available herePlease submit any questions to 

Applications are due November 1. 

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing

268 Principal as Instructional Leader: Representative Exam now available  

The 268 Principal as Instructional Leader representative exam is now available for programs to order. Information on Assessing Candidates’ Readiness to Test is available on the Texas Educator Certification Exam website. To order a Representative Examination, authorized representatives from SBEC-approved EPPs can send a request for an order form to

Pilot Testing Underway for Science of Teaching Reading, Principal as Instructional Leader, and Educational Diagnostician Certification Exams 

Examination questions (items) are pilot tested to gather information about their quality and technical characteristics, before appearing as scored items on operational exam forms. In addition to gathering data to inform exam item quality, the pilot test provides teacher candidates and other individuals at Texas educator preparation programs a free opportunity to prepare for future exams. The pilot tests are computer-administered at testing centers in Texas.  

TEA and Pearson are seeking participants for these important activities. For information on eligibility, incentives, advantages of participation, scheduling, and registration for pilot tests, please encourage students to visit the Pilot Testing website here: Please note that participation in a pilot test does not satisfy certification requirements, and participants do not receive a score or a Pass/Fail status. If you have questions or need further information, please contact the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program at 

Educational Diagnostician Pilot testing is underway for the redeveloped Educational Diagnostician exam through October 16, 2020. 

Science of Teaching Reading 
Pilot testing is underway and available at Pearson VUE test centers throughout Texas through October 1, 2020. Candidates are eligible to participate in the pilot test if they are currently enrolled in an EPP for Core Subjects EC-6, Core Subjects 4-8, ELAR 4-8, or ELAR/Social Studies 4-8. Faculty members at eligible EPPs are not eligible to participate. 

Principal as Instructional Leader 
Pilot testing is underway and available at Pearson VUE test centers throughout Texas through October 1, 2020. Individuals enrolled in Principal as Instructional Leader preparation programs and those individuals who hold a Principal as Instructional Leader certificate are eligible to participate in this pilot. Individuals who hold a Principal certificate (having taken and passed the 068 exam) are not eligible. 

293 Science of Teaching Reading TExES Preparation Manual available 

The preparation manual for the 293 Science of Teaching Reading (STR)  TExES is now available on the Texas Educator Certification Exam website. The preparation manual is web-based and responsively designed for viewing on multiple devices. PDF version that includes the exam framework and sample exam questions will also be available for download. 

Science of Teaching Reading Letters of Attestation Due December 1, 2020.  

All EPPs that are currently approved to offer preparation in any of the following House Bill 3 impacted certification fields are required to submit a Letter of Attestation to the TEA to indicate their ability and readiness to successfully prepare candidates for certification in these fields.  

  • Core Subjects with Science of Teaching Reading: Early Childhood–Grade 6 
  • Core Subjects with Science of Teaching Reading: Grades 4–8 
  • English Language Arts and Reading with Science of Teaching Reading: Grades 4–8 
  • English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies with Science of Teaching Reading: Grades 4–8   

EPPs received the STR Letter of Attestation document in December 2019. The completed letter should be submitted to the program’s assigned TEA Program Specialist. 

EPPs that choose not to prepare candidates in these fields that require successful completion of the STR exam by not submitting the STR Letter of Attestation will be removed from the ability to certify candidates in these areas. 


When a candidate is registered for an exam and the eligibility is removed, the candidate will be automatically withdrawn from the exam.  

If the withdrawal occurs at least 48 hours before the scheduled exam appointment, the candidate will receive a refund in accordance with Pearson’s Withdrawal/Refund Policy.  

Educator Certification

Information and updates related to Educator Certification 

Candidate Recommendations for Certification 

Please be prompt when recommending candidates for certification. EPP recommendation is required for a certificate to issue, and during this season teachers are frequently working on tight timelines with requests from districts to provide proof of certification as quickly as possibleIt is also extremely helpful for you to confirm the certificate area(s) you will recommend your candidates for. This is particularly important for candidates being recommended for the Waiver Intern certificate, as these certificates must issue prior to 10/1. 

Please also provide clear information to your candidates regarding which certificate they need to apply for and the type of application that should be submitted to TEA.  When candidates apply for the incorrect certificate or select the incorrect route, it delays the issuance of their certificate. 

Updates About SBEC, Rules, and Legislation

Updates related to actions by the State Board for Educator Certification, the State Board of Education, and the Legislature. 

SBOE Action 

The State Board of Education (SBOE) met from September 8-11. At that meeting, the SBOE reviewed and took no action on the amendments to the rules approved by the SBEC. The rules will now go into effect on October 15, 2020. Changes include updates to: 

  • Chapter 227:  Adds HB3 STR impacted certificates to the PACT figure and removes the 1-year time limit to use a passing PACT score for admission. 
  • Chapter 228: (1) Adds new certificates with STR, (2) updates guidance for closing EPPs, (3) requires written dismissal policy(4) adds HB18 requirements for mental health, substance abuse, and youth suicide in curriculum and aligns the required curriculum for teachers/principals to Chapter 235 and 241(5) aligns the 150 hours of coursework/training to educator standards, (6) provides simpler language for certificate deactivations and guidance about summer practicums, (7) provides guidance for out-of-state/out-of-country clinical teaching or practicums, and (8) provides guidance for candidates who did not test while in program and return to test after five years or where standards/test changes. 
  • Chapter 228.1: Allows for virtual settings for field-based experiences, clinical teaching, internships, and practicums in 2020-2021. Formal observations related to clinical teaching, internships, and practicums would be allowed to occur in synchronous or asynchronous virtual settings. 
  • Chapter 230.21: Adds the replacement certification names and associated certification exams along with operational dates for HB3 STR impacted certification fields, including the STR exam.  
  • Chapter 235: Updates the organization of the science of teaching reading standards based on the HB3 mandate and adding the Bilingual Spanish Standards, Special Education EC-6 and 6-12 Standards, and the DeafBlind standards into rule. 
  • Chapter 233: Adds the four HB3 STR impacted replacement certificates to rule along with the issuance deadline of December 31, 2021 for the four current certificates being replaced by the new HB3 STR-focused certificates. 

Changes to rules that impact EPPs will be highlighted at the Form and Function Webinar on 9/30/2020. Please use this link to sign up. We will also be sharing more in-depth about these updates in future newsletters. 


Frequently asked questions from the previous week 

Q: Can non-teacher practicums occur in a virtual setting? 
A: Yes, 2020-2021 practicums can occur in a virtual setting.See Covid-related guidance here and SBEC action available on this page. 

Q: I am concerned that my observation data is not at the 95% required. What should I do? 
A: EPPs should work to report all observations conducted for teacher classesinto ECOSaccurately. EPPs are required to report data per 19 TAC §229.3(f) The reporting requirement has not been waived. Programs can reference the Accountability System Data table for a description of the data. However, programs should consider that pending SBEC action, ASEP data and results are “report only” this year, and will not impact EPP accreditation statuses.

EPP Points of Contact

Our best source for information and support at the TEA 

As an Educator Preparation Program, your main point of contact is your Program Specialist.  

To view a list of EPPs and their associated Program Specialist, please click here.   

For easiest assistance, file a HelpDesk Ticket. 

For More Information

Information regarding the Science of Teaching Reading Exam can be accessed at 

Information regarding edTPA 2020-2021 information opportunities can be accessed here. 

Information and updates regarding the Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL) can be accessed at the Important Updates link. 

Updated information related to the COVID-19 response can be accessed here. 

From Our Programs

When possible, we present updates and shared practices from EPPs around Texas. If you have information you would like to share in this space, please reach out to your program specialist. 

The University-School Partnerships for the Renewal of Educator Preparation (
US PREP) National Center provides on-the-ground support and services to a coalition of university-based teacher preparation programs. US PREP partners with a number of Texas EPPs 

With the shift to more virtual teaching and learning in K-12 schoolsUS PREP has been conducting a series of webinars about virtual teaching and learning. Two upcoming sessions include “Supervising Teacher Candidates in a Virtual Environment” on 9/16 and “Facilitating Formal Performance Assessments in a Virtual Environment” on 9/21. More information is available here.  

Help Desk Link