August 24, 2021: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

August 24, 2021

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

CTE teacher

Welcome

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and—snap! —the job’s a game!” – Mary Poppins 

Any job can be stressful, especially when working with and growing young adults. This semester, find time to make learning fun and really enjoy the process.  

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  

Upcoming Events

Event: Continuing Approval Review Webinar 
(All EPPs welcome but target audience is EPPs reviewed in 21-22 academic year)

Description: TEA will provide guidance to educator preparation program staff that are preparing for a 5-year continuing approval review in 2021-2022. 
Event Date: Wednesday, August 25, 2021 (registration link)
Event Time: 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Event: Certification Officer Training
(2-day virtual training)

Description: The Certification Officer training is for EPP staff who serve in the Certification Officer role, EPP staff who report candidate data to ECOS, or those who would like to learn more about the responsibilities of the Certification Officer. 
Event Date: Thursday & Friday, September 23 – 24, 2021 
Event Time: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 


Upcoming Deadlines

Topic: Waiver Probationary (WPRO) or Waiver Intern (WINT) Certificate - IMPORTANT
Action Item: 
Provide test approval, as appropriate, to WPRO and WINT candidates. Actively communicate with WPRO/WINT candidates and LEA partners about requirements and next steps.  
Due Date: Before the WPRO or WINT certificate expires.


Countdown to ASEP Reporting: ASEP Action of the Week

New: Week 6: Complete your Applied Spreadsheet.  
The applied spreadsheet is an Excel sheet that EPPs download and complete. You report the counts of individuals who applied to your program. The APR Applied spreadsheet is available for download from the Program Provider Resources page. Once you have completed it, submit it to your Education Specialist using a Help Desk ticket.

Previous ASEP Action of the Week: 
Week 1: Know your assigned Education Specialist 
Week 2: Complete Admission Reporting 
Week 3: Update Finisher Candidates 
Week 4: Remove All Exiters 
Week 5: Enter All Observations 


Table Of Contents

EPP Points of Contact

Your best source for information and support at the TEA.   

As an EPP, 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. 

Educator Preparation Program Support

Updates related to Educator Preparation Program Management  

New: Certification Officer 2-Day Training 
TEA’s Certification Officer 2-day training will take place on September 23rd and 24th from 9am – 2pm virtually via Zoom. This training is for EPP staff who serve in the Certification Officer role, EPP staff who report candidate data to ECOS, or those who would like to learn more about the responsibilities of the Certification Officer. Please see the Upcoming Events section for the two training sign-up links. 

New: 19 TAC §228.1(d) Guidance  
19 TAC §228.1(d) allows for a decrease in clinical teaching, internships, and practicum assignments by up to 20% during a Governor’s declared state of disaster. In order for the rule to be applicable for a candidate, the declared state of disaster must be active at some point during the candidate’s clinical teaching, internship, or practicum. Given that the declaration is currently in place, the 20% reduction rule can apply to candidates who start clinical teaching, an internship, or a practicum at the beginning of the 2021-2022 academic year.  

While EPPs are not required to use this rule, it is available for candidates that qualify for it. EPPs should make sure to document the 20% reduction allowance in the candidate’s file, if it is used to decrease the number of training days required. 

Updated: Guidance Regarding Internship and Practicum Placement, Observations, 
and Field-Based Experience for the 2021-2022 Academic Year 
 
As a reminder, the flexibility provided in 19 TAC 228.1(e) has expired as of the end of the 2020-2021 academic year. In accordance with TAC, in the 2021-2022 academic year, all programs must adhere to the educator preparation training requirements outlined in 19 TAC 228.35. With this in mind,  

  • Clinical teaching, internships, and practicums must take place in an actual school setting rather than a distance learning lab or virtual school setting (228.35(e)(6)),  
  • Formal observations of teacher candidates must be conducted by the field supervisor at the candidate's site in a face-to-face setting (228.35(g)(1)), 
  • 15 hours of field-based experience for teacher candidates must be conducted in an authentic school setting (228.35(e)(1)(A)(I)),  
  • Non-teacher practicum observations can take place in a virtual setting (228.35(h)), and 
  • When uploading observations for 21-22, the Observation Setting “P” will be used to identify in-person observations and the “V” will be used to identify those non-teacher observations that were conducted virtually. 

EPPs are encouraged to actively communicate with their LEA partners regarding SBEC requirements for field supervision and the value and importance of candidate supervision and support. TEA staff will also distribute communication to LEAs that addresses these requirements.  

In addition, we have received questions regarding SB 1590, 87th Legislature, Regular Session, which requires the SBEC to make rules that may allow for some virtual observation. The SBEC will take up rulemaking regarding SB 1590 this Fall, and we will share more updates as we have them. Due to the attenuated timeline for SBEC rulemaking, it is likely that the new rules will not be effective until the 2022-2023 school year.  

Primary and Alternate ECOS Approvers 
As we approach a new academic year it can be a good time to review your EPP’s primary and alternate approvers. EPP Legal Authorities should log in to their TEAL account to identify which EPP staff members have primary and alternate approver access. Each EPP should have one primary approver (always the program’s Legal Authority) and at least one alternate approver (typically the program’s backup Legal Authority, the primary point of contact, or Certification Officer). The Legal Authority and Back-up Legal Authority do not automatically have primary or alternate approver access. They must request it.  

If there’s a change in an EPP’s Legal Authority, please notify your assigned Education Specialist to receive the Request to Change Legal Authority letter. Once TEA receives the letter, TEA will send instructions on how to request access. 

With primary approver status, the EPP Legal Authority can approve EPP staff requests for ECOS for Entities access. The EPP Legal Authority can also check to see who has ECOS for Entities access. If you find someone who has ECOS for Entities access but is no longer employed by the EPP, please remove the access. Contact your assigned Education Specialist if you have any questions about how to do this.  

ASEP Webinar & FAQ Document Posting 
The ASEP reporting webinar and FAQ document are now available on TEA’s Program Provider Resources page. Utilize the information presented in the webinar (and the 2020–2021 Educator Preparation Program Data Reporting Manual) to assist with ASEP reporting.  

Don’t forget – reporting for the 2020-2021 academic year closes on September 15th, 2021.  

ECOS Update: File Transfer for Certification Information 
ECOS has a tool that allows for authorized users to download certification information for educators. This function is available under the File Transfer menu in ECOS. TEA has scheduled updates to this system, which will do the following: 

  • Increase the processing limit from 5,000 records to 20,000 records 
  • Add teacher designation information to the download (related to the Teacher Incentive Allotment) 

These updates are planned to be live on 8/24/2021. We wanted to give EPPs notice in case you have technology systems that interact with the files that get downloaded. Full information, including links to downloadable sample files containing the new columns, is available here. 

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing   

Updated: School Counselor (252) and PPR for Trade and Industrial Education (370) FAQs & Test Approval  
The new School Counselor and PPR for Trade and Industrial Education TExES exams launch on September 6, 2021. For candidates that already have approval to take the previous versions of the exams, the PPR for T&I (370) and School Counselor (252), the exam will auto-populate for you to approve for one attempt. Candidates are now able to register for both redesigned exams. Please remind your candidates to register for the appropriate exam. They can confirm their registration with Pearson online or by calling 1-800-877-4599.  

Additional information regarding timelines and other frequently asked questions related to the exam launch, program requirements, and candidate preparation resources is available on the Certification Redesign website. 

185 Deafblind Exam Framework Available for Public Comment  
The draft #185 Deafblind EC-12 Framework is currently posted for public comment through September 12, 2021. The exam framework, which is based on the standards approved by the SBEC, will help guide the test development process for the new 185 Deafblind: EC-12 TExES exam. Comments may be sent to DeMarco.Pitre@tea.texas.gov.     

DID YOU KNOW? 
The redesigned ELAR 4-8 (217) exam is scheduled to launch January 1, 2022, with a first score reporting date of January 21, 2022. The last day for candidates to take the older ELAR 4-8 exam (117) will be December 31, 2021. The last registration date will be December 29, 2021. 

The ELAR 4-8 (217) Informational One-Pager contains more information about timelines and other frequently asked questions. 

FAQs

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

Q: I have a candidate that has applied and paid for a certificate. My EPP has made the recommendation, but the certificate has not gone through. Why is that and what do I need to do to get the certificate processed?  
A: Often, the reason that a certificate does not issue that has been applied for, paid, and recommended is due to fingerprinting that has not been completed, in the case of the initial intern or probationary certificates. EPPs can verify a candidate’s fingerprint status in ECOS – Educator Information – Educator Search. Another reason may be that there is something in the candidate’s background that is preventing the certificate being issued. If this happens, you may submit a Help Desk ticketincluding the candidate’s identifying information, and Ed Prep staff can assist you with troubleshooting the reason. 
 

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.  

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 a model of and practicing the same high leverage skill.    

Texas TLAC One Pager for EPPs

Full scope and sequence of upcoming edTPA training opportunities.   

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