August 31, 2021: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

August 31, 2021

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

CTE teacher


It’s the one-year anniversary of the Weekly EPP Newsletter!  

Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you.  Happy birthday to our newsletter.  Happy birthday to you!” 

Always look for reasons to celebrate! We cannot believe it has been a year since the start of the newsletter, and what an incredible journey this year has been. Throughout this past year, we’ve continued to navigate the ever changing "new normal”, welcomed new students, teachers, faculty members, and said farewell to those graduating, retiring, shifting into new roles. In the year ahead, we are excited to continue to improve upon our practices as we continue to develop and refine the weekly newsletter. Our goals is for the newsletter to serve 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.   

We suggest you enjoy a piece of cake while reading this week's newsletter. 

If you are not currently subscribed to the newsletter, please sign up at the link below.  Educator Preparation Program Listserv Registration  

Upcoming Events

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.

Topic: 2020-2021 ASEP Reporting
Action Item: 
EPPs are required to report EPP data to TEA by September 15, 2021. 
Due Date: September 15, 2021

Countdown to ASEP Reporting: ASEP Action of the Week

New: Week 7: Review your data.  
Compare your final EPP data with the data sets from TEA just to be sure you have not forgotten anything or anyone in your reports. Make any final corrections if needed. Reach out to your assigned specialist with any questions or issues.

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 
Week 6: Complete your Applied Spreadsheet 

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: Program Provider Resources page 
The Program Provider Resources page has a new fresh look for 2021-2022! Take some time to familiarize yourself with the page to find all the resources and documents that you have come to know and love. Click the large tiles to find candidate training resources for EPP staff. Expand the carrots to find Survey and Pass Rate Data. EPP Training Events and Materials, Forms and Documents, and Covid-19 Related Forms and Documents are all tucked away behind their respective carrots that can also be expanded as needed. This new page provides a cleaner and simplified look to support your access to resources.  

New: Observation Upload Reminders 
When reporting 2020-2021 observations to TEA, please refer to the 2020 –2021 ASEP reporting webinar and FAQ document found on the newly updated Program Provider Resources page for ECOS upload tips. To verify that the observation upload was successful, utilize the Upload Status feature in the ASEP drop-down menu in ECOS. If reporting observations through the bulk upload optionopen the .csv file in Notepad prior to the upload to check for extra spaces, commas, apostrophesor other errors that might stop the upload.  

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. 

19 TAC §228.1(d) Guidance  
19 TAC §228.1(d) allows for a decrease in the duration of 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 have started 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. 

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 228.35With 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 supportTEA 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.  

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 went live on 8/24/2021. 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   

New: ELAR 4-8 Marker Selection and Standard Setting Committee Recruitment  
TEA and Pearson are currently seeking Texas educators to participate in a Marker Selection and Standard Setting Conference for the Texas Educator Certification Examination program for the following committees:  

  • English Language Arts and Reading 4-8 Marker Selection [virtual] – Tuesday, September 28, 2021 
  • English Language Arts and Reading 4-8 Standard Setting [in person] – Wednesday, September 29 – Thursday, September 30, 2021  

Below are brief descriptions of the test development activities approved panel/committee members will be asked to take part in during this online review: 

  • Marker Selection: The role of the Marker Selection committee is to review examples of responses to pilot tested constructed response items. Committee members will select and approve a set of responses that illustrate each score point on the scoring scale. 
  • Standard Setting: The role of the Standard Setting Committee is to examine each question included on an exam form and provide standard setting judgments that will be considered by the Texas Education Agency in determining the passing standard for the exam.  

Committee participants benefit byReceiving substitute reimbursement for their school, making a difference in Texas teacher development and performance, engaging in professional growth and collaboration with educators in the field, and earning Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits. 

To support these efforts:  

New: Passing Standards Effective September 6  
An amendment to §151.1001, concerning passing standards for educator certification examinations, takes effect for the following exams taken on or after September 6, 2021. The amendment specifies the satisfactory scores for the following educator certification examinations: Science of Teaching Reading, Early Childhood: PK-3English Language Arts and Reading 4-8Educational Diagnostician, and Principal as Instructional Leader. 

Reminder: Test Center Mask Policy 
Different test centers may have different mask policies. If your candidates have any questions about the mask policy at a specific location, please ask them to contact the test center directly. They can also contact Pearson for their test center contact information. 

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 and is also linked above. 

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     

The redesigned ELAR 4-8 (217) exam introductory period will be from January 2022 through August 2022. During the exam introductory period, an initial cut score will be established to support the transition into the new exam. Within the introductory period, candidates must meet a minimum threshold of items correct to pass the exam. Expect more information soon. 

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.  

Welcome to our newest EPP!  

Odessa Pathway to Teaching (Ector County ISD) was recently approved as an ACP at the July SBEC MeetingWe are happy to announce that they will begin admitting candidates on September 1, 2021.  


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

Q: My EPP has submitted a Request for Correction (RFE) for a data fix, but we did not know the certificate license ID and left it blank. TEA did not accept the RFE because that field was left blank. How will we figure out that certificate license ID, especially if it is a retired certificate? 
A: To find a certificate license ID for a certificate that the program is approved to offer, EPPs can use Cert License IDs tab under the ASEP dropdown in ECOS. The Cert License ID page in ECOS will list all of the certificates that the EPP is approved to offer as well as the certificate routes.  

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.  

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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