January 5, 2021: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

January 5, 2021

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

student at computer, remote learning


Happy New Year to all our educator preparation program colleagues across Texas! As we kick off 2021, the month ahead is full of multiple training opportunities delivered through webinars and training sessions listed in the upcoming events. We look forward to an energizing January full of opportunities to collaborate with all of you.  

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Table of Contents

Upcoming Events

1/11/2021: edTPA Pilot Year 3 Application Webinar (Returning Applicants): 3:00 pm-4:00 pm (more information and link below) 

1/13/2021: Applications (Class/Categories) Webinar: 10:00 am – 11:00 am (more information and link below) 

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

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

1/25/2021: ResultsAnalyzer® Training Webinar Provided by Pearson: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. (more information below) 

1/28/2021: ResultsAnalyzer® Training Webinar Provided by Pearson: 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. (more information below) 

2/1/2021: ResultsAnalyzer® Training Webinar Provided by Pearson2:00 - 3:00 p.m. (more information below) 

Upcoming Deadlines

Topic Action Item Due Date

edTPA Year 3 Application 

Final date to submit an edTPA Year 3 Pilot
application to 

February 15, 2021 

School Librarian and Reading Specialist Educator Standards Advisory Committee Nominations 

Final date to submit nomination forms for School Librarian and Reading Specialist Educator Standards Advisory Committees to

February 15, 2021 

Educator Preparation Program Support

Updates related to Educator Preparation Program Management  

"Thank you!"
We want to say a big Thank You to all the EPPs across the state for the effort you have 
shown to contact past and current candidates to get every qualified candidate you could across the finish line with an appropriate certificate before the updated STR requirements take effect. This has been huge lift for every EPP, and we appreciate your efforts as we partner with you on behalf of your candidates to leave no qualified candidate behind. We particularly appreciate those faculty and staff at EPPs who worked during the traditional holiday break to support your candidates in becoming certified. 

Additional information about deactivated STR applications 
The 12/31 deadline for the issuance of HB3-impacted fields without the STR exam has passed. Applications that were not complete by the deadline, either because fees are missing, fingerprinting was not completed, appropriate tests were not passed, or other certification requirements were not met, have been deactivated. TEA has run a report of these deactivated applications for each EPP with impacted candidates and distributed it. These spreadsheets provide clear information about why the certificate did not issue. These incomplete applications cannot now be completed. If these candidates wish to obtain their certificate in an HB3-impacted field, they will now need to complete the STR exam requirement.  

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 STR testing requirement, and working with districts for certification options if necessary. 

A small number of the deactivated applications have a status of Not Eligible – contact TEA directly.” These applications are still being processed by TEA and may still issue. This processing is generally complete within 10 days. Some applications may take longer to process if we obtain information from the background check that requires further investigation.  

Coming on January 13:  Applications (Class/Categories) webinar 
This webinar will provide Educator Preparation Program staff with an overview of the application and guidance to successfully complete the applications to add a new certificate route or class. The intended audience for this webinar includes program staff and/or instructors at EPPs interested in adding a new certificate route or class. Instructors who develop coursework for a new certificate area will benefit from attending this webinar by getting a better understanding of what is expected when applying for a new certificate. You can sign up for the webinar here 

Title II Draft Reporting Guidance: Comment Period Open 
TEA has been informed that draft Title II COVID-19 guidance was released in the Federal Register in December. The guidance is intended to support teacher preparation providers and states in the upcoming IPRC data collection. The draft guidance is currently going through the Department’s approval process, which includes opportunity for you to review and provide public comment.  

The direct link to the draft guidance is here. The link to the posting on the Federal Register is here. To formally submit a comment about the draft guidance, please click on the link above for the Federal Register posting and click the green “Submit a Formal Comment” button on that page. The public comment period will close on February 8, 2021. 

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing

Newly Launched Certification Exams: Test Administration and Score Reporting Windows  
Beginning in January 2021, four new TExES exams are now live. These exams include: 

  • 293 Science of Teaching Reading TExES 
  • 292 Early Childhood: PK-3 TExES 
  • 253 Educational Diagnostician TExES 
  • 391 Core Subjects EC-6 TExES 

The first test administration window and score reporting dates can be found below. 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. Please note that as results from the initial administration of the 293 STR exam will not be available until early February, HB-3 impacted certificates will not be able to issue until February 2021 


Administration Dates 

Score Reporting Date 

Core Subjects: EC-6 (391) 



Science of Teaching Reading 



Early Childhood: PK-3 



Educational Diagnostician 



Save the Date:
 ResultsAnalyzer® Training Webinars Provided by Pearson  
On December 13, 2020, Pearson released an upgrade to the ResultsAnalyzer® software, the valuable online data analysis tool that enables EPPs to access, sort, and analyze program testing data. The update introduces changes to the user interface intended to make the software and menus easier to use, and a new user guide is available.  

To support ongoing access to and understanding of your testing data, Pearson is hosting three upcoming webinars focused on orientation to ResultsAnalyzer®. Attendees will be introduced to the basic features of the three primary data streams in ResultsAnalyzer®. We will focus on a particular technique for comparing results across exam fields. Each of the three sessions will be delivered live (not recorded) and cover the same content. 

The webinars are open to EPP-designated primary score reporting contacts and additional EPP-based users for whom they have granted access. Please note registration is required in advance. Invitations to register are being delivered directly to primary score reporting contacts at each EPP.  

  • Monday, January 25, 2021: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. CST 
  • Thursday, January 28, 20211:00 - 2:00 p.m. CST 
  • Monday, February 1, 2021: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. CST 

Seeking Standard Setting Committee Members for STR, Educational Diagnostician, and Early Childhood: PK-3 Exams 
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Evaluation Systems group of Pearson are currently seeking Texas educators to participate in a Marker Selection and Standard Setting 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: 

  • Marker Selection: The role of the Marker Selection committee is to review examples of responses to pilot tested constructed response items. Committee members will select and approve a set of responses that illustrate each score point on the scoring scale 
  • Standard Setting: The role of the Standard Setting Committee is to examine each question included on an exam form and provide standard setting judgments that will be considered by the Texas Education Agency in determining the passing standard for the exam. 

Participants have the opportunity to make a difference in Texas teacher development and performance, engage in professional growth and collaboration with educators in their field, and earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits. 

The committee meetings will be held in mid-late February. To get involved, you may do any of the following listed below:

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

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 (demarco.pitre@tea.texas.gov). 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 deep into the edTPA Year 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  

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 Texas.gov funds are not refundable. 

Educator Certification

Information and updates related to Educator Certification 

Candidate applications for certificates are processed immediately once the applications are complete. Once a certificate has issued, candidates and programs should allow approximately 15 minutes for updates to the online virtual certificate information. 

Earlier in this newsletter we shared that applications for certificates in the HB3 impacted fields that were not complete by 11:59 pm on 12/31/2020 were deactivated.  

While we recognize this may be challenging news in some cases, we ask that you please handle next steps with your candidates locally. TEA staff will be routing candidates back to their educator preparation programs to obtain appropriate guidance on best next steps in the preparation and certification processes. 

Educator Certification staff look forward to supporting candidates and programs in the timely issuance of certificates. Please continue to submit certification-specific inquiries to Educator Certification via Help Desk Ticket, or call our office directly at 512-936-8400, option 2, Monday through Friday, from 8-4:30 pm.

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. 

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 my candidate completed all requirements for the certificate and the certificate was recommended before 12/31, and the candidate completed their fingerprinting, but the fingerprint results were not processed by TEA until after 12/31, will my candidate have to take the STR exam? 
A:  If all requirements, including fingerprinting, were completed prior to 12/31, the fingerprint results may be processed after 12/31 and still count towards the application. 

Q: Can a principal practicum be completed virtually in the spring of 2021? 
A: Yes, if the campus is normally face-to-face and is operating in a virtual setting based on 19 TAC §228.1(e) 

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