May 18, 2021: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

May 18, 2021

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

student at computer, remote learning


“Every task, goal, race and year comes to an end…therefore, make it a habit to FINISH STRONG.” ― Gary Ryan Blair 

Can you believe that the end of the school year is upon us? Although we know the learning and work never stops, let us celebrate the joy that comes with the closing out of the 2020-2021 school year. Although it has been a year that none of us could have imagined, we can find reasons to celebrate. Candidates have graduatedpassed certification examsand completed clinical experiences and internships and we are well on our way to planning for future years. As we wrap up our last few weeks, be intentional in finishing stronger than we began. Our hope is that this newsletter serves as a support by compiling the most up-to-date information concerning what you need to know that impacts your candidates in the coming weeks. Please thoroughly read all the sections for reminders, upcoming events, to dos, and FAQs. 

TEA’s Department of Educator Preparation, Certification, and Enforcement (EPCE) is finishing this academic year strong with the addition of the department’s new Associate Commissioner, Emily Garcia. Emily brings a broad range of experiences and expertise to the role including teaching, school leadership, and educator preparation program leadership in Texas.  She looks forward to continuing to work in partnership with Texas’s educator preparation programs in the role.  

Educator Preparation Program Weekly Newsletter Feedback Survey (Spring 2021) 
With a focus on continuous improvement, our team has developed a survey to gather feedback from EPP faculty and staff on their experience with the EPP Weekly Newsletter, in order to refine communication supports and processes going forward. Your perspective and feedback are greatly appreciated. 

The survey is anonymous and should take approximately 5 minutes to complete. Click here to provide us your feedback. 

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

Topic Description Event Date Event Time
TExES Exam in Focus: Educational Diagnostician (253) 

Participants will engage in an in-depth look at the structure, content, and scoring of the newly launched exam.  

May 18, 2021

1:00-2:30 pm CST 
Register Here

edTPA 101

Participants will be provided with an overview of the purpose, development, and design of edTPA. 

May 19, 2021

3:00-4:00 pm CST 
Register Here

edTPA Supporting Candidates during Instruction and Implementation 

Participants will engage in learning where session facilitators identify strategies when supporting candidates during instruction and implementation.

May 20, 2021

3:00-4:00 pm CST 
Register Here

ELAR 4-8 (217): Exam Framework Overview   Participants will examine the framework for the redesigned ELAR 4-8 (217) content exam.  June 3, 2021

1:00-2:30 pm CST 
Click here to join 
(No registration required)


Upcoming Deadlines

Topic Action Item Due Date

Educator Preparation Weekly Newsletter Feedback Survey  (Optional)  

Help us to improve our newsletter communication:  
Survey Link  

 Complete by 5/25/21  

Waiver Probationary (WPRO) or Waiver Intern (WINT) Certificate 

  Complete all Testing Requirements

Before the WPRO or WINT certificate expires 

Principal and Teacher Survey Distribution 

Principals complete this survey in ECOS and provide feedback regarding the preparation of the eligible teachers on their campus. Supporting information is available on the Principal Survey 

Teachers are informed about the survey via email and supporting information is available on the Teacher 

Complete by
June 15, 2021


Educator Preparation Program Support

Updates related to Educator Preparation Program Management 

New: EPP Opportunity: Vetted Teacher Residency Program List Application 
[Application Due 6/9/21]
With the impact of COVID-19 on student learning, the urgency to support learning acceleration for Texas students is a critical priority. TEA aims to leverage future grant funding to target implementation of high leverage, research-based approaches to learning acceleration, including teacher residency models.  

To support this effort, TEA is opening an application to develop a vetted list of Educator Preparation Programs that are actively implementing high-quality teacher residency models with existing district partnerships. If designated as a vetted teacher residency program, your partner districts may have the opportunity to apply for grant funding to support residency implementation (i.e. funding to pay residents, strategic planning support for residency model scaling, etc). Only districts with vetted teacher residency partner EPPs included on this list would be eligible for grant funding.  

The Vetted Teacher Residency Program List application will open today, May 18, 2021 and close Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Interested EPPs must complete an application to demonstrate that they have an established teacher residency model for inclusion on the list. Please note that this application process will be brief in nature, given the urgency to launch grants as soon as possible. With this in mind, we anticipate the application taking between 1-2 hours to complete for those EPPs that have an established teacher residency program. We plan to open the Vetted Teacher Residency Program List application on an annual basis to include additional programs that move to implement teacher residency models. Additional information will be shared in upcoming newsletters. 

Application Documents: 

Application Timeline: 

EPP Vetted Provider Application
Submission Window


Q&Submission Window  

5/18 - 5/25 to  

Q&A Posted  


Final Application Submission  

6/9/21 by 5 pm CST 

Application Review Window  

6/9/21- 6/18/21  

Program Notification  


Please reach out to about the vetted teacher residency application process, and our team will respond promptly through a Q&A posted to Program Provider Resources Page by 5/28/21.  

New: Principal Survey Support for LEAs 
If principals or HR administrators reach out to you for assistance in adding a candidate to the 2020-2021 principal survey roster, please advise them to send an email to with the following information: 

  • Full legal name (name on certificate)  
  • TEA ID OR last 4 digits of SS# (please DO NOT send complete SS#)  
  • District/campus name (where the educator should be added) 

Any other questions related to the principal survey can also be addressed to 

New: 2021-2022 Coursework Delivery  
As programs plan for the 2021-2022 academic year, determining coursework delivery might be on your radar. If your program provided face-to-face coursework online due to COVID during this academic year and would like to continue, the program will be required to submit a program amendment letter to TEA and initiate quality assurance for online coursework. Per 19 TAC §228.20(e)-(f), the program’s accreditation status will determine the implementation timeline. The online quality assurance requirement can be found in 19 TAC §228.35(a)(6) 

New: Certificate Deactivation and Reactivation Letter Templates and Process Documents 
Certificate deactivation and reactivation letter templates and process documents are now available on the TEA’s Program Provider Resources page. While TEA has provided the letter templates as a resource, EPPs may use their own documents to submit certificate deactivation and reactivation requests. EPPs can find the certificate deactivation requirements in 19 TAC §228.35(e)(2)(B)(vi)-(vii) and certificate reactivation requirements in 19 TAC §230.36 and §230.37. If a candidate with an inactive certificate finds a new internship assignment that meets TAC requirements, the EPP will submit a reactivation request. Please submit deactivation and reactivation requests to the Preparation Programs tab in the Help Desk 

EPP Data Dashboards - Invitation to Collaborate 
TEA is developing data dashboards for Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) across Texas. These online dashboards will be constructed with user-friendly access to actionable data about EPP programs and candidates. This data will help EPPs make program adjustments so they can more effectively train teachers. The ultimate goal is to ensure Texas teachers are classroom ready to inspire and serve all students from day one. 

To that end, TEA is launching a new phase of research to learn directly from EPPs what should be included in these dashboards. Through this outreach, TEA will engage a diverse group of EPPs drawn from the wide variety of programs in the state. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Watch for more information on the program in the coming months. 

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing

New: 293 STR Exam and Reading Academy Requirements Reminders 
We have continued to receive questions from programs and districts about the differences between the HB 3 STR exam requirement and the Reading Academy requirement. As a reminder, the STR exam requirement and the Reading Academy requirement are separate requirements. Candidates who pass the STR exam and are issued an intern, probationary, or standard certificate in an HB 3-impacted certificate field are still required to complete the Reading Academies once hired by a Texas LEA, if teaching in grades K-3. New teachers, if teaching in K-3, will need to enroll in the Reading Academies prior to starting the first day of school in that position. 

Please reference the Science of Teaching Reading Initiatives One-Pager for additional information.  

New: Principal as Instructional Leader (PAIL) Training Resources  
Thank you to all the programs that attended the PAIL training on Thursday, May 13, 2021. Thank you for your engagement and thoughtful conversations regarding data-driven instructional practices and the aligned constructed response question. Resources and a recording of the training will be available in next week’s newsletter. If you have not already done so, please complete the feedback survey. 

Special Education Standards Overview 
Thank you to all the programs that attended the Special Education Standards Overview on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. We enjoyed the opportunity to engage with you and look forward to future collaboration and learning. If you have not yet completed the survey, please do so, as your questions and resource needs are important. We have gathered your questions so far and are producing a Special Education Certification Redesign FAQ to be shared alongside the training materials in an upcoming newsletter.   

ELAR 4-8 (217): Pilot Testing  
Pearson is currently conducting pilot testing for the redeveloped English Language Arts and Reading: Grades 4-8 exam. Pilot testing is available at Pearson VUE test centers throughout Texas now through May 24. 

Registration is currently open at: 

Pilot testing is an important step in the development of TExES certification exams. It is intended to collect information on the performance of exam questions to be used at future exam administrations.  For information on eligibility, incentives, advantages of participation, scheduling, and registration for pilot tests, please visit the Pilot Testing website here: 

2021-2022 PASL Assessment Schedule  
The PASL Assessment Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 dates have been posted on the ETS website – see links below. 

Score Reporting for TEA and Programs  

Each year, ETS updates its website for the upcoming academic year.  The updates will be published on Monday, July 19, 2021. 

The last administration date for the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities for Trade and Industrial Education 6–12 (#270) will be on 09/05/2021. The first administration date for the new Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities for Trade and Industrial Education 6–12 (#370) will be on 09/06/2021. More information about this transition will be made available in the upcoming newsletters.  

All Texas programs are invited to learn with the edTPA community. Each month Texas’s edTPA partners, Pearson and SCALE, offer development opportunities for all Texas programs. This month, if you are interested in learning more about how edTPA supports teacher candidates during instruction and implementation, or if you are interested in learning more about edTPA in general, be sure to register for the webinars listed in the “Upcoming Events” section of the newsletter. Hope to see you there! 

Educator Certification

Educator Certification Payment Issue
During a recent system error, ECOS improperly issued certificates to candidates without receiving payment. The candidates submitted payment information, but payments were not processed, and candidates were not charged.  

Educators and EPP candidates who were issued certificates during the time period of March 28 - April 6, 2021 have been notified via email that, per 19 TAC §230.99(c), they have 60 calendar days from the date of the notification to resubmit online payment, or the certificate will be placed on inactive status. While the certificate is inactive, the educator or EPP candidate will be ineligible for employment in a Texas school district. The certificate will return to active status upon receipt of full payment of all applicable fees.   

If your EPP did not receive an email related to this issue, TEA did not identify that any of your candidates were impacted. EPPs will not need to re-recommend certificates that previously issued incorrectly. Additionally, certificates that have been recommended by EPPs but have not issued for a variety of reasons will not issue until the candidates submit the required fees. TEA will continue to reach out with direct emails as appropriate with regard to this ongoing situation. 

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 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: I have the new Request for Correction (RFC) form to make data fixes for candidates in my EPP. Why am I unable to sign the fillable form? 
A: The signature line is the last item that should be completed on the RFC form. The signature field correctly becomes “active” once Section A and most of Section B are completed.  

Q: We have an applicant to our program who has a degree from a university that does not have GPAs. How can we admit the applicant? 
A: You can admit the applicant under the 10% exception rule. For additional information, please reference 19 TAC §227.10(a)(3)(B)(i-ii)The applicant will need documentation and certification from the program director that the applicant's work, business, or career experience demonstrates achievement equivalent to the academic achievement represented by the GPA requirement and will need to take the appropriate TxPACT. If the applicant is seeking non-teacher certification, they will need to meet the minimum GRE test requirements. That information is located on the Program Provider Resources page under the Forms and Documents section and is called GRE Equivalents. 

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 

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

Prepared To Teach is sponsoring webinar series this month on financial resources and sustainability strategies to support candidates financially during their clinical practice. The information for each webinar is below, along with registration links embedded in the webinar titles.    

Join Prepared To Teach to discuss our newest case studies on reallocation, reduction, and reinvestment strategies for teacher preparation partnerships, with a special focus on role reallocation approaches covered in Simple Shifts: Paying Aspiring Teachers with Existing Resources.  The webinar will also preview free tools and resources to support local work.  

Primary audience: Partnerships and those interested in an overview of the 3 Rs 

Take a deep dive into The Affordability Imperative: Creating Equitable Access to Quality Education to explore how universities can maximize teacher candidates' access to financial aid and work study dollars, reduce tuition costs, and develop new financial supports that can help ensure all aspiring teachers can afford quality preparation programs.  The webinar will also preview a free calculator to help universities reimagine their program models.  

Primary audience:  Universities 

Learn more about how districts can redesign their teaching and learning systems by designing residencies in cost-effective ways that also increase instructional capacity in schools. The Residency Revolution: Funding High-Quality Teacher Preparation explores the rationale for and examples of these powerful approaches. The webinar will also share a free tool to help districts explore financial modeling for funding residencies. 

Primary audience: Districts 

Help Desk Link