February 2, 2022: Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

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Texas Education Agency

February 2, 2022

Texas Educator Preparation Programs Newsletter

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


“Winter is coming....or going.  I don’t know...there is a shadow involved or something” - Distractify Memes Groundhog Day 

Tomorrow, February 2nd, Punxsutawney Phil will emerge from his burrow and predict the weather. If the groundhog sees his shadow, then it will retreat back to his home for six more weeks of winter, but if there is no shadow, then only six weeks until spring (“early spring"). Although it has been a childhood tradition of mine to watch the groundhog predict the weather every year, it serves as a great reminder about the importance of perspective! Technically speaking, it is six more weeks of winter regardless of the shadow, but it is the framing that changes. Six more weeks of winter provides a negative connotation of being stuck in an endless loop of non-progress with six more weeks of being there.  However, saying only six more weeks until spring gives hope, something to look forward to, being able to plan for warmer weather and springtime fun. I challenge you this week to find positive framing in your work; and when you are struggling, just remember only 6 more weeks until spring! 

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.   

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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: Teacher Shortage Areas for 2022-2023 
The teacher shortage areas for 2022-2023 school year have been approved by the US Department of Education. The approved shortage areas for 2022-2023 are as follows: 

  • Bilingual/English as a Second Language  
  • Career and Technical Education (Secondary only) 
  • Computer Science / Technology Applications 
  • English Language Arts and Reading 
  • Mathematics (Secondary only) 
  • Science (Secondary only) 
  • Special Education 

Teachers with certain types of student loans may qualify for partial loan forgiveness, deferment, or cancellation benefits. Eligibility for these benefits depends on the type of loan the teacher has, the date of their first loan, and whether the teacher serves in a designated low-income school or subject matter teacher shortage area. TEA does not determine an educator’s eligibility for teacher loan forgiveness. 

More information is available on the Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers page. Please note that there are not any required action steps for EPPs related to this announcement. 

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 compiled 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! 

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.   

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.    

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.  

The 2019-2020 Technical Administration Manual is available. It contains performance data specific to the exams administered between 09/01/2019 through 08/31/2020. 


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

Q: Our EPP has a question about the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA) in 19 TAC §4.56 that is an admission requirement in 19 TAC §227.10(a)(6). We noticed that on a candidate score report, it says Accuplacer. Is this an Accuplacer or TSI score? 
A: It is a TSI score. Accuplacer is the test vendor that administers the TSI. Per 19 TAC §4.56, effective fall 2013, the TSIA is the only Board-approved assessment instrument used. NOTE: TSIA Version 2.0 (TSIA2) replaced the TSIA on January 11, 2021. The TSIA2 is the only Board-approved assessment instrument offered under this title. Test administrators of the TSI Assessment must follow the requirements and processes for test administration as set forth by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and the testing vendor.

TEA Updates

Additional updates on initiatives and opportunities from the TEA.

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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