June 29, 2021: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

June 29, 2021

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

student at computer, remote learning


Leaders are those creative team players amongst us who are persevering, strategic, and maintain a desire to be continual learners.” ― Germany Kent  

Educators are creative team players and strong leaders. As educators, we also consistently push to persevere through the difficult times, strategically plan for the future, and strive to be continual learners. Even through the difficult times, remember you are becoming an even more creative leader! 

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   

New: Newsletter Survey Feedback 
Thank you to everyone for their participation in the newsletter feedback survey. As we continue to plan for future newsletters, the survey feedback will drive development of newsletter content and structure. Based on the data from the feedback survey, the newsletter content is clear, timely, and provides guidance for events, deadlines, and all things related to EPPs. We acknowledge the fact that at times the newsletter can run long and are making a concerted effort to provide information that is beneficial to your program, work, and candidates in a concise manner.  

Table of Contents

Upcoming Events

Topic Description Event Date Event Time
Pearson is hosting three upcoming webinars focused on ResultsAnalyzer® and recently launched exams in the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program. 

1:00-2:30 p.m.


1:00-2:30 p.m.


9:00-10:30 a.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 


Educator Preparation Program Support

Updates related to Educator Preparation Program Management 

New: Science of Teaching Reading (STR) Certification Requirement Clarification – EPP Policies 
The STR exam is an exam requirement for candidates certifying in one of the five certificate categories listed below: 

  • Early Childhood: PK-3 
  • Core Subjects with the Science of Teaching Reading: EC-6 
  • Core Subjects with the Science of Teaching Reading: 4-8 
  • English Language Arts and Reading with the Science of Teaching Reading: 4-8 
  • English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies with the Science of Teaching Reading: 4-8 

Please note, if your EPP has created a local policy requiring the STR exam for certificates that include all-level grade bands, it is important to ensure candidates are aware of this additional exam requirement, and the additional exam cost.  

New: Declaration of Disaster Update 
As of June 7, 2021, Governor Abbott has extended the COVID-19 Disaster Declaration. 
Currently, the disaster declaration is evaluated every month by the governor to decide to either extend or end the declaration. If the declaration is active at the start of the Fall 2021 semester, EPPs will be able to utilize the 20% duration reduction found in 
19 TAC §228.1(d) if necessary for candidates participating in clinical teaching, internships, or practicums during the Fall 2021 semester. The declaration must be active at some point during the candidate’s clinical teaching, internship, or practicum for it to be applicable for that candidate.  

New: Updated Program Provider Resources page - Coming Soon!  
TEA is working on an updated look for the Program Provider Resources page. Currently, all outdated trainings have been removed in preparation for the update. With the update, we hope to make the Program Provider Resources page more user-friendly and accessible, while still including the content you rely on.   

New: Principal Survey and Teacher Survey Roster Review 
On July 1, TEA plans to distribute the list of candidates for whom a Principal Survey was completed. This survey was collected between April 1 - June 15 from principals who reported about teachers working as teachers of record for the first time during the 2020-2021 academic year. This includes teachers on intern certificates. 

Also on July 1, TEA plans to distribute the list of teachers who completed a Teacher Survey. This survey was collected between April 1 – June 15 from teachers working as teachers of record under a standard certificate for the first time during the 2020-2021 academic year. Please note that in many cases this is not the same population as the Principal Survey, as candidates on an intern certificate do not complete the Teacher Survey during their intern year. Rather, they complete this survey in the first year they teach with their standard certificate.  

The purpose of these roster reviews is to allow EPPs to identify any individuals associated with the incorrect EPP in the data. The data sets have been cleaned using the PEIMS and ECOS databases, and incorrect associations are rare. The data sets will be emailed to EPP contacts. Along with the rosters, TEA will provide the links to the Request for Exception forms. This form is due by August 1, 2021. Any completed forms must be submitted via the Help Desk system. Please note – EPPs are not required to complete these forms or to review these sets. This is an optional review period that TEA provides for EPPs. 

TExES Certification Exam Updates – What are EPPs required to do? 
The updated School Counselor and Trade and Industrial PPR exams will launch in September 2021 and updated ELAR 4-8 and ELAR 7-12 exams in January 2022 and September 2023 respectively. The implementation of these updated certification exams does not impact the names of the associated certificates themselves. This means that EPPs do not have to reapply to offer these certification fields when the 
updated certification exams go into effect. EPPs are required, though, to ensure that their curriculum is aligned with the updated test frameworks. TEA will verify updated coursework during the EPP’s next continuing approval review. 

EPPs are required to apply to offer new certificates, including certificates with updated names and/or grade levels that replace old certificates for which the program is currently approved. Please see 19 TAC §228.10(d) for rules regarding additions of certificate categories and classes. 

ASEP Observation Bulk Upload – Helpful Tip! 
With the recent switch to a new ECOS server, apostrophes that are a part of educator or field supervisor names can generate an error during observation uploads. The server recognizes the apostrophe as a command and does not allow the upload to go through, though 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 will generate 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 occurred June 24. This release included updates for reporting observation data and admission records. We also posted an updated Technical Manual that reflects these changes, sent an email to programs, and will plan to include support around these changes at our August ASEP webinar. 

As a reminder, here is a high-level summary of the changes: 

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.  

The document linked here provides the new assignment types to use when reporting observations. You do not need to go back and edit records that you have already entered. However, you now need to use the new assignment types in your reporting. Additional information for what to do if you do need to update an existing record is available here. 

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  
EPPs will soon 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. This update was delayed from the original release but should be implemented by the end of the week. 

Please direct questions about these updates to the Education Specialist assigned to work with the EPP. Thank you for your support as we continue to improve our ECOS!  

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing

Texas Educator Certification Examination Program: ResultsAnalyzer® Webinars 
To support EPP faculty and staff’s ongoing access to and understanding of testing data, Pearson is hosting three upcoming webinars focused on ResultsAnalyzer® and recently launched exams in the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program.  

These 90-minute intermediate-level sessions assume participants already have basic familiarity with the three primary data streams and the filter and data export features in ResultsAnalyzer®.  

Each of the three sessions will be delivered live (not recorded) and cover the same content. Time will be reserved for Q&A. 

Please note registration is required in advance. To register, click on one or more of the links below. The sessions are identical, but you are welcome to register for and attend more than one.  

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 

The TExES Interactive Practice Exams are designed to simulate the actual testing experience. They can be submitted for scoring once per purchase. The exam and the results will be available for review until the end of the 120-day subscription period for that purchase. There is one version of each Interactive Practice Exam available. For more information, please visit this website. 

Educator Certification

Updates related to Educator Certification

No new content for this week's newsletter.

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.   

Program Spotlight

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 education specialist.    

On Thursday, June 24, 2021, the TEA kicked off the 2021 Principal Residency Grant Institute. The institute focused on developing strong EPP-District partnerships to build strong residency experiences. We would like thank all of the EPPs that participated in the institute, and specifically thank two programs for sharing about their principal residency design and implementation practices. 

University of Texas – Tyler, lead a session in collaboration with Westwood ISD, presenting on how to effectively foster a strong partnership to develop systems for mentoring and coaching principal residents. Southern Methodist University partnered with Dallas ISD to present a session on developing and implementing authentic leadership experiences for principal residents. Both programs not only shared their experiences, but also their resources and authentic examples of those practices in action. Their constant collaboration, honest vulnerability, and reflective practices were so inspiring to learn about during their sessions.  

Seven EPPs have partnered with 14 districts across the state for this grant cycle and focused deeply on learning and collaborative planning throughout the institute. We appreciate all Principal Residency Grant EPPs and Districts for their partnership in support of developing future school leaders! 


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

Q: We would like our candidates to complete FBEs by observing each other teach. Is that permissible?  
A: It is not. The definition of field-based experience, in 19 TAC §228.2(17), states that FBEs are introductory experiences for a classroom teacher certification candidate involving, at the minimum, reflective observation of Early Childhood-Grade 12 students, teachers, and faculty/staff members engaging in educational activities in a school setting. In addition, 19 TAC §228.35(e)(1)(A-B) outlines all requirements for field-based experience, including the requirement that candidates observe instruction by content certified teachers.  

Q: We have students that were admitted under the 1772 code for Core Subjects: EC-6 but they are graduating under the code 1990 for Core Subjects with the Science of Teaching: EC-6. It seems that ECOS doesn’t recognize them as a finisher for the 1772. How will I make them a finisher for the 1772? Will it have to be manual or will I need to make them a finisher with code 1990? 
A: With the new test code and certificate name changes, a Spring 2021 Core Subjects: EC-6 finisher will have the 1772 code for their Other Enrolled status and then the 1990 code for their finisher status. This is okay because the candidate is obtaining the new Core Subjects with STR: EC-6 certification. This would be the same for all STR-impacted candidates who were admitted under a previous certificate name (ex: Core Subjects4-8) but are obtaining standard certification under a new certificate name (ex: Core Subjects w/ STR: 4-8). Please reference the STR Certificate Category Update information from April 6th's  newsletter. 

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 Education Specialist.   

  • To view a list of EPPs and their associated Education 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 staff members for the following roles:  

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