What is edTPA?
edTPA is a performance-based, subject-specific assessment and support system used by more than 600 teacher preparation programs in some 40 states to emphasize, measure and support the skills and knowledge that all teachers need from Day 1 in the classroom.
Developed by educators for educators, edTPA is the first such standards-based assessment to become nationally available in the United States. It builds on decades of work on assessments of teacher performance and research regarding teaching skills that improve student learning.
It is transforming the preparation and certification of new teachers by complementing subject-area assessments with a rigorous process that requires teacher candidates to demonstrate that they have the classroom skills necessary to ensure students are learning.
What is edTPA designed to achieve?
edTPA is a performance assessment to help determine if new teachers are ready to enter the profession with the skills necessary to help all of their students learn. It is intended to be used for teacher licensure and to support state and national program accreditation, and to support program renewal.
edTPA doesn’t ask candidates to do anything that most aren’t already doing in their preparation programs, but it does ask for greater support for and demonstration of these skills that research and educators find are essential to student learning.
By focusing on the act of teaching, edTPA complements existing entry-level assessments that focus on basic skills or subject-matter knowledge. This is the first time teacher preparation programs have access to a multiple-measure assessment system aligned to state and national standards to guide the development of curriculum and practice around the common goal of making sure new teachers are able to teach each student effectively and improve student achievement.
edTPA is comparable to entry-level licensing exams that demand applications of skills in other professions, such as the medical licensing exams, the architecture exam, or the bar exam in law. As a nationally available teacher performance assessment, edTPA:
- Helps candidates develop the confidence and skills they need to be successful in urban, suburban, and rural schools.
- Provides a uniform and evidence-based process that can be used across states to confirm that aspiring teachers demonstrate their readiness for the classroom.
- Measures candidates’ ability to differentiate instruction for diverse learners, including English language learners and special education students.
- Provides meaningful and consistent data that can be used to improve teacher education programs and renew program curriculum.
- Creates a body of evidence of teacher performance.
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