September 8, 2021: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Texas Education Agency

September 8, 2021

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

CTE teacher


“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither” - Alan Cohen 

Although it is important to work hard, and be dedicated to our task, we must remember that we also must rest. Rest allows us to reset, refocus, and become rejuvenated to start again. I hope that you all had a restful Labor Day weekend and are now refreshed for all the tasks ahead.  

Our goal 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.   

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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 8: Make any final corrections and submit your affidavit.  
Submit with confidence that your EPP has gotten everything perfect and ready to go. Submit your affidavit as an attachment to a Help Desk ticket to Preparation Programs. Be sure to name your affidavit according to the instructions on the Affidavit template. 

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 
Week 7: Review your data 

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: Continuing Approval Review Webinar Recording 
The recording for the Continuing Approval Review Webinar is now posted to the Program Provider Resources page under the EPP Training Events and Materials tab. This webinar was presented by TEA on August 25, 2021. You can find the 2021 – 2022 continuing approval review handbook and rubric under the Forms and Documents tab on the Program Provider Resources page.  

New: Communication Shared with LEAs Regarding Requirements for Educators Completing an Internship During the 2021-2022 Academic Year 
On September 2, TEA staff distributed a To the Administrator Addressed (TAA) Correspondence to LEAs regarding requirements for educators completing an internship on an intern or probationary certificate during the 2021-2022 academic year. The intent of the correspondence was to communicate that when a LEA employs an educator completing an internship on an intern or probationary certificate, the LEA agrees to adhere to the educator internship requirements in TAC to ensure that the educator receives required support. The full text of the TAA Correspondence can be found here 

Updated: 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 option, open the .csv file in Notepad prior to the upload to check for extra spaces, commas, apostrophes, or other errors that might stop the upload. 

With recent EPP observation upload issues, TEA would like to remind EPPs to look for and remove extra spacesspecifically by candidate TEA ID numbers, when performing a bulk observation upload. The extra space causes a visibility issue that prevents the observation report from loading. 

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.  

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing   

New: ELAR: 4-8 (217) TExES Exam Preparation Manual  
The Preparation Manual for English Language Arts and Reading 4-8 (217) is now available on the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website. To access it, visit 

  •  This preparation manual includes: 
  • The ELAR 4-8 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 

Candidate assistance is available through the Contact Us page on the program website at 

New: School Counselor (252) and PPR for Trade and Industrial Education (370) Exam Launches  
The new School Counselor and PPR for Trade and Industrial Education TExES exams launched on September 6, 2021. Candidates are now able to register for and take both redesigned exams.  

Additional information regarding the redesigned exams can be found on the Certification Redesign website and linked above. 

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 – Tuesday, September 28, 2021 
  • English Language Arts and Reading 4-8 Standard Setting – 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 by: Receiving 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:  

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. 

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 Preparation Manual for English Language Arts and Reading 4-8 (217) is now available on the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website. The manual can be accessed here.   

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.  

New: Farewell and Best Wishes! 

On August 31, 2021, four EPPs officially closed their doors: 

  • A Career in Education 
  • Alternative-South Texas Educator Program (A-Step) 
  • University of Phoenix 
  • Region 12 Education Service Center Teacher Program (Note: Principal Program remains open) 

We wish the EPP staff at these closing EPPs all the best! 


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

Q: Am I able to submit the Observation Request for Exception (RFE) form for a candidate observation that occurred but was not reported in 2020-2021? 
A: No. Observations that should have been reported in a previous reporting year do not fall under the exception umbrella. EPPs are required to report observations in the reporting year the observation occurred. As a reminder, EPPs can report their observations for 2020-2021 until the ASEP data portal closes on September 15. 

Q: Do I need to submit an Observation Request for Exception (RFE) form for a candidate that began an internship in Spring 2020, given that we were unable to complete observations at that time? 
A: No, programs do not need to submit an Observation RFE for these candidates. Candidates who started internships in Spring 2020 will be excluded via programming as appropriate. As a reminder, all observations conducted during 2020-2021 must be entered into ASEP before it closes on September 15. 

Q: My EPP has a candidate that has been offered a teaching position in a district. The district is requesting a deficiency letter to issue an emergency permit to the candidate. What is the EPP’s responsibility regarding deficiency letters and emergency permits?  
A: Per 19 TAC §230.79(a)(2), the certification plan (formerly known as the deficiency letter) will list the candidate’s outstanding program requirements and verify that the candidate has met the GPA requirement for program admission. The program is not required to provide a detailed plan that tracks a candidate’s progress while working under the emergency permit. Since an emergency permit does not count towards program requirements, programs will not provide field supervision during the duration of the emergency permit. Field supervision will be provided once the candidate obtains an intern or probationary certificate and the internship starts (or is in a clinical teaching assignment). Please note that the emergency permit takes away one of the three years allowed for a candidate to work under a temporary certificate (intern, probationary, or permit) so TEA discourages the use of permits for candidates enrolled in preparation programs. 

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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