September 29, 2020: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

September 29, 2020

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

student at computer, remote learning


Tuesday September 22nd marked the first day of Fallsignaling cooler temperatures (hopefully) and numerous fast approaching events and deadlines. Below is your weekly rollup of critical information, updates, and events.    

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

9/30/2020: 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
Waiver Certificate Issuance All Waiver Intern certificates recommended and support candidates in completing everything needed for issuance. September 30, 2020
LBB Reporting  All Public Texas colleges and universities upload data to ECOS, download the data report, and report the data to the LBB.

October 9, 2020 (TEA) 

November 2, 2020 (LBB) 

Educator Testing 
PASL registration closes on October 19, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET. 

October 19, 2020 

EPP Support Deadline to 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

WINT Issuance Information – September 30th Recommendation Deadline 

The WINT (Intern certificate issued under the Governor’s waiver) will NOT ISSUE on October 1, 2020 and after, even if the certificate has been recommended by the EPP. At 5:00 pm on September 30, 2020, the check box “Eligible for Intensive Pre-Service” that is used to recommend WINTs and WPROs will be removed from the recommendation screens. After that point, EPPs will not be able to recommend WINT certificates. After 5:00 pm on September 30, 2020 all applications for WINTs that did not issue due to an incomplete application will be removed. EPPs are encouraged to communicate with their qualified candidates about these important deadlines so that their WINT certificates ISSUE before 5:00 pm on September 30, 2020. Candidates for the WINT must meet the original qualification requirements. The candidate a) must be enrolled in an EPP; b) must have completed pre-service requirements; c) must be ready to begin the internship portion of training; and d) must have an offer of employment. As a reminder, candidates can still be recommended for Intern (INT) certificates following 9/30/2020. However, they will have to meet the testing requirement in order for the certificate to issue.

Note: The WPRO may still be recommended after September 30 as long as the Governor’s disaster declaration remains in place. Candidates for the WPRO must meet the original qualification requirements: a) completing clinical teaching or practicum in fall 2019 or spring 2020, or an internship in spring 2020; and b) identified as a program finisher. To recommend a WPRO certificate after 5:00 pm on September 30, 2020, the EPP will need to contact the assigned Program Specialist at TEA for assistance. COVID-related guidance is posted on the TEA website and continues to be updated. 

Legislative Budget Board (LBB) Reporting  

Educator preparation programs at public colleges and universities are required to report certification rates of teacher education graduates to the LBB. Guidance for using the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS) to upload and retrieve your certification rate is available in the Data Reporting Manual. Information about reporting this information to the LBB, is available on the LBB website 

Last week TEA reached out directly to LBB contacts with additional information. As a reminder, this is only a requirement for public colleges and universities. 

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing

ETS PASL Update 

Fall registration closes on October 19, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. ET.  

ETS has updated their website with virtual learning environment information.  

The Important Updates page contains a link to the guidance document for candidates who may be submitting their PASL assessment tasks while working in a virtual learning environment.  

The PASL Assessment Task 3 Library of Examples page has been updated to include a virtual learning response for each textbox. 

ETS offered a webinar on the PASL assessment on Wednesday, September 23rd. This webinar focused on providing guidance on completing the assessment in a virtual or hybrid learning environment, identifying what students should consider when selecting their artifacts, and the different technologies that can be considered for capturing the video. This information will be helpful to faculty that instruct students in their programs. 

391 Core Subjects EC-6  TExES Preparation Manual available 

The preparation manual for the 391 Core Subjects EC-6  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. A 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 STR Letter of Attestation template can be found at the following link: link 

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. 

 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 or count against a candidate’s test attempts, 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. 

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 

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. 


If, upon completion of the entire Core Subjects (#211 or #291), an educator does not pass one or more of the subject exams, they are eligible to register for the 

  • single subject exam, if they passed all other subject exams, or 
  • the overall Core Subjects (#211 or #291), if they did not pass two or more subject exams. 

The score for the best attempt on each subject exam is retained, so an educator retaking the overall exam does not need to respond to questions in subject exams previously passed. They will still have all five subjects in their exam and will need to know not to answer the questions for those subject areas. 

In the end, once there is a passing score for all five subject areas, the overall exam will be considered passed.

Educator Certification

Information and updates related to Educator Certification 

Certification Assignment Flexibility  

As district staffing needs have continued to evolve due to the pandemic, there have been some questions about what opportunities exist for certification assignment flexibility. Although these options do not provide flexibility in the case of special education, bilingual education, or English as a Second Language assignments, the SY 20-21 Certification Assignment Flexibility Guidance provides options that present flexibility for some of the most common scenarios related to educator certification flexibility.  

Candidate Recommendations for Certification: Recommendation Support 

Did you know that you can easily identify candidates with pending certification recommendations? 

  • Login to ECOS Entity (your secure green screen online access) 
  • On the left side of your entity main menu, look for the Standard Certification, Intern, and Probationary tabs 
  • Click on the down arrow, then click on Recommendation List 
  • When the page loadson the right side, you will be able to populate thSchool Year and Select Only sections 
  • For School Year, select either 2019-2020 or 2020-2021; and for Select Only, use Not Recommended 
  • This will display your list of candidates for a particular school year that need your support with an online recommendation for certification 
  • Each candidate’s name is an active link that you can click on to provide the required information to complete your entity recommendation for certification 
  • Once you have entered all required information, please click on the green “Recommend” button at the bottom of the page 

We recommend EPPs check this queue on a weekly basis, to manage and complete required entity recommendations on candidate requests for certification

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 - STR Certificates 

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. These actions included new and updated rules to add certificates related to the Science of Teaching Reading. These updates impact EPPs. In addition to the STR amendments, Chapter 228 had several more revisions approved.  We will highlight two of the approved revisions in this newsletter in more detail and will highlight together approved changes in upcoming newsletters! 

  • The first update to Chapter 228 is found in Chapter 228.15 on programs consolidation or closingThis revision provides assistance where an EPP has decided to consolidate with another EPP, or where an EPP decides to close its doors. There is not anything that an EPP needs to do with this revision because it only applies to EPPs that consolidating or closing.   
  • The second update to Chapter 228 is found in Chapter 228.20(h) and requires EPPs to have a formal dismissal policy that is clear and is in writing. In order to ensure alignment with this ruleEPPs should confirm that they have a dismissal policy in place

Other 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. 


Every newsletter we take this space to highlight one or two questions that we have heard from EPPs. 

Q: If I recommend a candidate for the WINT certificate before the 9/30/2020 deadline but one of the certificate requirements is completed (ex: fingerprinting) after 9/30/2020, will the WINT certificate issue after 9/30/2020? 
A: No, the WINT certificate must issue before 5:00pm on 9/30/2020. The IPS check box will be removed from the recommendation screen on 9/30/2020 at 5:00pm.  

Q: Our program admitted candidates for the 2020-2021 academic year, when does the program need to notify TEA of their admission?  
A: When a candidate is formally or contingently admitted, the program has 7 calendar days to notify TEA of admission by creating an admission record. The admission record populates candidate information to both Test Approval and the program’s Finisher Records List. 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.

EPP Points of Contact

Your 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.

Help Desk Link