November 17, 2020: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

November 17, 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 11/17: Have your eligible candidates complete their certificate application in ECOS. Even if they will not be ready for recommendation until December, candidates can go ahead and apply for their certificates in ECOS. This will allow them to pay any associated fees and set up their fingerprinting appointments, if necessary 

STR Task of the Week 11/10: Ensure that every candidate has tested – or has a testing plan! 
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

There are not any upcoming events at this time 

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 
Time is running out for the EPPs that have not submitted their Letter of Attestation requesting the addition of the new STR-related certificates to EPP inventories. The STR Letter of Attestation is due to TEA by December 1, 2020. 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). We have reached out individually to each of the EPPs who have not turned in their letter to see if there is anything the EPP team could do to assist. Remember that an EPP will have the following certificate areas removed from their inventory 
after 12/31/2020 if they do not submit their Letter of Attestation by the deadline:  

  • Core Subjects EC-6,  
  • Core Subjects Grades 4-8,  
  • ELAR Grades 4-8, and  
  • ELAR/Social Studies Grades 4-8 

Additional Recommended EPP Actions in Preparation for the 12/31/2020 STR Deadline 
As the clock continues to count down to 12/31/2021, there are additional actions that we recommend for EPPs to help support eligible candidates in getting certified before the deadlineWe will continue to include additional suggestions and best practices in upcoming newsletters. Today we offer some suggested practices related to EPP recommendations. 

  1. Daily monitoring and recommendation: Check your certificate recommendation queues in ECOS. After logging in, select the appropriate certificate menu and view the list using the filter options (Recommended, Not Recommended, Certified, and Denied/Deactivated). Be sure to filter for “All Days” for candidates that have applied and need to be recommended. 
  2. Recommend as soon as requirements are met: EPPs can recommend a certificate once the candidate has met requirements, even if the candidate has not paid for the certificate or fingerprinting. The recommended certificate will not issue until the missing items are complete. Once the EPP recommends, please monitor the candidate’s completion of any remaining steps and reach out to support them as necessary. Remember, the certificate must issue by 12/31/2020, not just be recommended. 
  3. Monitor all certificate applications: Remember that these new requirements can also impact intern and probationary certificates. Be sure to monitor all these certificate recommendations queues and support your candidates in applying for the correct certificate program or route. Do not wait until December 30th to view these queues and make your recommendations. 

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 that will be 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. 

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing

Ed Diagnostician and EC-3 Exam Administration Windows and Introductory Periods  
Beginning January 2021, the new 253 Educational Diagnostician TExES and 292 Early Childhood: PK-3 TExES exams will be operational. These exams will be administered during set administration windows throughout the year. For the full list of exam administration windows for each exam, please visit the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program page.  

In addition, to support the transition to implementation of these new certification exams for their associated certificate fields, there will be an eight-month introductory period, similar to the STR exam, during which candidates will need to meet a minimum cut score to obtain a “pass” on the exam. A “pass” during the introductory period can be used for issuance of the intern, probationary, or standard certificate. During the introductory period, candidates will still receive a score report that will include raw scores by competency as well as an overall “pass” or “fail” to inform candidate and program development.  

Beginning September 2021, a scaled score will be established for these new exams, after which, candidates will need to meet a specified scaled score to pass the exams and a candidate’s exam score report will include both the scaled score and Pass/Fail status. 

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 


Name and ID Policies 
Candidates are responsible for ensuring that the name shown in their testing account exactly matches (excluding suffix, middle name or initial, spaces, and special characters such as hyphens, accents, and apostrophes) the first and last name on the ID documents that will be presented at the test center. 

If their ID documents do not match the first and last name used when they registered, they will be prohibited from testing and their exam fees will be forfeited. 

A name change request can be submitted along with a copy of their current ID here at least 12 business days before their exam date. 

Exam Eligibility 
If a candidate has scheduled for an exam with Pearson and the exam approval is removed in ECOS by the EPP, the exam appointment will be automatically withdrawn. If the withdrawal occurs at least 48 hours before the scheduled exam appointment, the candidate will receive a refund in accordance with the Withdrawal/Refund Policy. 

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 next meeting of the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) is on December 11, 2020. Once published, the agenda for the meeting will be available here 

Over the course of the past 9 months, the SBEC has welcomed a number of new members. You can view brief bios of all SBEC members here. 


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

Q: I just learned that I missed an EPP webinar, the Records Retention and Evidence webinar. Why didn’t I receive an invitation to the webinar? 
A: TEA now sends a Weekly Newsletter that contains all pertinent information and guidance, including any upcoming webinars. This newsletter is the key communication between TEA and EPPs. For example, the most recent webinar was in the newsletter for two weeks. The webinar will soon be posted on the Program Provider Resources 
 and the Weekly Newsletters are also archived in a link on the Program Provider Resources page. 

Q: Where can I find a list of my program’s field supervisors? 
A: Programs can find their list of field supervisors using the Field Supervisor button in ASEP. You can add a field supervisor by clicking on the green “Add Field Supervisor” button. Please make sure the field supervisor’s name matches the name in their TEAL account. 

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