June 15, 2021: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

June 15, 2021

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

student at computer, remote learning


“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”  ― Audre Lorde 

We all have the power to take risks and find our inner strength to dig deeper to achieve our dreams. I challenge you all this summer, as you plan for the upcoming school year, welcome new students and faculty members, etc., to minimize your fears and capture your strength to build powerful programs and empower yourself. 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.  

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
EdTPA 101 This webinar is for faculty, instructors, supervisors, and P-12 partners who support teacher candidates and are new to edTPA. In this webinar, participants will be provided with an overview of the purpose, development, and design of edTPA. Additionally, participants will examine what candidates provide as evidence for each of the edTPA tasks, engage in a review of the scoring process, and learn how to access key resources. 

June 16th, 2021
Register Here) 



3:00-4:00 p.m.




Academic Language in edTPA: Supporting Learning and Language Development  This workshop is intended for faculty, instructors, supervisors, and school partners who support teacher candidates. In this workshop, a member of the edTPA National Academy will provide participants with an overview of academic language and demonstrate how academic language is an integral construct in edTPA through the lens of equitable instructional practices. 

June 25th, 2021
(Register Here)

9:00-12:00 p.m. 


Upcoming Deadlines

Topic Action Item Due Date

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 

Principal Survey Support for LEAs [Survey Closes 6.15.21] 
The Principal Survey closes today, June 15thThank you for the support you have provided your partners during this time. In these last moments, as a reminder - 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 principalsurvey@tea.texas.gov 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 principalsurvey@tea.texas.gov.   

New: 2021- 2022 Coursework Delivery Clarification 
We would like to provide clarification on the coursework delivery information initially presented in May 18th's EPP newsletter.  

For the 2020-2021 academic year, EPPs who were initially offering face-to-face instruction were able to move to a virtual instruction setting due to COVID. Since the TAC rule 19 TAC §228.1(e) is applicable to only the 2020-2021 academic yearfor the 2021-2022 academic year programs that plan to provide face-to-face instruction virtually will be 
required to meet (or work towards meeting) the online quality assurance requirement found in 19 TAC §228.35(a)(6).  

If the program chooses to provide coursework virtually, TEA will look for evidence of the EPP making progress towards the online quality assurance requirement during the program’s next 5-year continuing approval review. The EPP is also required to submit a program amendment letter to TEA when changing the delivery of coursework from face-to-face to virtual settings. It is up to the program to determine how to provide coursework to candidates. Similar to K-12, face-to-face classes occur in-person and virtual classes are provided on an online platform. TEA considers Zoom an online platformBy meeting (or making progress towards meeting) the quality assurance TAC requirement, the EPP can ensure that online platforms are accessible to all candidates. 

New: ASEP Observation Bulk Upload – Helpful Tip! 
With the recent switch to a new ECOS server, apostrophes that are a part of educatoor field supervisor names cagenerate an error during observation uploads. The server recognizes the apostrophe as a command and does not allow the upload to go through, 
all observation upload information is correct.  

For example, if you are uploading observations for a candidate with the last name O’Brien, the apostrophe in the candidate’s last name wilgenerate an error. For observation purposes, the candidate’s last name should be entered as “OBrien”.  

Please contact your assigned program specialist or submit a Help Desk ticket to Data Reporting for assistance 

ECOS Updates 
The June release of ECOS updates, scheduled for June 24, will have some exciting updates for reporting observation data. The goal of these updates is to make it easier to report observations and to correct an issue in the system that restricted the reporting of observations in July and August. Below is a high-level summary of the upcoming changes; we will also include information about these updates in an updated Technical Manual and at our annual ASEP webinar in August. Here are the updates: 

Observation Assignment Types 
The assignment types have been simplified, which means fewer and broader assignment types. For example, the INT assignment type will be used to upload observations for any teacher candidate holding an Intern certificate. The NONTCH assignment type will be used to upload all nonteacher practicum observations whether or not the candidate held an intern or probationary certificate while completing the practicum. Please note, you do not need to go back and edit existing observation records.  

The document linked here provides the new assignment types to use when reporting observations, starting after June 24. Users will find a link in the Upload Observations screen that will take them to this page with expanded detail about the assignment types, including a summary of the minimum number of required observations for each assignment type. Again, you do not need to go back and edit records that you have already entered. However, you will need to use the new assignment types in your reporting beginning on June 24. 

An updated Technical Manual will also be posted at that time reflecting the changes. 

Summer Observation Data Validation Update 
The 7/1 date for identifying the start of a new year for observation uploads has been updated to align with the reporting year start date of 9/1. This means if any observations are completed on dates in the summer between 7/1 and 8/31, they can now be uploaded in the current year. Please remember to always report observations in the reporting year in which they occur. 

Admission Record Update  
Starting after June 24, EPPs will be able to update the editable fields in existing admission records using the Upload Admissions feature in ASEP. Previously, editing the admission record was only accomplished manually. More information will be included in the updated Technical Manual. 

Please direct questions about these updates to the Program Specialist assigned to work with the EPP.  

Again, these changes are scheduled to be live as of June 24. This scheduling is deliberate, as these changes should reduce the number of observation records that are rejected due to validation errors. 

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing

School Counselor (252) and PPR for Trade and Industrial Education (370) 
Preparation Manual
s Now Available  
Preparation manuals for the two redeveloped exams are now available on the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website.  

  • The School Counselor (252) preparation manual can be accessed here 
  • The PPR for Trade and Industrial Education (370) preparation manual can be accessed here 

Each preparation manual includes: 

  • The examination framework 
  • Approaches to answering different question types 
  • Sample selected-response questions 
  • In-depth rationales for correct and incorrect responses 
  • A sample constructed response question 
  • Sample strong and weak constructed-responses and rationales 
  • A list of preparation resources 

Please share this information with candidates and colleagues as needed. Candidate assistance is available through Pearson’s Contact Us webpage. 

331 ELAR 7-12 Exam Framework Available for Public Comment  
The draft #331 English Language Arts and Reading 7-12 Framework is currently posted for public comment through July 10, 2021. The framework, which is based on the standards approved by the SBEC, will help guide the test development process for the new 331 ELAR 7-12 TExES exam. Comments may be sent to DeMarco Pitre 

ELAR 4-8 Framework Overview  
Thank you to all of you who joined us for the ELAR 4-8 Test Framework webinar last Thursday, June 3rd. We appreciated the opportunity to review the exam framework and collaboratively discuss the critical candidate knowledge and skills exemplified in the framework. Please view/download the pdf version of the webinar slide deck here. 

Due to COVID-19 (coronavirus), many candidates were unable to renew their identification (ID) while state offices were closed. To support candidates during this time, expired IDs were temporarily accepted at Pearson test centers.  

With the opening of state offices and services, this exception policy has been discontinued, and effective June 1, 2021, candidates must present valid and current IDs when arriving at all test centers. Please note: The Texas Department of Public Safety waiver on expiration dates for Drivers Licenses and Identification cards ended on April 14, 2021. 

Educator Certification

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 the certificate expires.  

Since the validity of the WINT and WPRO certificates cannot be extended, TEA encourages all programs to proactively communicate with WINT and WPRO candidates to remind them of these requirements well in advance of their certificate’s expiration date. As a reminder, WPRO candidates must meet requirements for standard certification. In addition, candidates are allowed one 12-month intern certificate (which the WINT certificate takes place of) and two 12-month probationary certificates for a total of 3 years to work on preliminary certificates.   

The attached communication was directly emailed to candidates on a WPRO certificate on March 5, 2021. District-level leadership has also been notified of and received the candidate communication.  

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 and closed on May 31, 2021. Please reference this section of the newsletter in the coming weeks for additional information on legislation relating to educator preparation.   


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

Q: I am having problems with observation and admission uploads and get an error message on my bulk uploads. Why is that happening?  

 A: There could be a number of factors affecting the success of your uploads, including incorrect information in the file or file formatting problems, or both. First, pay attention to the actual error message. Many times, the message will identify the error. Additionally, the Upload Status feature in ASEP will often list the entries in which the error(s) occurred. That information can be used to correct the source of the error. For example, if the error message in an observation upload tells you the candidate is not on the finisher records list, then you will know to make sure the candidate is on the list with a status of Other Enrolled or Finisher for that reporting year.  

Formatting errors do not always result in specific feedback either in the error message or in the Upload Status tool. EPPs are encouraged to ensure formatting is correct on their CSV files prior to attempting the uploads. Formatting can be easily checked by opening a CSV file in Notepad. All fields must have a value, and there should be no missing or extra values or spaces in the file. The value in each field should be formatted according to the guidance provided on the applicable Upload page in ASEP. An incorrect spelling of a name in the file could also result in a failure. Candidate and/or field supervisor names used in the upload file must match the names for those same individuals in ECOS. This error does not necessarily generate a descriptive error message. TEA has provided bulk upload information and helpful tips in the 2020–2021 Educator Preparation Program Data Reporting Manual. 


Q: On the Intern and Emergency Permit Waiver FAQ (9/10/2020), it says EPPs are required to provide support for candidates on the WINT certificate as any other internship, including a minimum of five formal observations. Do the same observation requirements apply to non-teacher candidates on WINT certificate?  

 A: The assigned field supervisor is required to follow the observation requirements found in 19 TAC §228.35(h) when observing non-teacher candidates. The type of certificate held does not impact the number of observations required for the practicum.

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. 

TEA Updates

TEA is Hiring! 
The TEA’s Department of Educator Preparation, Certification, and Enforcement (EPCE) is seeking to hire an experienced and highly effective Director of Educator Preparation. The Director of Educator Preparation will work directly with Texas’s EPPs to shape the future of educator effectiveness in Texas. For more information about the role, please visit this link.

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 

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.  

Help Desk Link