The State Board for Educator Certification will meet next Friday, Sept. 29, in Austin. Texas AFT is carefully watching three items on the board’s agenda:
Educator Preparation Programs
For the last several months, the SBEC, along with the Texas Education Agency, have been engaged in a full reorganization of Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 228, which covers the curriculum requirements for educator preparation programs (EPPs).
Texas AFT is a founding member of the Texas Coalition for Educator Preparation (TCEP), which was invited to submit recommendations to strengthen the intern certificate and intern experience. Far too many new teachers enter our classrooms with insufficient preparation. The consensus recommendations put forward by TCEP (which largely look to be incorporated) would take measurable steps to improve the quality of our teacher candidates. At the previous SBEC meeting in July, stakeholders had concerns over the incorporation of elements from the Effective Preparation Framework and also the proposed residency certificate. This is a discussion item for this month’s meeting, and we should expect to see it again at the December SBEC meeting.
Effective Preparation Framework
The next item we are focusing on is the Effective Preparation Framework itself. While it was purported to be an “aspirational” document during its development, there do seem to be a few too many of its elements being incorporated into rule. We have several pathways to certification in Texas (university, alternative certification, etc.), and these pathways have very different structures. It’s critical that while we hold these various pathways to high standards, we should not be holding them to the same standards. We are hopeful that the SBEC will make some adjustments to the framework to make sense for our various certification pathways.
The third item … isn’t on the agenda! Since June 2022, when Texas AFT and other organizations helped to defeat the implementation of edTPA, the SBEC has been discussing various options for the educator certification exam. The current exam — Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) — needs an upgrade, but edTPA is not an acceptable solution. The board has been discussing the possibility of a Texas performance assessment, more aligned to our state standards, but it has yet to move forward in the process to begin exam development. We aren’t sure what this means, but we will provide any new information in our Hotline recap of the meeting.