Professional Development
April 29, 2014

Agreement on edTPA provides necessary safety net

Source: NYSUT Media Relations

ALBANY, N.Y. April 29, 2014 - New York State United Teachers today said an agreement delaying full implementation of the new edTPA teacher certification requirement until June 30, 2015, provides an important safety net for aspiring teachers.

In addition, the State Education Department will set up a task force of teacher education experts, including faculty from the State University of New York and City University of New York, to refine the edTPA assessment going forward.

Under the agreement, teacher-candidates who do not pass the edTPA, which NYSUT and its higher education affiliates contended had been rushed into place with no trial, will be allowed to use a passing score on the Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written (ATS-W) to demonstrate readiness to enter the classroom as a teacher.

"This agreement is good news for students in teacher education programs who aspire to work in New York classrooms," said NYSUT President Karen E. Magee. "It provides a safety net that allows student-teachers to use the traditional ATS-W test to earn the initial certificate they need to enter the classroom and begin their teaching careers."

Magee credited collaboration - reached with NYSUT working together with students, parents and lawmakers and its partners at United University Professions (SUNY) and the Professional Staff Congress (CUNY) - for the successful agreement.

NYSUT Vice President Catalina Fortino noted the union supports a professionally based certification process. However, she said New York's rush to make edTPA a certification requirement, without adequate notice or preparation time for teacher education programs, had put student-teachers slated to graduate this spring at risk for unwarranted and undeserved failure.

"This agreement protects students in teacher education programs who followed the rules, successfully completed their teacher preparation programs and feared having their future plans derailed," Fortino said. "By allowing these students to use a passing score on the ATS-W exam if they don't meet the edTPA requirement, we've protected students while still ensuring only the most qualified candidates enter New York classrooms as teachers. And, the creation of a new task force allows the State Education Department to work constructively and in collaboration with experts from teacher education programs at UUP, PSC and other institutions to refine and improve the edTPA assessment in the future."

New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.

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