February 9, 2021: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

February 9, 2021

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

student at computer, remote learning


There has been a recent change to the TEA department that oversees educator certification, standards, testing, and preparation. The Educator Leadership and Quality department is now named the Educator Preparation, Certification, and Enforcement 
(EPCE) Department. The EPCE department continues to be part of the Office of Educator and System Support. Please be advised of updates to TEA documents, presentations, organizational charts, etc. that will reflect the new department name.  

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Table of Contents

Upcoming Events

2/12/2021: edTPA Statewide WebinaredTPA Handbook and Rubric Deep Dive from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm (Registration information below) 

2/15/2021: President’s Day, TEA offices closed 

2/24/2021: Certificate Correction and Deactivation webinar from 10:00 am – 11:00 am 
(registration available below) 

3/5/2021: STR Webinar Series: Text Comprehension and Analysis Deep Dive, 10:00- 12:00 pm CST (register here) 

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  

Upcoming webinar: Certificate Correction & Deactivation  
During this webinar, TEA will review the certificate correction and deactivation processes, including how to submit a correction or deactivation request and what documents are required. TEA will also provide suggested processes that can be implemented by the EPP. The intended audience for this webinar is EPP staff who are responsible for recommending certificates and who support candidates during the internship process. 
Please click here to register for this webinar.  

Contact List Confirmation 
Contact information emails were sent out on Monday, February 1st, 2021to each 
program’s Legal Authority and/or Primary Point of Contact. 
Programs will need to verify that the contact information is correct and revise if needed. Programs can edit the information within the table and respond to the email with an updated contact information table (if needed). If the contact information is correct, please verify so with a response to the email.  

Programs should include staff that are responsible for program processes, such as the program’s certification officer. Since TEA refers to program contact information daily and uses the information to send out important reminders, it is imperative that we have the correct contact information on file. Please contact your assigned program specialist if you have any questions about this.  

Test Approval for 291 Core Subjects EC-6 TExES and 391 Core Subjects: EC-6 TExES 
As a reminder, when approving candidates for either the 291 Core Subjects EC-6 or the 391 Core Subjects EC-6 TExES exams, please be sure to clearly communicate to candidates which exathey have approval for. Candidates may only register for the exam they have been approved to take. For further information regarding the transition period and guidance on which exam to approve candidates to take, please visit the 
Teacher Candidate STR Exam Page. Slides 13-14 of the posted webinar deck, provide additional context as well. 

Clinical Teaching and Professional Development Clarification 
At the Texas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (TACTE) winter meeting, TEA staff were asked if days spent in professional development, including the days in the summer before students come to school, could be counted for the purposes of clinical teaching requirements. We have reviewed what TAC says constitutes a school day for clinical teaching. As described in 19 TAC 228.2(31), a school day “shall be at least seven hours (420 minutes) each day, including intermissions and recesses.” As described in 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(A)(i)(II), a clinical teaching assignment shall not be less than an average of four hours each day in the subject area and grade level sought, and this average includes intermissions and recesses but does not include conference and duty-free lunch periods.  

Outside of these TAC references, other days such as professional development days are not expressly described in TAC as to whether they can be considered a school day for the purposes of clinical teaching. If the day meets the requirements listed above, there is nothing in TAC that would require an EPP to exclude it from a count of clinical teaching days. As always, it is up to the preparation program to ensure that clinical teaching allows teachers to be able to demonstrate proficiency in each of the educator standards for the assignment. 

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing

School Librarian and Reading Specialist Educator Standards Advisory Committee Nominations [Action Required by Feb. 15th] 
At the December 2020 SBEC meeting, the SBEC approved TEA staff to establish Educator Standards Advisory Committees for School Librarian and Reading Specialist certificate areas. These 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 
TEAEducatorStandards@tea.texas.gov 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. 

edTPA Pilot Year 3 Application Launch [Action Required by Feb. 15th] 
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 here

The 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). If you have any questions or would like to schedule a 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 

Webinar Series: Text Comprehension and Analysis Deep Dive 
The next STR Deep Dive will focus on developing vocabulary and comprehension skills in developing readers. We look forward to another opportunity to collaboratively learn with you as we unpack the underlying knowledge and skills teacher candidates need to successfully prepare students to comprehend literary and informational text.  

The session will be on March 5, 2021 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm CST. Please register here 

STR Oral and Written Communication Deep Dive Resource 
Thank you for attending our STR Webinar Series Deep Dive training on 1/22/21. We appreciated the opportunity to engage in collaborative learning. You may access the recorded version of the training hereSTR Oral and Written Communication Deep Dive: Asynchronous Version  and join with the passcode: QF8tF*!= . We have also included the slide deck and the participant materials.   

In addition, we have included a survey for you to share your feedback regarding the training as we plan for future training opportunities. Please access the survey here: STR Oral and Written Comunication Deep Dive: Survey  . 

We look forward to the next session on 3/5/21! 

edTPA Statewide Webinars 
In partnership with Pearson, Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity, and Texas’ edTPA Regional Coordinators, a series of edTPA virtual workshops and webinars have been scheduled for 2021. These workshops and webinars are open to all Texas educator preparation programs (not limited to pilot programs) and are a great way to learn more about edTPA and to engage more deeply with edTPA practitioners and explorers.  The full scope and sequence of state-wide workshops and webinars accessible to Texas EPPs here.  

  • Upcoming: Handbook and Rubric Deep Dive (2/12/21 (9 AM – 3 PM): In this workshop, a member of the edTPA National Academy will guide participants through a close examination of the edTPA tasks and rubrics, providing a deeper dive into what candidates are asked to think about, do, and write for each task as well as how candidate portfolios will be evaluated. Register HERE 

If you have any questions about edTPA or the upcoming workshops and webinars, please reach out to DeMarco Pitre (demarco.pitre@tea.texas.gov). 

Lesson Study Gateway Resources  
The Lesson Study Gateway lesson resources are developed by Texas educators and may be useful resources when supporting candidates to complete field-based experience hours. The Gateway Lessons are TEKS-aligned, research-based lessons designed and tested by Texas classroom teachers then reviewed and approved by trained Texas educators. Lesson resources include lesson plans, student assessments and clips of lesson delivery.  These lessons exemplify many best practices in instructional planning and delivery and are aligned with the knowledge and skills represented in our Texas Teacher Standards TAC 149.1001. 

Linked here is a flyer with further context for EPPs, recommendations for lessons to preview, and directions for creating an access account: Lesson Study_Gateway Resources_ EPP Flyer  

The Teacher Certification Redesign page includes information about content assessments that will be updated to include increased content pedagogy to be assessed through both multiple choice and constructed response questions. The dates listed represent the current target launch date, however they may be subject to change. Any amendments will be made on the site. 

Educator Certification

Information and updates related to Educator Certification 

There is no new information to share currently 

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 of Education met for their first meeting of the new year on January 26-29More information about the meeting, including the agenda, is available here. 

The 87th Legislature Regular Session gaveled in on January 12, 2021. For your reference, here is information on the House Committee on Public Education and the 
Senate Committee on Education 


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

Q: What is the STR exam “introductory period”? 
A: During the STR Exam introductory period, an initial cut score has been established to support the transition into the new exam. During the 8-month introductory period, candidates must meet a minimum threshold of items correct in order to pass the exam. That threshold is established in 19 TAC §151.1001(b)(1) under Commissioner’s rulemaking authority. A standard setting committee composed of Texas educators will make recommendations this spring on the passing standard to be implemented under Commissioner’s rulemaking authority in September 2021 for all teacher candidates who take the exam on or after September 6, 2021. 

Q: Specifically relating to the EC-3 certificate, if an educator already holds a standard teacher certificatand wishes to obtain a second certification at an institution other than where the initial certificate was obtained, is a transfer form required?  
A: A transfer form is not required. The educator must be admitted and must receive training specific to the EC-3 certificate, but a transfer form is not required because the educator is not transferring from one EPP to another. Reference 19 TAC §228.35(I)(3). 

Q: If a candidate took the 291 Core Subjects: EC-6 TExES but needs to transition to the 391 Core Subjects: EC-6 TExES, how many test attempts are they allowed with the 391 exam? 
A: The candidate will be allowed five attempts since the 391 exam is a new exam, with a new exam number. Candidates are allowed five attempts per exam. Please note, though, that as the 291 and 391 are separate examspassing scores on subject exams of one exam cannot be combined with passing scores on subject exams of the other exam. In addition, candidates can continue to submit Test Limit Waivers for 291 through 12/1/21. 

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 

To view previous editions of the weekly newsletter, please see the Texas Educator Preparation Program Weekly Newsletter webpage. 

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.

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