SBEC Recap: Educator Preparation and Assessment Changes

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) met in Austin last week on Dec. 7-8. During this meeting, the board gave preliminary approval to two significant proposals affecting educator training and certification.   

Over the last several months, Texas Education Agency (TEA) staff have been engaged in a major update and reorganization of these rules. Included in this overhaul are:  

  • increased requirements for the intern certificate 
  • new metrics for the continuing review process for preparation programs 
  • the inclusion of the new residency pathway (also called an “enhanced certificate”) 

Texas AFT, as part of the Texas Coalition for Educator Certification (TCEP), delivered testimony that once again hammered home the need to improve all educator preparation routes, especially the intern certificate, and provide clarity in some of the revised requirements for preparation programs going forward. While AFT supports the idea of a teacher residency as a pathway into the profession, there are some logistical and financial considerations that the SBEC needs to reconcile with stakeholders for this to be an effective preparation route in the long term.  

Against the consistent feedback of stakeholders, the SBEC has decided to move forward with the creation of a Texas-specific teacher performance assessment (TPA) as a high-stakes pedagogy certification test. The TEA is considering a request for proposal (RFP) process for developing this new certification exam, so discussion on the specifics of this potential exam was limited. We anticipate more detailed discussion at the February meeting and more extensive rulemaking once the RFP has been awarded.