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edTPA: A Performance-Based Approach to Assessing New Teachers

States and teacher preparation programs are looking for new ways to improve and evaluate teacher effectiveness. Increasingly, they are focusing on authentic assessments of how teacher candidates analyze student learning and adjust when necessary. edTPA™ represents this historic shift as the first nationally available, content-specific, research- and standards-based assessment that can serve as a common and independent measure of candidate performance and teacher quality.

edTPA, which is available in 27 initial licensure areas, is a summative capstone assessment to evaluate a teacher’s preparation. It is also a source of evidence for program review, teacher licensure and/or state and national accreditation. edTPA has been available nationally since the beginning of the 2012 academic year. In June 2012, edTPA achieved an exciting milestone as more than 7,000 teacher candidates in 22 states participated in a national field test.

The edTPA process identifies and collects subject-specific evidence of effective teaching from a learning segment of 3-5 lessons from a unit of instruction for one class of students. Teacher candidates submit authentic artifacts from a clinical field experience. Candidates also submit a video and commentaries that provide a rationale to support their instructional practices based on the learning strengths and needs of students.

Candidates’ evidence is evaluated and scored within five dimensions of teaching: planning instruction and assessment; instructing and engaging students in learning; assessing student learning; analysis of teaching effectiveness; and academic language development.

edTPA was collaboratively designed by teacher educators and teachers under the coordination of Stanford University and with support from the American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education. As an operational partner, Pearson will deliver assessment materials, online technology, program resources and other support required for multistate use of the edTPA program.

The assessment draws from experience gained over a 25-year history developing performance-based assessments of teaching, including the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT).

For more information, visit the national edTPA website.