December 15, 2020: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

December 15, 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 12/15Ensure and monitor degree conferral. 
Candidates in undergraduate EPPs who are graduating at the end of the fall 2020 semester need to have their certificates recommended, and for candidates in HB 3 impacted fields, this recommendation is particularly time sensitive. We encourage you to work with your registrar – if you haven’t already – to ensure a clear process in place for conferring degrees so that you can make these certificate recommendations well prior to 12/31/2020. 

Previous STR Task of the Week:  
12/8: Support your teacher candidates who may be issued a standard certificate in an HB 3 impacted field by 12/31/20 completing their fingerprinting requirement in a timely manner. 
11/24 & 12/1Actively communicate the STR exam requirement to teacher candidates who may be issued a standard certificate in an HB 3 impacted field by 12/31/20. 
11/17: Have your eligible candidates complete their certificate application in ECOS. 
11/10: Ensure that every candidate has tested – or has a testing plan! 
11/3Support all your candidates in logging in to their ECOS account. 

If you are not currently subscribed to the newsletter, please sign up at the link below
Educator Preparation Program Listserv Registration  

Table of Contents

Upcoming Events

1/11/2021: edTPA Pilot Year 3 Application Webinar (Returning Applicants): 3 pm-4 pm (more information and link below) 

1/13/2021: Applications (Class/Categories) webinar 10:00 am – 11:00 am (sign-up link coming soon) 

1/15/2021: edTPA Pilot Year 3 Application Webinar (New applicants): 2:00 pm-3:30 pm 
(more information and link below) 

1/22/2021: Oral and Written Communication STR Deep Dive: 10:00 am- 12:00 pm (more information and registration link below)  

Upcoming Deadlines

Topic Action Item Due Date
Educator Testing Continue to communicate with all candidates who are impacted by the STR exam transition, including December Finishers and WPRO teachers. ASAP
Educator Certification 

Final day for intern, probationary, or 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  

Additional Recommended EPP Actions in Preparation for the 12/31/2020 STR 
As the clock continues to count down to 12/31/2020, there are additional actions that we recommend for EPPs to help support eligible candidates in getting certified before the deadlineToday, wshare the last of our concrete actions an EPP can take prior to 12/31/2020.  

  • As with any important correspondence that EPPs send to candidates, EPPs should retain a copy of the multiple emails and communication that have been sent to past and current candidates notifying them about the upcoming STR information and deadlines 
  • Consider identifying EPP staff who can be available during the semester break in December to recommend last minute certificate applications if necessary. 

Coming on January 13, 2021Applications (Class/Categories) webinar 
This webinar will provide Educator Preparation Program staff with an overview of the application and guidance for successfully completing the applications to add a new certificate route or class. Registration information will be included in next week’s 

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing

EdTPA Pilot Year 3 Application Launch 
At the October 2020 SBEC meeting, the SBEC approved the extension of the Texas 
edTPA pilot for a third year, the 2021-2022 academic year. We are excited to announce 
that the Year 3 edTPA pilot is open to any additional educator preparation program 
who is interested in beginning implementation of the edTPA and becoming a part of the collaborative edTPA community. To participate in the edTPA pilot, preparation programs must complete the edTPA Pilot Year 3 Application. The application window is now open,
and you can view and download the application linked hereThe application closes 
February 15, 2021 with 
an announcement of programs accepted into the pilot on February 26, 2021. Programs should send their completed applications to DeMarco Pitre ( Iyou have any questions or would like to schedule 
one-on-one conversation to discuss the edTPA pilot and application process, please
contact DeMarco 

Please note the application process timeline below: 

edTPA Pilot Year 3 Application Process Timeline 

December 15, 2020 

Year 3 application goes live 

February 15, 2021 

Year 3 application closes 

February 26, 2021 

Year 3 programs announced 


Save the Date: edTPA Year 3 Application Informational Webinar  
This January, please join the Texas edTPA Pilot community for the edTPA Year 3 Application Informational Webinar. During this time, we will dive deeply into the edTPA 
ear 3 Pilot application, walking through program requirements and expectations while also answering any questions brought to the virtual space. See dates, times, and the links to join below: 

  • edTPA Year 3 Application Webinar (Returning applicants): January 11, 2021: 3-4 pm, click here 
  • edTPA Year 3 Application Webinar (New applicants): January 15, 2021: 2:00-3:30 pm, click here 

School Librarian and Reading Specialist Educator Standards Advisory Committee Nominations 
At the December 2020 SBEC meeting, the SBEC approved TEA staff to establish 
Educator Standards Advisory Committees for School Librarian and Reading Specialist certificate areasThese Educator Standards Advisory Committees will: 

  • advise on relevant updates to the educator standards, and 
  • advise on issues related to the certificate area more broadly. 

TEA staff is seeking committee member nominations from the SBEC, professional organizations, educator preparation programs, teacher organizations, and other key stakeholders to ensure a pool of well-qualified candidates for selection. The nomination period begins on December 15, 2020 and closes on February 15, 2021.  

The nomination forms for School Librarian and Reading Specialist committee members 
can be accessed here. All nominations should be submitted via email to on or before the February 15, 2021 deadline.  

TEA staff plan to bring between 8-15 committee members each for School Librarian and Reading Specialist committees to the SBEC for approval in April 2021.  

Test Administration and Score Reporting Windows 
Did you know the Pearson website includes upcoming administration dates and score reporting dates for every exam in the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program? Go to this page, and expand the selection for AAFCS, PACT, TASC/TASC-ASL, TExES, or edTPA pilot. Selecting any given exam will display the score report dates for each range of administration dates at least through the 2020-2021 academic year. The score reporting date is the earliest date that a candidate could receive a score report for an exam taken during the administration date range shown.  

Take note of the initial administration dates and score reporting dates for the following new exams all launching in January 2021.  


Administration Dates 

Score Reporting Date 

Core Subjects: EC-6 (391) 



Science of Teaching Reading 

1/1/2021 – 1/24/2021 


Early Childhood: PK-3 



Educational Diagnostician 




Pilot Test Administration: School Counselor (252) and Trade and Industrial (370) 
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.  

Pilot tests for School Counselor (252) and Trade and Industrial (370) will begin on 1/29/2021, and TEA and Pearson are seeking participants for these important activities. Candidates currently enrolled in educator preparation programs for these fields will be able to sign up to take the pilot test soon. Candidate benefits of engaging in the pilot test include:  

  • providing input into an exam that will be taken by future educators 
  • gauging professional knowledge by taking actual test questions 
  • gaining practical testing experience 

Candidates can find out more information and register for a pilot test through the pilot test landing page: This webpage will be updated in January with additional information regarding candidate registration. 

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 

Save the Date: STR Webinar Series Trainings in 2021  
Thank you to all who engaged in our two STR Webinar Series training sessions in November. We will pick up our training cadence again in the new year. Please mark your calendars for the following dates and times: 

  • Oral and Written Communication Deep Dive: January 22, 2021: 10:00 am- 12:00 pm  
  • Text Comprehension and Analysis Deep Dive: March 5, 2021: 10:00 am- 12:00 pm  

To register for the Oral and Written Communication Deep Dive, click hereWe look forward to engaging in these practice-based, collaborative trainings with you!  

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 dedicated page for Texas LEAs with a FAQ document that addresses commonly asked questions from LEAs, including questions regarding the differences between the STR exam and Reading Academies HB3 mandates 
  • 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  

In the Pearson system, registering for an exam is separate from scheduling a test appointment.  

  • Before registering for an exam, educators can use the seat availability tool (use this link for language exams) to confirm that there are available appointments at locations and on dates and times convenient to them.   
  • They may schedule their testing appointment when they register, or at a later time.  
  • They may reschedule or cancel a testing appointment, without any fees, up to 48 hours before their scheduled appointment date.  
  • They must schedule an appointment and test within 170 days of registering for an exam.  
  • If they withdraw their registration, they will be refunded their exam registration payment, minus $25. The funds are not refundable. 

Educator Certification

Information and updates related to Educator Certification 

Candidate applications for certificates in categories that are being updated to require the STR exam are processed immediately once the applications are complete.

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 December 11, 2020. During the December meeting, the SBEC approved proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 230 Subchapter A to update the definition of “pilot exam” to extend the edTPA pilot review date to September 1, 2022. The SBEC also approved the final results for the 2019-2020 continuing review process. 

At the SBEC meeting in October, the Board directed TEA staff to pursue updating the structure and membership for the Educator Preparation Advisory Committee, or EPAC. More information about that work is available in the agenda item here. The updated nomination form is available for download here. The deadline for nominations is January 8, 2021


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

Q: If an EPP moves from requiring letter grades to a pass/fail system or credit/no credit system, do EPPs need to do anything special for TEA? 
A:  No. The EPP may require grade reporting throughout as it chooses. Currently, administrative code provides EPPs guidance on GPAs as it relates to candidate admission to the program. Reference 19 TAC 227.10(a)(3) For an undergraduate university program, alternative certification program, or post-baccalaureate program, to be eligible for admission into an EPP, an applicant shall have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.5 before admission. (A) The GPA shall be calculated from an official transcript as follows: (i) 2.5 on all coursework previously attempted by the person at an accredited IHE: (I) at which the applicant is currently enrolled (undergraduate university program formal admission, alternative certification program contingency admission, or post-baccalaureate program contingency admission); or (II) from which the most recent bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited IHE was conferred (alternative certification program formal admission or post-baccalaureate program formal admission); or (ii) 2.5 in the last 60 semester credit hours on all coursework previously attempted by the person at an accredited IHE. 

Q: Will TEA provide specific guidelines on recommending candidates who were clinical teaching in Spring 2020 (or Summer 2020) and are graduating in Fall 2020? 
A: Programs will follow the standard recommendation process for all candidates. 
Candidates are required to meet all requirements for standard certification with the exception of the requirements waived from the Educator Preparation Webinar PPT; if applicable.  

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