January 25, 2022: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

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Texas Education Agency

January 25, 2022

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

Three young students on the floor, sharing a book called Ovals, from Donna ISD


“I am not going outside until the temperature is above my age”-Pinterest 

This week most of Texas experienced chilly weather. A good reminder that life is full of ups and downs. There are moments of being up, where everything is going right, we are joyous and feel as though we are cloud nine. In the same vein, there are moments in life in which we feel that we are living in the valley. The downs seem to be overwhelming. Much like the weather, remember that even when it's cold, or we feel trapped in the "“down moments” that eventually things warm up and get better. In the moments of cold, hold tight to the warm memories and find things that bring you comfort like hot soup, a warm blanket, friends and family. The cold is only momentary. Stay strong and know that spring is coming!

Our goal is for this 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.   

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

Upcoming Events

There are no new events at this time.

Upcoming Deadlines

There are no new deadlines at this time.

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.   

Educator Preparation Program Support

Updates related to Educator Preparation Program Management

New: Certification Officer FAQ Document 
TEA received a lot of great questions from the 2-day virtual Certification Officer training in September 2021. The training was for new Certification Officers and those who wanted information about EPP reporting processes. TEA has complied an FAQ document with questions regarding EPP admission, the finisher records list, certification, certification testing, internships, fingerprinting, and data fixes. The Certification Officer Training FAQ document can be found under the EPP Training Events and Materials section on TEA’s Program Provider Resources page. We hope you find the FAQ document helpful! 

New: EPP Contact List Updates 
It’s that time of the year again! If your EPP has changes to the EPP staff such as the Certification Officer, please send updated contact information to your assigned Education Specialist. Since TEA refers to program contact information daily and uses the information to send out important reminders, it is important that TEA has the correct contact information on file. Please contact your assigned Education Specialist if you have any questions about this.   

Out With The Old and In With The New!  
You may have noticed that the Texas Educator Preparation Program Weekly Newsletters page has a new look for 2022. All of the 2020-2021 newsletters have been archived in a folder and only the current year’s newsletters are visible. The interlocking hands symbolize the collaboration among TEA teams to create the newsletters for our EPPs who are the recipients of the information. TEA will continue to archive past years’ newsletters and retain them for five years so you can reference them as needed. We hope you continue to enjoy them as much as we enjoy creating them for you!  

Insight to Impact Development Has Begun! 
We're excited to announce that we signed a contract with a vendor to build the Insight to Impact EPP Data Dashboards, and we’re officially off and running! We’ll share updates and visualizations throughout the process and plan to host a few webinars to provide more in-depth progress updates as well.  

The Administrator Addressed (TAA) Correspondence/edTPA Teacher Certification Examination Pilot 
The TAA letter, edTPA Teacher Certification Examination Pilot, was released on January 13, 2022 to school districts, charter schools, and regional education service centers (ESCs). The letter provides an explanation of what edTPA is, how edTPA is being piloted in Texas, and information regarding student privacy and the security of materials. Additionally, the TAA letter links the Informed Consent for edTPA Video Release Form. We encourage you to review the letter and share it with your P-12 school partners and partner ESCs who are interested in learning more about edTPA. If you have any questions or would like additional information related to Texas’ edTPA pilot, please contact DeMarco Pitre at DeMarco.Pitre@tea.texas.gov.     

The End is in Sight for TExES #152 School Counselor   
The TExES exam #152 is no longer available to testers, but a passing score on the TExES #152 exam can be used for certification purposes until September 6, 2022. There’s still time for EPPs to contact past and current finishers who have passed the #152 exam to ensure they are informed about the deadline of September 6, 2022 for using the exam for standard certification.  

Educator Standards and Testing

Updates related to Educator Standards and Certification Testing   

ETS Seeking Constructed Response Scorers for PASL  
ETS invites school leaders and preparation faculty to participate in the online scoring of the ETS® Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL). This is an excellent opportunity for school leaders and preparation program faculty to become more familiar with this certification exam. Professionals who meet the criteria listed on PASL Scoring Job Opportunities are eligible to be scoring professionals (raters) for the assessment.    

Updated: ELAR 4-8 #217 Exam Launch January 1, 2022 
The redesigned ELAR 4-8 #217 exam launched January 1, 2022. The last day for candidates to take the ELAR 4-8 #117 exam was December 31, 2021. The last registration date was December 29, 2021, with score reporting through January 2022. Please see the updated ELAR 4-8 exam one-pager for more information.  

Effective December 1, 2021, all candidates are required to wear a face mask while inside a Pearson VUE owned and operated testing center (Pearson Professional Centers).  

If a candidate is testing at a Pearson VUE partner center that also requires masks, the candidate is expected to comply. Different test centers may have different mask policies. If you or candidates have any questions about the mask policy at a specific location, please contact the test center directly. Candidates with specific masking requirements should check with their test center before arriving for their testing appointment.  

Candidates who are unwilling to comply with mask requirements at a test center will be refused testing. Refunds will not be issued. Candidates may of course continue to wear a mask if they choose at sites without the requirement. 

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.

TTU Program Spotlight 1.18.22

Texas Tech University and Lubbock Cooper ISD: Focused on Partnership to Build a Sustainable Teacher Residency Program 

LCISD Announces $20,000 in Living Expenses for TechTeach Student Teachers 

Lubbock-Cooper ISD announced in November that student teachers enrolled in Texas Tech University's TechTeach program can receive $20,000 to cover living expenses during their residency year through the Texas Covid Learning Accelerations (TCLAS) Decision 5: Residency Supports grant. As part of the grant, LCISD and TTU will partner with a technical assistance provider in the 2022-23 school year to engage in strategic staffing design work to make decisions to reallocate underutilized local funds to sustain teacher resident wages beyond the life of the grant.  

Texas Tech University is one of 15 vetted teacher residency programs in Texas and is a fully scaled program where 100% of student teachers engage in a one-year teacher residency during their clinical teaching experience. Texas Tech’s commitment to high quality residency practices is foundational to their district partners’ ability to begin to sustainably fund teacher residents as a systematic approach to building a strong educator pipeline. 


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

Q: Our EPP has a cooperating teacher who is 7-12 certified and wants to place a 4-8 candidate in the classroom with that cooperating teacher. Is that acceptable? 
A: The 19 TAC §228.2(14) definition says that the cooperating teacher must have the same certificate category as the candidate, but later in the 19 TAC §228.35(f) rule it says: If an individual who meets the certification category and/or experience criteria for a cooperating teacher, mentor, or site supervisor is not available, the EPP and campus or district administrator shall assign an individual who most closely meets the criteria and document the reason for selecting an individual that does not meet the criteria. If the EPP cannot find a cooperating teacher that meets the requirement as specified in the definition, it is acceptable as long as the EPP documents the reasons why the person is selected as the cooperating teacher. 

Q: When candidates in our program serve as substitutes to complete field-based experiences (FBEs), does the sub position have to be a long-term sub to count for FBEs? 
A: Up to 15 clock-hours of FBEs may be used by serving as a substitute, but those hours must meet the requirements of 19 TAC §228.35(e)(1)(C) Up to 15 clock-hours of field-based experience may be satisfied by serving as a long-term substitute. A long-term substitute is an individual who has been hired by a school or district to work at least 30 consecutive days in an assignment as a classroom teacher. Experience may occur after the candidate's admission to an EPP or during the two years before the date the candidate is admitted to the EPP. The candidate's experience in instructional or educational activities must be documented by the EPP and must be obtained at a public or private school accredited or approved for the purpose by the TEA. 

TEA Updates

New: Mini Course Opportunity from Teaching Works: Grounding Teacher Candidates in K-12 Curriculum Materials  
Curriculum materials for K-12 students are a critical teaching tool. The ability to use them to support demanding, equitable, standards-aligned instruction that is likely to meet the needs of individual students, however, depends on multidimensional knowledge and skill. Preparing teacher candidates with this knowledge and skill and making sure they have practice working with curriculum materials is a responsibility of teacher education. Fortunately, high-quality curriculum materials are themselves resources for building teacher candidates’ knowledge and skill. 

This course briefly orients participants to the rationale for attending to curriculum materials in preservice teacher preparation, and then introduces tools and approaches first for helping teacher candidates learn from materials and then for helping them learn to analyze and adapt materials for particular purposes and populations. Participants will learn to use curriculum materials to help candidates build content knowledge for teaching; understand instructional approaches, including culturally relevant pedagogy; and practice teaching. Sample lesson plans and performance assessments for use in methods classes will be provided. Examples will be in English language arts and mathematics, but teacher educators from all disciplines are welcome. All sessions are synchronous, and there are no prerequisites. 

Register for the course at: teachingworks.catalog.instructure.com. The course offering dates are featured below as well as in this flyer, where you will also find information about other course offerings from Teaching Works for practice-based preparation. We look forward to learning alongside you during this incredible opportunity! 

Teaching Works Session Calendar

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 Spring 2022 edTPA Virtual Workshops and Webinars.   

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.  

Lesson Study Gateway Resources 

Practice based preparation resources for virtual field-based experience: Provides model lessons and video of instructional delivery.  

Texas Teach Like a Champion (TLAC)

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   

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