SBOE instructs SBEC to do a better job pursuing a… | TCTA
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SBOE instructs SBEC to do a better job pursuing a Texas-specific pedagogy test

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After SBEC voted at its February 2024 meeting to send a rule to the State Board of Education operationalizing the controversial edTPA exam as an option alongside the current Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam, SBOE responded in a close vote at its April 2024 meeting to let the rule go forward but with pointed instructions to SBEC that there must be a Texas-specific performance assessment available as an option to edTPA.

TCTA was represented by the Texas Coalition for Educator Preparation (TCEP), of which TCTA is a founding member, in providing testimony to the SBOE Committee on School Initiatives during its April meeting, asking the SBOE to veto the rule given that it moves the controversial edTPA performance assessment from a pilot exam to a full-scale pedagogy certification exam without any known pilot data addressing the validity and reliability of the test. Additionally, edTPA does not include an assessment of educator ethics, unlike the current PPR exam.

TCEP also pointed out that, despite the SBOE’s request that TEA/SBEC pursue development of a Texas-specific pedagogy assessment when it vetoed the SBEC rule operationalizing edTPA in June 2022, TEA/SBEC had no progress to show. Although TEA issued a request for proposal (RFP) for a Texas-specific pedagogy certification exam in September 2023, which remained open for several months, TEA announced at the February 2024 SBEC meeting that no applicants had been deemed qualified to meet the RFP criteria, and so the RFP had not been awarded.

In response to the testimony, SBOE members expressed concern about the lack of data from the edTPA pilot that would support moving it to a full-scale certification exam, as well as skepticism about whether TEA’s RFP was constructed in such a way that would allow any applicants to qualify. However, a motion to veto the rule in committee failed. Another motion to let the rule move forward passed, but board members expressed frustration that, because of the way the rule was presented to them by SBEC as a comprehensive package that included other parts they supported and that the only authority they had in the committee was to let the rule package move forward or veto it, they felt somewhat obligated to allow it to go forward.

When the rule package was heard by the entire SBOE the next day, several board members recounted their reasons for vetoing the SBEC edTPA rule the first time in June 2022, emphasizing that they made clear to SBEC at the time that they objected to edTPA being the only option and that the only acceptable outcome was to ensure that a Texas-specific performance assessment remained available as well. The chair of the SBOE Committee on School Initiatives, Will Hickman, flatly stated that if SBEC came back to them with a proposal providing for edTPA as the only option, he would vote to veto that rule. Other board members gave a strong message that going forward, pursuit of a Texas-specific performance assessment needed to be a fair and good-faith process.

SBEC Chair Jean Streepey assured SBOE members that SBEC is working on a Texas-aligned performance assessment and that PPR would remain as an option until there is a second choice available for edTPA. Additionally, TEA staff asserted that work to develop a Texas-specific performance assessment is ongoing and that TEA staff will bring options for next steps for developing a Texas-specific performance assessment at the upcoming April SBEC meeting.

TCTA will closely monitor the situation and will provide members with updates as they occur.

Other action

In other action during its April meeting, SBOE members approved rules that enable improved supports for students with dyslexia. The updates align with House Bill 3928 to ensure clearer guidelines for dyslexia evaluation, identification and instruction.

The board also greenlit a plan to ensure students are equipped with the skills they need to succeed in the Texas workforce. The Texas Education Agency and Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board worked to update the Texas State Plan for Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V.) SBOE approved the changes, which include incorporating the recently refreshed Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs of study, defining local levels of performance, and aligning to relevant strategic updates in Texas such as the Tri-Agency Workforce Initiative goals and strategies.

With the board’s approval, TEA will now submit the updated plan to the U.S. Department of Education. The plan is set to go into effect for school years 2024-25 through 2027-28.

Read more here.