Student Teaching and the edTPA for Supervisors

edTPA description, cost, registration, and submission

  • What is the edTPA?

The edTPA is a subject-specific pre-service teacher performance assessment completed during student teaching (recommended during final student teaching semester). Unique content level handbooks are chosen by the program based on licensure area and student teaching placement. The assessment asks the teacher candidate to plan, instruct, and assess a learning segment of 3-5 lessons in one class. Candidates submit artifacts (lesson plans, instructional materials, teaching videos, assessments, and sample student work) and written commentaries as evidence of teaching readiness. Professional scorers rate candidate performance in planning, instruction, and assessment using rubrics in the edTPA handbook for that subject area.

  • Where did the edTPA come from?

The edTPA was developed by the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) in partnership with the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE). It is modeled after the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ assessments of accomplished veteran teachers and was developed with input from teacher and teacher educators across the country. While SCALE is responsible for the edTPA handbooks, rubrics, and scorer training materials, they have entered into an operational partnerships with Pearson to manage candidate registration and scoring of the edTPA. More information can be found on the SCALE website.

  • What does the edTPA cost?

The edTPA costs $300, which includes official scoring and score reporting to the candidate and to the program designated by the candidate during registration. Additional score reports are $50. Retakes cost $100 for a single task (planning, instruction, OR assessment) or $300 for a complete edTPA.

  • How do candidates register for the edTPA?

Candidates register on the Pearson edTPA site and pay the registration fee.

  • How do candidates submit the edTPA?

Candidates use the submission procedure prescribed by their educator preparation program. The edTPA can be submitted through the Pearson ePortfolio System or through an Integrated edTPA Platform Provider System. More information can be found on the Pearson edTPA site.

edTPA choice, timing, and student teaching placements

  • Which edTPA should candidates complete? What if a candidate is certifying in more than one area?

Candidates completing multiple certifications will only need to complete an edTPA in one area. The educator preparation program will select the edTPA based on the candidate’s student teaching placement (class, level, and subject matter) and the list of allowable handbooks provided by DPI.

  • What should the educator preparation program consider when making a student teaching placement?

Candidates must have the ability to complete the edTPA. It is therefore essential that the placement give the candidate the opportunity to satisfy the requirements in the relevant edTPA handbook. The candidate must be able to: take sole responsibility for planning, instruction, and assessment of a particular class during the edTPA learning segment; make video recordings as needed; and complete the edTPA within an acceptable timeframe.

  • What is a co-teaching model of student teaching, and how can it be used for the edTPA?

Many educator preparation programs are incorporating a co-teaching model of student teaching, where the cooperating teacher and student teacher plan collaboratively and share teaching responsibilities. Co-teaching can take a variety of forms: one teaching while the other observes or assists students; one teaching while the other works with a small group needing extra support or challenge; both teaching as a team or in parallel at different stations; both taking turns with the teaching of particular classes, units, lessons, or activities; and so on. Co-teaching provides extensive modeling and feedback for the student teacher while boosting student learning and sustaining a high quality of instruction in the cooperating teacher’s classes. Student teachers are still responsible for writing their own plans for instruction and may often teach on their own while the cooperating teacher attends to other duties. Student teachers will also need to take responsibility for planning, instructing, and assessing the class during the edTPA learning segment. More information about co-teaching can be found on the St. Cloud State University website.

  • When should candidates complete the edTPA?

It is unlikely that all candidates in a program can complete the edTPA at the same time because the constraints of placements (length, classes, units, etc.) vary and because candidates may be ready at different times. Candidates should know their classes well and be confident in their teaching ability before completing the edTPA, but they should also submit the edTPA early enough to allow for remediation as needed. It takes 3-4 weeks to receive scores after submission; check the Pearson edTPA site for submission deadlines and score report dates, which can be used to set program deadlines. For an 18-week student teaching placement, the optimum time to complete the edTPA appears to be around weeks 8-12; for a 9-week placement, it may be around weeks 6-8 (which could require remediation/resubmission during a subsequent placement).

  • What about split placements?

Split placements provide greater pressure on candidates to advance quickly toward the edTPA. Some educator preparation programs relieve this pressure by using 18-week placements and having candidates gain experience at other levels in pre-student teaching practicums. Some programs have considered using a 12-week placement to complete the edTPA followed by a 6-week placement at another level. Where two 9-week placements are used, programs should consider candidate readiness, the fit of placement to edTPA handbook, and the submission deadlines and score report dates on the Pearson edTPA website to determine the optimum time to complete the edTPA.

Completing the edTPA

  • Which class and topic should candidates choose for their edTPA learning segment?

Every candidate should choose a class and topic whose content aligns with the “central focus” and subject-specific rubrics in their edTPA handbook. The candidate should also try to pick a class with a variety of learners to help find focus students for the edTPA. The cooperating teacher can help the candidate make the most appropriate choices. Cooperating teachers can be provided with edTPA handbooks and other relevant materials to assist them in supporting candidates.

  • Which class and topic should I choose for my edTPA learning segment?

You should choose one specific group of students and learning segment whose content aligns with the "central focus" and rubrics in your edTPA handbook. You should also try to pick a class with a variety of learners to help find focus students for the edTPA. The educator preparation program and cooperating teacher can help you make the most appropriate choices.

  • What is academic language, and what role does it play in the edTPA?

Academic language includes the words and phrases (vocabulary), sentence structures (syntax), and argument, presentation, and paper structures (discourse) that PK-12 students need to expand learning and perform successfully. Candidates are asked to explain the academic language of the lessons being taught during the edTPA learning segment, the ways they will ensure their students have adequate access and practice with the academic language, and how they know their students understood that academic language. Candidates need to know that academic language is more than just vocabulary terms and definitions. Candidates might include terms and definitions within their instruction, but must go beyond providing those to having their students complete work and activities to demonstrate that they can use those appropriately. In addition, there might be terms and context embedded in lessons that students in a class are “assumed to know and understand.” For example, if second graders are asked to complete a timed multiplication test, the candidate needs to ensure that all of the students understand the term “multiply,” and the term “timed” in the context of the expectation. For some students this language will be familiar, while for others (especially English language learners) it may not be. In the edTPA, candidates must show how their planning, instruction, and assessment support the development of academic language related to a particular objective and task in their learning segment. Additional information about academic language can be found in the edTPA handbooks and through the SCALE video, Academic Language video with Nicole Marino.

  • What should candidates record for their edTPA learning segment?

Candidates should record the complete learning segment so they are able to select the required number of unedited videoclips that demonstrate the evidence called for in the rubrics. It is helpful to have one video focus more on the teacher delivering instruction while another focuses more on students engaging in learning activities with teacher guidance and feedback. Focus students should be seated where they will be visible during recording. For instruction, the camera should be zoomed in just enough to make visual aids legible while keeping some students in the frame; for student work, the camera should zoom in enough to pick up video and audio of the students in focus.

  • How should candidates prepare to video record their classes?

Candidate should follow the procedures of the educator preparation program to secure permission to video record during the student teaching placement. Classroom videos may be viewed only by school district personnel, education faculty, and official scorers; under no circumstances may they be shared or posted online, and candidates who violate this restriction risk losing their teaching license. Once permissions are secured, candidates should practice videorecording before the edTPA to learn how to capture clear video and audio in a classroom setting and to get students acclimated to having a videocamera in the room.

  • How does this affect seminar time?

Seminar time, requirements, and structure are often program dependent; it is best to check with your campus edTPA Coordinator for information about how the edTPA may impact your seminar time with your teacher candidates.

Supporting Candidates

  • How can the university supervisor support candidates?

It is recommended that the university supervisor NOT observe the teacher candidate during the week in which they are completing their edTPA instruction. The type of feedback and support that can be given to the teacher candidate regarding their work for the edTPA is very specific (Guidelines for Supporting Candidates) and is inconsistent with the type of feedback that is encouraged and expected by university supervisors.

As a summative assessment, the edTPA should represent a teacher candidate’s own, authentic work. As such, university supervisors should not provide feedback on artifacts (e.g., lesson plans, instructional materials, video clips, or student work samples) to teacher candidates. Lesson plans prior to the completion of the edTPA can be evaluated and feedback can be provided to teacher candidates and used as formative experience, shaping their work on the edTPA, but feedback on the artifacts that will be submitted as part of the edTPA is not permitted. During observations of teacher candidates, it is important to continue to providing the formative and constructive feedback that is expected of a university supervisor. University supervisors play a key role in determining a candidate’s readiness to teach and as such should be discussing areas of strength and points of concern they have for their teacher candidates.

  • What does the University Supervisor need to communicate to the cooperating teacher?
    • What the edTPA is and why candidates need to complete it - this important conversation should occur during the initial triad meeting (early in semester/quarter).
    • That the edTPA will require candidates to plan, instruct, and assess students on their own.
    • Candidates needs to begin planning for the edTPA early - choosing the week for the segment and lessons. This will mean that candidates will need to gather evidence for student performance before planning the segment lessons
    • Candidates’ knowledge and understanding of students’ learning needs should be prompted and facilitated in a timely manner.

Cooperating teachers should be provided a copy of Frequently Asked Questions about Student Teaching and the edTPA for Cooperating Teachers. University Supervisors should review this information with them and respond to questions that arise.

  • How can the cooperating teacher support candidates?

In the weeks leading up to the edTPA, the cooperating teacher can help the candidate get to know the students, build confidence as a teacher, and choose a class, topic, and focus students for the edTPA learning segment. During the learning segment (3-5 class days), the cooperating teacher should give the candidate full responsibility for planning, teaching, and assessing the class. In the week or two after the learning segment, the cooperating teacher should be aware that the candidate will need time to select video clips, write commentaries, and submit the edTPA for scoring, in addition to student teaching duties. The timeline for candidate submission of the edTPA for scoring will be guided by the educator preparation program and must be adhered to in order to assure completion of all certification requirements.

  • How can the educator preparation program support candidates?

Educator preparation programs should select the appropriate edTPA handbook from the DPI-approved list to match the candidate’s certification area and student teaching placement. At the start of the semester, the program should provide the candidate with the edTPA handbook and the “Making Good Choices” guide available on the Pearson edTPA site. Programs can help candidates succeed by: teaching and using edTPA terminology; practicing tasks with formative feedback in courses leading up to student teaching; providing student teachers with handbooks and a timeline for completing the edTPA; helping candidates become familiar with the edTPA requirements and rubrics; discussing edTPA tasks and samples in a student teaching seminar; encouraging peer feedback on clarity and completeness of responses; and providing logistical and technical support for videorecording and uploading. Programs may not tell candidates which videos to use or what to write, and under no circumstances may faculty edit or upload candidates’ materials. Examples of appropriate and inappropriate support are spelled out in the document “Guidelines for Supporting Candidates Completing edTPA” available on the Pearson edTPA site.

  • How can the educator preparation program manage the video requirements of the edTPA?

Programs should work with school districts to establish standard procedures for securing permissions at the start of the school year. Under no circumstances may videos be shared or posted online. Candidates should sign a memo of understanding regarding appropriate use of video and the possible consequences for misuse, which include potential loss of the teaching license. Programs should check the Pearson edTPA site and the AACTE edTPA site for tips and sample release forms.

  • What resources are available to me as a supervisor?

Many resources are available to stakeholders (e.g., teacher candidates, university supervisors, and cooperating teachers). Below are a number of accessible resources that provide different types of information. Your edTPA coordinator may have additional resources available to you and your stakeholders. The Pearson edTPA site is the official source of information for candidates and faculty. The AACTE edTPA site provides additional resources and an online community for edTPA Coordinators. To learn more about the edTPA, SCALE has developed the Getting Ready for edTPA video series and several resources on Academic Language. These resources are ideal for teacher candidates, university supervisors, and cooperating teachers. This video series can be accessed at the AACTE edTPA site. FAQs resource sheets, similar to this document, are available for teacher candidates and the cooperating teachers. Contact your campus edTPA coordinator for access to these and other documents.

Scores and retakes

  • What is the passing score for the edTPA?

Scores range from 15 to 75 (15 rubrics with ratings 1-5). The 2013 field test report recommends that states set a passing score in the range 39-42. Wisconsin will set a passing score in June 2016 based on data from 2015-16, when all candidates will complete the edTPA for program review. All candidates who complete an educator preparation program after August 31, 2016, will have to achieve the state passing score on the edTPA to be eligible for initial licensure. Until that time, educator preparation programs will need to determine whether each candidate’s performance on the edTPA provides sufficient evidence of meeting program standards for certification for licensure.

  • What if a candidate doesn’t pass the edTPA?

Scores range from 15 to 75 (15 rubrics with ratings 1-5). Wisconsin will set a passing score in June 2016 based on data from 2015-16. If you complete an educator preparation program after August 31, 2016, you will have to achieve the state passing score on the edTPA to be eligible for initial licensure.

Using edTPA data

  • How should educator preparation programs use the edTPA for program improvement?

Pearson will provide each program with a summary report of candidate scores. Programs should analyze this data for patterns and follow up with their own local evaluation (by education faculty and preferred cooperating teachers, where possible) of selected edTPA tasks or components to gain deeper insight into student preparation and performance. Program faculty should discuss these findings and use them as a basis for program improvements, documenting this work for DPI review as part of the continuous review process. In particular, programs will want to engage in continuous curriculum mapping to ensure that candidates are well prepared for the edTPA and that the edTPA results are used to strengthen the educator preparation program.

More information

  • Where can I find more information?

The Pearson edTPA site is the official source of information for candidates and faculty.

The AACTE edTPA site provides numerous resources and an online community for edTPA Coordinators. Contact your institution’s edTPA Coordinator for more information.

Information relating to edTPA requirements specific to Wisconsin can be found at the WI DPI website.