February 23, 2021: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

February 23, 2021

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

student at computer, remote learning


We hope this newsletter finds you safe and warm after what has been an incredibly challenging week across the state. Our thoughts are with all Texas programs, candidates, schools, and students at this time. Please let us know how we can be of support.  

This week’s newsletter includes upcoming activities and reminders along with notes on extended deadlines due to the impact of the winter storm.  

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

Cancelled – will reschedule: Certificate Correction and Deactivation Webinar (originally scheduled for 2/24) 

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

3/10/2021: PASL WebinarSpring Submission, 2:00- 3:00 (registration coming soon)  

3/12/2021: edTPA Statewide Webinar, Academic Language in edTPA: Supporting Learning and Language Development, 9:00-12:00 (more information below) 

Upcoming Deadlines

Topic Action Item Due Date

edTPA Year 3 Pilot Application  

Final date to submit an edTPA Year 3 Pilot application to 

Feb. 26, 2021 (deadline extended) 

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


March 1, 2021 (deadline extended)

PASL Exam  

PASL Registration Closes  

April 2, 2021 

PASL Exam  

Deadline for PASL Task submission   

April 13, 2021, 1:00 PM C 


Educator Preparation Program Support

Updates related to Educator Preparation Program Management  

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. 

Due Diligence before Recommending Candidates for Certificates 
When recommending candidates for certificationplease double-check to be sure that the candidate has met all the requirements for the certificate and the certificate information is correct before you click recommendAs a reminder, the attestation that you select during the recommendation process affirms that you have properly completed this check. While we are always happy to support EPPs and their candidates in correcting EPP errorswe want to remind EPPs to check the certificate information for accuracy before recommending the certificate. Erroneously recommended certificates potentially create confusion and negative outcomes for candidates and local education agencies. The TEA process of removing a certificate recommended in error requires multiple manual steps
 within the certification system. Bdoing your due diligence when recommending candidates, you are ensuring that your candidates hold the correct certification(s) to be successful educators in Texas. 

Webinar Update 
The Certificate Correction and Deactivation webinar has been canceled and will be reschedule soon. Please stay on the lookout for the updated date and time in an upcoming newsletter.  

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing

Reminder to Candidates Currently on a WPRO or WINT Certificate to Complete Testing Requirements 
Candidates who were issued a waiver probationary (WPRO) or waiver intern (WINT) certificate, under the Governor’s waiver of certification exam requirements in Spring and Summer 2020, will need to complete all testing requirements before they can be issued a standard certificate. We encourage all programs to proactively communicate with those candidates who were issued these certificates to remind them of these requirements well in advance of their certification expiration date.  

In particular, those candidates who were issued a WPRO or WINT principal certificate should be made aware that the deadline for PASL registration (a requirement for standard principal certification) is fast approaching. For additional information around PASL registration and submission deadlines, please see below.  

PASL Spring Registration Window and Upcoming Training 
Please note the following important dates for the Spring 2021 administration window for the PASL Assessment.  

Registration opened August 4, 2020 and closes April 2, 2021. Task submission began on January 5, 2021 with the deadline to have all tasks submitted closing on April 13,2021 at 1pm CT.    

ETS will be offering a PASL webinar to provide guidance for programs to support 
candidates with their upcoming submission. Mark your calendar for March 10, 2021 from 2:00-3:00 pm CT. The link to access the training will be shared soon.  

STR Exam Frequently Asked Questions Document Update  
The recently updated STR Exam Requirement FAQ document includes answers to frequently asked questions on the following topics: 

  • The HB 3 STR Exam Mandate 
  • STR Exam Introductory Period 
  • Scoring, Reporting, and Retakes 
  • Preparing for the Exam 
  • Preparation Materials 
  • Constructed Response Questions on the STR Exam 
  • Impact on Core Subjects: EC-6 TExES Exams 
  • Testing Centers 
  • STR Exam and Reading Academy Requirements 


Updated: [Deadline Extension: Action Required by Mar. 1, 2021] 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 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 has been extended through March 1, 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 March 1, 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. 

[Deadline Extended to Feb. 26, 2021] EdTPA Year 3 Pilot Application  
The deadline for the edPTA Year 3 pilot application has been extended to this Friday, Feb. 26th. With this extension, Year 3 pilot programs will now be announced on Mar. 3rd
Completed applications should be sent to DeMarco.Pitre@tea.texas.gov 

STR 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 

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 Training:  

  • Academic Language in edTPA: Supporting Learning and Language Development: March 12, 2021, 9 a.m. 12 p.m. Register HERE. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the workshop. 

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

EPPs can track the number of times a candidate has taken a particular exam with data available within the ResultsAnalyzer® section of the edReports website. Administrators can review the data to determine if candidates are approaching or have reached the five-attempt limit. 

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 for Educator Certification met on Friday, February 12, 2021. The agenda for this meeting is available here. At this meeting, the SBEC took formal action to approve the extension of the edTPA pilot for the 2021-2022 academic year. Additionally, the SBEC approved the ASEP statuses for all programs for the 2019-2020 academic year and approved of the 2019-2020 EPP commendations. The SBEC also approved an updated membership for the EPAC. 

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: How will the STR exam scores be used for my program’s accountability in ASEP? 
A: Results for the STR exam will be used in the ASEP system in the same way as any other non-PPR exam. That means that the exams will be included in the overall pass rate described in 19 TAC 229.4(a)(1)(D). Aligned with other non-PPR exams, the individual’s result in the first two attempts will be used for evaluation, and only exams recommended by the EPP will be included. 

Additionally, the STR exam will be used as part of the monitoring of individual certification areas, as required by 19 TAC 229.5(c). Exams completed by candidates pursuing or having completed the certification areas for which they are required will be included in the calculations of the pass rate for those certification areas.  

Q: Can you elaborate on the training requirement for field supervisors assigned to non-teacher candidates? 
A: Per 19 TAC §228.35(h), non-teacher field supervisors are required to complete two types of training; an EPP-based training and a field supervisor coaching training provided by TEA-approved trainers. TEA approves Education Service Centers to offer this training. The EPP-based training can focus on norming on the observation instrument used by the EPP, understanding EPP requirements for number and duration of observations including how/when to report them to the EPP, and expectations for ongoing collaboration with campus and ongoing coaching and support of candidates, including expectations for retaining related documentation for EPP records. This training can take many forms such as a field supervisor manuala field supervisor training session, or any other process the EPP develops to convey necessary information to the field supervisors.  

Q: Due to last week’s school closures, our EPP staff needs help determining the minimum number of days required to meet the clinical teaching duration requirement. How many days are candidates required to complete?  
A: Since the Governor’s Declaration of Disaster is in effect, the 20% reduction rule can be used as necessary to accommodate candidates. Instead of the minimum 70 clinical teaching days required, candidates are now required to complete a minimum of 56 days. If the EPP uses the 20% reduction rule, please make sure to document it in the candidate’s clinical teaching documents.  

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. 

Resources at a Glance...  

Practice based preparation resources for virtual field-based experience: Provides model lessons and video of instructional delivery. 

Practice based preparation resources for virtual field-based experience: Provides content neutral pedagogical skill building through observing model of and practicing the same high leverage skill  

Full scope and sequence of upcoming edTPA training opportunities.  

From Our Programs

We want to make you aware of an opportunity that is being provided by the Center for Transforming Alternative Preparation Pathways (CTAPP) to be a part of their first cohort this spring and discussed at an upcoming informational webinar on March 11th. The webinar will provide aintroduction to CTAPP’s Transformation Fellowship to grow ACPs in implementing high-quality programming and support in the preparation of teacher candidates. For more information, see the informational flyer on the CTAPP website 

US PREP seeks new education preparation program partners in Texas-- Join US Prep this week to learn about the opportunity to engage in their next cohort.  US Prep has been working since 2015 alongside a coalition of universities to better attract, train, and retain high-quality, racially diverse teachers for underserved communities across the country—and to ensure their candidates are ready to teach effectively.  

Join US PREP on March 4th, 2021 from 9:00-10:00 pm CST or March 5th, 2021 from 11:00 – 12:00 pm CST to learn more about their innovative work in educator preparation and the cohort experience. Register here to learn more!  

Help Desk Link