November 10, 2020: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

November 10, 2020

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

student at computer, remote learning


With the upcoming introduction of the Science of Teaching Reading requirement for some certifications, many EPPs have reached out to ask, “What should we be doing right now?” 
Over the coming weeks, we would like to provide some clear guidance for EPPs that should help to keep you and your candidates on track as this deadline approaches. This is the STR Task of the Week! 

STR Task of the Week: Ensure that every candidate has tested – or has a testing plan! This week ensure that all candidates have the necessary test approvals and have a plan to register for and take their required certification exams well ahead of 12/31/20.  

Previously: STR Task of the Week 11/3: Support all your candidates in logging in to their ECOS account. 

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Table of Contents

Upcoming Events

11/10/2020: Records Retention and Evidence webinar, 10am – 11am, sign-up here 

11/13/2020: Time updated: STR Webinar Series: Reading Pedagogy and Constructed Response Deep Dive10:30 am – 12:00 pm.  

Upcoming Deadlines

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

Updates related to Educator Preparation Program Management  

Action Required! Science of Teaching Reading Letter of Attestation 
Letters of Attestation requesting the addition of the new STR-related certificates to EPP inventories are due to TEA by December 1, 2020indicating your intention and readiness to prepare candidates for certification in the STR-related fieldsThis deadline is in the Texas Administrative Code (19 TAC §228.10(g)) and is not flexible. If we do not receive
the attestation letter by December 1the EPP will be required to submit an application for approval to add each of the new certificates with STR. As of November 10, there are still some EPPs that currently offer these certificates who have not submitted a letter of attestation. 

If your program has successfully submitted a letter of attestation, we have responded to you and updated your certificate inventory. The new STR-related certificates should appear in your drop-down menu. Please carefully read the response you received from TEA because it contains important information that should be shared with other
appropriate EPP staff.   

If you submitted a letter of attestation but have not received a response and do not see the new certificates in your drop-down menu, please contact your assigned program specialist (or follow up with a Help Desk ticket).  

As a reminder, the STR-related certificates are: 

  • 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   

The existing certificates that are being replaced by the certificates listed above will no longer be available for issuance following December 31, 2020. 

Clarification on candidates completing internships in December 2020
A number of school districts and EPPs have reached out for clarification about the end dates related to internships for candidates who began at the start of the spring semester in 2020. This question is of particular importance with the forthcoming STR requirement, acandidates, EPPs, and districts are working to get standard certifications for all eligible educators in the impacted fields. 

If your EPP has candidates who began their internship on the first day of the spring semester in January 2020 and have successfully completed all requirements for certification by the end of the fall semester, 2020, they can apply for and be recommended for standard certificates at the end of the fall semester, prior to 1/1/2021.  

Additionally, if you have late-hire candidates who started their internships in January or February, your EPP may permit the internship to be up to 30 school days fewer than the minimum. Please see 19 TAC 228.35(e)(2)(B)(I). 

Finally, as any internships ending in January or February of 2021 occurred at least in part during a declared disaster, per 19 TAC §228.1(d), the total required duration may be decreased by up to 20%. 

Please review the start dates and end dates for your interns carefully, as this may impact your recommended pathways for candidates and districts related to the forthcoming STR exam requirement for certification. 

ASEP Technology Fee 
TEA has distributed 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).  

Invoices were distributed to program legal authorities on October 16, 2020. If your program admitted candidates in 2019-2020 but your legal authority did not receive an invoice, please file a HelpDesk Ticket. 

New this year is 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.  

Thank you to the EPPs who have already submitted payment for this fee. As a reminder, these invoices have a due date of 11/16/2020. 

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing

STR Webinar Series: Reading Pedagogy and Constructed Response Deep Dive 
The next session in our STR training series is approaching this week on Friday, November 13, 2020 from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm. The training focuses on unpacking the knowledge and skills teachers need to address student learning needs through the analysis of individual student reading assessment data. Participants will have the opportunity to connect how a pre-service teacher's deep understanding of these practices will support their approach to the Constructed Response portion of the STR Exam.  

The link to register for the webinar is linked here: STR Constructed Response Deep Dive. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. 

A recorded version of the webinar will be available upon request. More details will be available in the next week’s edition. 

Registration for the Pearson Bi-Monthly Newsletter 
Pearson regularly sends a newsletter with updates about TExES exam development and administration. If you have not already subscribed to their newsletter, you may do so by emailing 

STR Exam Transition Communication Resources for EPPs  
TEA staff has developed a suite of STR exam related communication tools to support programs in communicating critical information that candidates pursuing certification in an HB3-impacted field need to know about the STR exam requirement. These tools can be accessed via the STR Exam webpage ( They include: 

  • A recorded webinar outlining timelines and requirements associated with the STR exam transition 
  • Informational one-pagers targeting groups of teacher candidates impacted by the STR exam transition 
  • A STR Exam FAQ document with information for EPPs, candidates, and LEAs  

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.  

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 annual 2018–2019 Technical Development Manual is available here. This document describes development processes followed in support of examinations that were launched between September 1, 2018, and August 31, 2019. 

Educator Certification

Information and updates related to Educator Certification 

There is no new educator certification information to share at this time. 

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. 

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) met on October 9, 2020The agenda for the meeting is hereDuring item 18 on the agenda, the SBEC discussed updating the membership of the Educator Preparation Advisory Committee, or EPAC. The updated structure would work with professionagroups in the educator preparation space to appoint representative members, along with at-large seats. In the coming months, TEA will be reaching out to these professional groups and creating a nomination form for the at-large seats. We will continue to use this EPP newsletter to provide information about this update.  


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

Q: My EPP would like a list of its approved certificate areas as well as the approved routes for each area. Where can I find a list of the certificate areas my EPP is approved to offer? 
A: You can use the Cert License IDs button under the ASEP button on the ECOS green screen to find the program’s approved certificate areas with its approved route(s). If you are unable to generate your list, please contact your assigned program specialist.  

Q: One of our candidates is requesting to work at a Head Start center to meet their clinical teaching requirement. Is this allowed? If so, what are the requirements? 
A: The Head Start placement must meet the requirements found in 19 TAC §228.35(e)(5), including making sure the placement is a Head Start program that is recognized by federal Head Start program and is approved by TEA. Programs can verify if a placement is approved by TEA using the Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC) or AskTED. Remember, placements at public schools must occur at public schools accredited by TEA as well.

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 

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