October 13, 2020: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

October 13, 2020

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

student at computer, remote learning


Over the past weeks, we have received some great feedback on this EPP newsletter. Based on feedback, this past week TEA has been able to start an archive of past newsletters. This will allow folks to see past newsletters and updates, for referencePlease use this link to view the previous EPP weekly newsletters.  

If you are not currently subscribed to the newsletter, please sign up at the link below.   

Table of Contents

Upcoming Events

10/14/2020: Performance-Based Assessment & Rubric Webinar, 10am - 11am (sign-up link) 
If you have any questions about this webinar, please directly email: angela.vonhatten@tea.texas.gov 

10/19/20: Science of Teaching Reading Exam Update @ CSOTTE, General Session II, 12:30-1:20  

10/20/2020: TEA Townhall meeting @ CSOTTE, General Session III, 10:30-12:00 

Upcoming Deadlines

Topic Action Item Due Date
Educator Testing Begin to communicate with all candidates who are impacted by the STR exam transition. ASAP
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 

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

ASEP Technology Fee 
TEA will soon be distributing invoices to programs for the ASEP Technology fee. As a reminder, this fee, per 19 TAC 229.9, is $35 per admitted candidate. We directly invoice programs for this fee following the end of the academic year. The number of candidates is taken directly from the number of individuals reported as admitted by your educator preparation program in the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS).  

We plan to distribute the invoices from the 2019-2020 academic year to EPPs on October 16, 2020, with a 30-day deadline for payment. These invoices will be delivered via email to your EPP legal authority.  

New this year will be included guidance on how to make this payment using an ACH method, along with how to pay by check. TEA cannot accept credit card payments for this fee. 

WINT Closeout 
Thank you again for completing recommendations for your candidates who applied for and were eligible for the intern certificate under the conditions of the Governor’s waiver. At this time, TEA has completed the processing of all outstanding applications. TEA will be directly reaching out to EPPs and to candidates with applications that were recommended but not complete by the deadline. These applications have been deactivated by TEA. We encourage you to work directly with your candidates who did not submit a complete application to identify their next steps, including pursuing completion of the testing requirement, and working with districts for certification options if necessary. 

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing

STR Webinar Series: Reading Academies Deep Dive
TEA staff has heard from EPP faculty and staff that many are interested in learning about the research behind the reading academies and the prioritization of content within the academies, to ensure alignment from pre-service to in-service support. With this in mind, staff has worked in collaboration with the TEA Reading Academies team to offer a Reading Academies Deep Dive training focused on the research behind the academies, the design considerations for the academies, and the prioritized content. The Deep Dive will be a 120 minute webinar on November 2, 2020 from 10 am to 12 pm    

This exciting opportunity will be limited to 2 participants per EPP To ensure access across programsTo register for this training, please complete the following jot form by October 26, 2020TEA staff will send zoom registration links following review of the jot form.  

STR Exam Informational One-Pagers for Candidates Posted to the STR Exam Webpage 
TEA staff has developed a suite of STR exam informational one-pager documents that are intended to outline the most critical information that candidates pursuing certification in an HB3-impacted field need to know about the STR exam requirement. Staff has developed specific one-pagers for those groups of candidates who may be issued standard certificates prior to the STR exam requirement and one-pagers for each certification field impacted by the STR exam requirement as of January 1, 2021.  

We encourage EPPs to share these documents with their candidates through multiple communication channels, to ensure that candidates are well aware of the STR exam requirement. These one-pagers can be accessed via the links below or through the STR Exam webpage (tea.texas.gov/str).  

Recruitment for Upcoming Online Examination Materials Review Conferences 
TEA and Evaluation Systems group of Pearson are currently seeking Texas educators to participate in an Online Examination Materials Review Conference for the Texas Educator Certification Examination program. Below are brief descriptions of the test development activities that approved committee members will be asked to take part in during this conference: 

  • Equity Assurance: Each Equity Assurance Panel will review draft exam materials to verify that the materials are free from potential issues of fairness and reflect the diversity of Texas. In the application, you can indicate availability for one or more sessions.  
  • Item Review: Each Content Advisory Committee will review draft exam items to verify that the content is accurate and appropriate for testing educator certification candidates in Texas, according to criteria designated for this program. Participants attend only one committee in their area of expertise. 

The following committees will meet as indicated below: 

Certification Exam  

Dates of Equity Assurance Panel  

Dates of Content Advisory Committee 

Principal as Instructional Leader 
Content Advisory Committee 

Tuesday, December 1 – Wednesday, December 2, 2020 

Wednesday, December 9-Friday, December 11, 2020  

English Language Arts and Reading 4-8 Content Advisory Committee 

MondayNovember 30 –TuesdayDecember 1, 2020 

Wednesday December 2 - Friday, December 4, 2020  

School Counselor
Content Advisory Committee

Thursday, December 3 – Friday, December 4, 2020 

Tuesday, December 8 – Thursday, December 10, 2020  

Pedagogy and Professional 
Responsibilities for 
Trade and Industrial Education 6-12 

Monday, December 7 – Tuesday, December 8, 2020 

Wednesday December 9 - Friday, December 11, 2020 

How You Can Get Involved:

Apply—Click here to complete an application for consideration for committee participation.   

Nominate—Click here to submit your nominations of colleagues who may be interested in participating.  

Share—Forward this message to other educators to share with colleagues.  

Direct Email Notification to Candidates Regarding the STR Exam Requirement 
Beginning the week of October 5th, TEA staff will be sending direct email notifications to the following groups of candidates pursuing standard certification in an HB3-impacted field to notify them of the STR exam requirement, which goes into effect January 1, 2021. The intent of the direct email notification is to notify those candidates that they will be required to take the STR exam for standard certification unless they are issued a standard certificate by December 31, 2021. Direct email notification will be sent to:  

  • Teachers with one-year probationary certificates issued under the Governor’s waiver of certification exam requirements in Spring 2020, 
  • Previous finishers without certification (2015-16 onward), and 
  • Candidates who have taken a content pedagogy exam in an HB3 impacted field in the past year. 

EPPs are responsible for proactively notifying all candidates regarding the STR exam requirement and are encouraged to proactively reach out to these groups of candidates to ensure that they are well aware of the STR exam requirement beginning January 1, 2021.  

ETS PASL Update  
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.   

In addition, 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. Linked here is a pdf of the PowerPoint facilitation deck from the webinar. 

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.  

The period from January 1, 2021, to August 31, 2021, is an introductory period for the following exams: 

  • Science of Teaching Reading (293)  
  • Early Childhood: PK-3 (292) 
  • Educational Diagnostician (253) 

Candidates will receive a Pass/Fail status on their score reports. Score reports will include the number of Points Possible and Points Earned by competency.  

Beginning September 1, 2021, candidates will receive a scaled score between 100-300, with 240 as the passing score.

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.   

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 loads, on the right side, you will be able to populate the School 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 - Updates to Chapter 228 
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 in Chapter 228.  We have highlighted these approved revisions in this newsletterPlease find below the last of these highlighted changes. 

  • Update to Chapter 228 related to deactivations and summer practicums: this simplifies the description of the requirements when a candidate leaves an intern assignment to the candidate and campus or district personnelEPPs should review the simplified rule text and ensure proper communication procedures are in place. Second, the update requires that practicums for nonteacher certificate classes may not take place exclusively during a summer recess, although they may still take place in part during a summer recess. EPPs should also be aware of this to plan semesters accordingly and communicate with field supervisors and campus personnel as necessary about the changes.
  • Update to Chapter 228 related to candidates who need to finish their program but have to move out-of-state or out-of-country to do their clinical teaching or practicum in order to finish: EPPs should review the guidance for approving a candidate’s placement at one school and review the four reasons that may be approved for a candidate to complete their requirements.
  • Update to Chapter 228 related to candidates returning for test approval: this authorizes EPPs to require candidates to complete additional coursework and/or training to receive test approval for candidates who finished their program and return for test approval five years or more later, or if the standards or the test has changed since the candidate finished the program. 

Additional changes to rules that impact EPPs were highlighted at the Form and Function Webinar on 9/30/2020. Slides from the webinar are posted here. We will continue to share more in-depth information 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: I did not receive my weekly newsletter. Is there another way for me to access the newsletters? 
A: Yes. Please go to the Program Provider Resources page and click on the Texas Educator Preparation Program Weekly Newsletters link located on the right side of the page under “Related Content” to access the newsletters. 

Q: Where can I access the Texas Behavioral Support Initiative (TSBI) training? 
A: The Texas Behavior Support Initiative Training has been updated. As of October 1, 2020, the TBSI training was moved to a new location supported by the Tiered Interventions Using Evidence-Based Research Network, or TIER (a project funded by the Texas Education Agency) located at https://tier.tea.texas.gov/aboutThe link to the TSBI training is available on the Program Provider Resources page on the TEA website. 

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 educator certification testing can be accessed at the Texas Educator Certification Exam website 

Information regarding the Science of Teaching Reading Exam can be accessed at tea.texas.gov/str 

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