New York State Certification, Professional Development
April 16, 2013

Fact Sheet 13-03: New Certification Exams

Source: NYSUT Research and Educational Services

As part of its Race to the Top application, the State Education Department committed to redesigning the examinations required for initial teacher and school building leader certification in NYS. This fact sheet provides a summary of changes impacting individuals applying for an initial teaching certificate on or after May 1, 2014. The table below indicates what examinations will be required for individuals pursuing their first teaching certificate. Visit for required examinations by teacher certification title and for school building leader certification.

Initial Teacher Certification Examinations

Current Exams

New Exams, for Certificate Applications on or after 5/1/14

Assessment of Teaching Skills – Written

Teacher Performance Assessment – edTPA

Educating All Students

Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST)

Academic Literacy Skills Test

Content Specialty Test

Revised Content Specialty Tests (as they become available)

New Examinations:

Performance Assessment, edTPA: The Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) is designed to be a portfolio-based assessment for pre-service teacher candidates, i.e., those individuals seeking their first New York State teaching certificate. Each individual taking the edTPA will be required to complete a 20-minute classroom video teaching K-12 students, which addresses targeted competency areas such as assessment, instruction, and academic language.

edTPA Targeted Competencies


  • Planning for content understandings
  • Using knowledge of students to inform teaching
  • Planning assessments to monitor and support student learning


  • Engaging students in learning
  • Deepening student learning during instruction


  • Analyzing student work
  • Using feedback to guide learning
  • Using assessment to inform instruction


  • Analyzing Teaching Effectiveness


  • Identifying Language Demands
  • Supporting students' academic language development
  • Evidence of language use

Educating All Students, EAS: This examination is designed to assess if an individual possesses the professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills to teach all students (including students with disabilities and English language learners) effectively in New York state public schools. The EAS will test knowledge of how to use research-validated instructional strategies, knowledge of legal, ethical, and professional responsibilities in educational settings, and the importance of parent/guardian involvement in a child's education.

Academic Literacy Skills Test, ALST: This examination is designed to assess if an individual possesses the academic literacy skills necessary to teach effectively in New York state public schools. The ALST will test knowledge of proficient, close, and critical reading of informational and literary texts; the ability to use evidence from text and to demonstrate cogent reasoning to analyze and synthesize ideas, and the ability to produce complex and nuanced writing for a given task, purpose, and audience.

Content Specialty Tests: The revised Content Specialty Tests will focus on knowledge of the NYS Learning Standards associated with the candidate's subject specific teaching certification area, as well as the P-12 Common Core Learning Standards in English Language Arts and Literacy and Mathematics.

Impact on Currently Certified Members:

Currently certified teachers who apply for additional certificates on or after May 1, 2014 will be required to pass the revised Content Specialty Test (if available) associated with the teacher/leadership certificate sought.

Please visit m/NY_annProgramUpdate.asp to learn/determine when specific subject area CSTs are scheduled to be implemented.

Considerations for your Local

NYS colleges and universities offering teacher preparation programs will continue to need placements for their students to fulfill field experience and student teaching requirements.

Local leaders and school administrators may wish to consider how the placement of candidates from teacher preparation programs could be used to positively support a teacher's performance.

SED recognizes that evidence of effective coaching or mentoring of student teachers can be used to assess a teacher's performance under NYS Teaching Standards, Standard VI: Professional Responsibilities and Collaboration. (See Guidance on New York State's Annual Professional Performance Review for Teachers and Principals to Implement Education Law 3012-c and the Commissioner's Regulations – H11).

The video component of the edTPA examination comes with legal considerations, such as permission to videotape K-12 students. While SED has provided some guidance on this issue (see m/NY_annTPA.asp), locals may consider the ramifications if permission is not granted to videotape students. Where will those students without permission go during taping and what will they do? Will they require an additional adult to be present in the classroom?

Additional Resources

New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE)

New York State Education Department Certification Website

New York State Education Department Office of Higher Education - New Certification Exams