The State Board of Education met on June 14 to take up a number of agenda items. The board discussed the edTPA teacher certification program, e-rate and other instructional materials, the Permanent School Fund, and new requirements for computer science courses and economics courses. An archive of this hearing can be found here.
This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight of the discussions on the various topics taken up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the discussions but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer and the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.
Item 1: Public Hearing review of 19 TAC Chapter 230
Jean Streepey, State Board for Educator Certification
- Teacher preparation landscape is inconsistent; do not currently test on whether they can write and deliver a lesion plan
- Board approved a pilot of edTPA in 2019; edTPA more closely mirrors the skills teachers need in the classroom
- Currently teachers take the PPR and 90% pass; burden to teach basic skills is landing on experienced teachers and the district
- Voted previously 8 to 1 to move forward with edTPA; asks for no action
Dr. Scott Muri, State Board for Educator Certification and Superintendent of Ector County ISD
- ECISD is one of three districts that operate an educator preparation program
- Dallas ISD and Houston ISD do as well
- Use edTPA and have been a part of the pilot program; have seen great results
- Also supports the Odessa Pathway to Teaching
- Is a portfolio based program to produce quality teachers in the classroom
- A third of the education preparation programs in Texas use edTPA; have been successful
- Will be a three-year rollout; first edTPA will be an option and in 24-25 will have a score of those teachers have completed edTPA
- Provides two personal anecdotes of their experience with teacher preparation programs
Q&A Panel 1
- Hardy – Used edTPA as a formative basis? Is part of the problem, should be a formative product
- Muri – No teachers take it as their certification tool; design program around it
- Hardy – Why edTPA and not something we create around Texas’ standards; do not like it was created around common core
- Streepey – Could not get it done internally and was not anything else on the horizon
- Perez – How are we doing this curriculum with multiple assessments and how did it go to a singular exam?
- Muri – Current system is performance based and edTPA model makes you demonstrate abilities
- Muri – Have polled teachers and prefer the edTPA model
- Young – To what is edTPA aligned to ensure quality teachers? What data is being collected?
- Muri – Data has been collected since beginning of pilot program; EPPs develop standards that edTPA uses
- Streepey – These programs need a clear target for teacher skills
- Pérez-Díaz – Believe we need to hold EPP programs more accountable? Program is equitable? Considered requiring as a part of the training process?
- Muri – Are reports from other states issues with equity, but not in Texas; will get the data to you on the student population involved in the pilot
- Streepey – TEA will discuss cost tomorrow; Texas pass rates between demographic groups were near parity
- We have a five-year lag in performance assessments and accountability
- Cortez – Those asking to veto this item include: AATP, Texas AFT, Raise Your Hand, the Charles Butt Foundation, TSPA, Texas School Counselors Association, and more
- Cortez – People cannot afford this
- Pérez-Díaz – How does SBEC handle accountability? How does edTPA affect accountability?
- Streepey – EPPs are on a schedule that is reviewed every five years
- Staff – There are two types of accountability metrics; held accountable for their candidate’s performance and their preparation program regularly and then a comprehensive review is conducted every five years
- Staff – SBEC would add new practices to accommodate edTPA; reviews based on completion rather than quality
- Maynard – Have concerns from teacher educators who is going to be grading these
- Bell-Metereau – Effort to push edTPA could be to monetary benefit to those who make the test
- Robinson – Crediting edTPA to closing the teacher vacancy gap?
- Muri – No, edTPA is a part of the program and makes the teachers who go through it more desirable
- Robinson – How did actual scores compare to the national data? What is different with Texas’ implementation?
- Muri – Will provide that to you; have a six-year pathway rather than all at once
- Maynard – Would this create a monopoly in this marketplace? Can a better program ever enter the marketplace after?
- Streepey – We tried to have a group make a Texas exam, but they just wanted to redo the PPR exam
- There is a related agenda item the Board will talk about at the next meeting
- Maynard – I will not support this if it creates a monopoly
- Streepey – At this time, this is the best option we have
- Young – How may a DOI circumvent the certification process?
- Streepey – It’s separate from SBEC
- Young – Is the T-test language the same as edTPA?
- Streepey – Yes, that speaks to the inconsistencies in our system
- Hardy – Is it under SBEC jurisdiction to make the decision to allow alternative certifications?
- Streepey – It doesn’t negate the conversation that we should move everyone in the same direction
- Chair Ellis – Is there a scenario where edTPA could not be implemented in Chapter 228?
- Streepey – If it is in 230 ensures everyone is on the same page cost-wise
- Streepey – If its in 228 do not have a certification exam to give all to students before they are certified teachers
- Chair Ellis – But if they did it as a part of the curriculum, then they have done it right?
- Streepey – Might have to ask staff
- Jessica McLoughlin, TEA Staff – SBEC does not have the authority to establish a specific passing standard for programs for recommendation of a certificate
- Pérez – Have an 1882 partnership in the state? District require charter teachers go to through this?
- Muri – Yes and no, do not require any of our teachers to do this; is an option
Kevin Malonson, Executive Director Teach Plus Texas
- Support replacing the PPR exam with edTPA to increase student improvement and the quality of our teaching system
- Convinced by the feedback from teachers and their positivity while talking about the edTPA system
Kate Hoffman, Commit Partnership
- Fully support edTPA as a teacher certification program
- Previous teacher; portfolio-type exams are important to prepare quality teachers
- Need now more than ever; during the pandemic the State of Texas has lost a decade worth of educational improvements mostly in just teacher quality
Stacy Edmonson, Sam Houston University
- Will hear concerns today about edTPA and its disparate impacts, high cost, and possible negative impacts of the teacher pipeline
- Approving edTPA today ruins the models already in place; need to send this decision back in order to create a more appropriate option for Texas
Dr. Arthur Polly, Texas Plus Texas
- Fully support the implementation of edTPA
- Teacher led research that shows massive gains in the certification exam and preparing teacher candidates for data instruction
- 25k teachers each year enter Texas classrooms unprepared to teach a full classroom
Q&A Panel 2
- Ellis – Why would there not be a set cut score that they would take based of this readiness evaluation?
- Edmondson – What we recommend that assessment looks like is a wide variety of requirements you should meet as opposed to a standardized testing process
- Perez – What is Teach Plus role with these teachers in edTPA?
- Polly – We support our teachers and figure out what the best for them is t0o become the best teacher, I have been through edTPA and believe it prepared me much better
Leslie Anaya, Self
- Teacher with 10 years of classroom experience
- edTPA assessment is directly aligned to Texas standards; is essential to prepare quality teachers
Ryan Franklin, Educate Texas
- In favor of edTPA and to take no action on the rule proposal
- Know the difference between what a curricular requirement is and what is a summative exam that conducts a thorough base of the teacher’s knowledge
Robert De Hoss, Dallas College School of Education
- Support the adoption of edTPA
- Dallas College School of Education is one of the most diverse schools of education in the state with 600 students
- Rigorous proof qualifications in teacher candidates is something that will increase and change the scope of teaching and learning forever
Lisa Brown, Self
- Works in an alternative certification program that uses edTPA; supports edTPA
- Cannot afford to lose any teachers who are passionate about teaching but inadequately prepared to teach
Q&A Panel 3
- Perez – Are you asking we require edTPA assessment as part of the curriculum, or we make it the licensure exam?
- Anaya – Asking for both; they should be formally assessed while they are going through the requirements
- Need to ensure we have uniform demonstration of skills
- Perez – Subjective nature of portfolio and video assessments?
- Anaya – edTPA is graded on a rubric that is aligned with our standards
- Hardy – They are using this as a formative assessment and then a licensure assessment?
- Brown – Yes, they complete a portfolio in the field with a teacher in a classroom and then complete that portfolio through an assessment afterwards
- Young – Reads a letter Brown sent to the SBOE; alternative certified teachers are teaching their first year without preparation?
- Brown – No complete 450 hours of preparation before teaching with some exceptions
Sandra Nicks, Austin Community College
- Supports edTPA; has seen how the program has benefitted the candidates and the students
Addison Old, Teach Plus
- Teacher at Austin ISD; was certified under the edTPA program in Tennessee
- edTPA’s rigor helped with readiness and preparedness
Susan Williams, Mesquite ISD/ Texas A&M Commerce
- Supports edTPA; self reports show that teachers feel better prepared after going through the program
Kathy Dickson, Texas A&M Commerce
- Student data analysis shows edTPA is a better option through results and achievements
Susan Reilly, Stephen F. Austin University
- edTPA results in better prepared teachers; is a difference between having knowledge of the teaching qualities and being able to implement these qualities
Elizabeth Ward, Texas Wesleyan University
- From 2014-2019, the scores of African American candidates were statistically significantly lower
- As long as candidates submitted a score from their portfolio with fewer than two condition codes, they passed the PPR
- Many other states went through an extensive process to evaluate edTPA and implemented it as a licensor requirement
- After many years have all found it has not worked as intended and Texas is the only state moving towards it
Tonya Williams Clark, Educate Texas
- In 2020, although 96% of those candidates passed the PPR exam on the second attempt, only 38% of those third graders met the reading standards
- edTPA would provide a stronger talent pool from which principles and mentor teachers could coach and develop teachers
Gina Anderson, Texas Woman’s University
- edTPA was removed as a licensor requirement in Georgia, Wisconsin, Washington, Delaware, and New York
- edTPA decreases teacher pipelines and teacher diversity
- The PPR exam is extremely rigorous and makes candidates know exact material and exactly what they should know
Q&A Panel 5
- Hardy – What is the reason for the variation in production?
- Ward – Implicit bias, cost of test; better resourced programs hire an edTPA coordinator but Texas probably doesn’t have those resources
- Hardy – Since we are talking about this at a national level, is there anything that applies to just Texas?
- Ward – No, the 2019 data may include Texas data but unsure
- Hardy – How many people score the score portfolios?
- Ward – Upon submittal, there is one scorer that goes through 15 rubrics; recommends that two people should be scoring and comparing
- Young – What added value has Stephen F. Austin University seen from collecting this data? Is it helping or streamlining your program?
- Reilly – Bringing faculty together and deciding what we need to do for our candidates based on their needs
- It has helped streamline; now there is a common language
- Young – How does SFA collect data assessing the successes of your program, specifically T test?
- Reilly – We request data access from alumni to assess
- Young – Does anyone else do that?
- Reilly – Not to my knowledge
- Hickman – Requests clarification on SFA data
- Reilly – This data was received from the testing administrator
- Hickman – What is the highest cut score you can get? What should it be?
- Ward – The recommended cut score by Pearson is 42; no state uses this as a licensing requirement
- Hickman – Are African Americans not preforming as well on cut scores?
- Ward – Yes, according to the data
- Bell-Metereau – Is this research model flawed or biased in any way that contradicts your other findings?
- Ward – Pilot data is just that; it’s very different from when there is licensure
Rebecca Hampton, Inspired Texas
- Analyzed the effect of edTPA on Inspired Texas schools
- edTPA includes important teaching skills and creates shared language
April Sanders, Texas A&M Commerce
- Participated in edTPA pilot program
- Worked with candidates and program implementers to improve edTPA
- edTPA allows students to understand the “why” of their experiences
- edTPA integral to changing teaching profession
Michael Max Pickhan, Self
- Went through edTPA program at Austin Community College
- edTPA teaches vital teaching skills
Al Rodriguez, Elgin Independent School District & Texas Association of School Administrators
- edTPA exasperates teaching staffing shortages
- Licensure exams dissuade applicants
Q&A Panel 6
- Perez – Were there any skills edTPA teaches that you don’t want teachers to turn or that you think should be added?
- Hampton – Some local context pieces, but overall, the skills were extremely universal
- Perez – Has the program accepted your recommendations?
- Hampton – This is our third year participating; allowing us to work more deeply together
Leslie Cooper, Certification Programs
- Evidence supports edTPA adoption
- Students direct recipients of the benefits of edTPA
- edTPA provides extensive preparation
Teresa Hinojosa, ESC 19 Certification Program
- Participated in pilot; challenging to submit portfolios
- edTPA allowed participants to become more reflective in their teaching
- edTPA improved teaching program
- PPR assessment more difficult for English second language students
- edTPA not best assessment, but demonstrates preparation
Mark Wiggins, ATPE
- Vetoing edTPA would not prohibit its usage
- Recommends edTPA at the beginning of teaching programs, not end
- Recommends Texas-specific solution to prioritize teaching standards and retention
Carrie Griffith, Texas State Teachers Association
- edTPA will not change teaching quality
- Need to change the way Texas instructs teachers
- Recommends imbedding edTPA into coursework instead of using it as an exam
Q&A Panel 7
- Perez-Díaz – Is approving edTPA an attempt to hold candidates accountable because we’ve failed to hold EPPs accountable? Would this address that issue?
- Wiggins – Agreed, if there is an enforcement issue how would be changing licensing help?
- Hardy – Would it be possible to still include portfolio assessments without edTPA?
- Wiggins – You could put it into training requirements under Chapter 228; needs to be a programmatic requirement
- Pérez – Why is it that ESCs have never testified until now? Are you for or against this?
- Hinojosa – I was just giving a comment
- Chair Ellis – We will be voting on this on Friday
- Hardy – What would be advantageous to include in a Texas specific version of edTPA?
- Hinojosa – We know edTPA is better than PPR, but there is nothing else yet
- Right now, edTPA is the best assessment for students; later down the line we could implement a Texas-specific plan
- Pérez – How many SBEC standards are there for teacher programs? Do they include common language? What has SBEC been doing?
- Wiggins – If we are talking about enforcement issues, I’m not sure how edTPA would help
Suzanne Nesmith, Baylor University
- Recommends rejection of edTPA; recommends inclusion of enhanced training protocols
- Day one readiness requires training, not an exam
Holly Eaton, Texas Classroom Teachers Association
- Need to prepare teachers prior to entering classroom; edTPA will not accomplish this
- Current requirements have a minimal standard
- edTPA places burden on first-year teachers
Kelsey Kling, Texas AFT
- Surveys of edTPA pilot participants indicate they do not believe edTPA accurately demonstrates abilities
- Requests rejection of edTPA
Adam Bull, Teacher at Plano East High School
- Already have burdensome requirements, don’t need more
- Disproportionately affects people of color and members of lower socioeconomic status
- edTPA will increase teaching shortage
- Teacher residency programs shown to be more effective
Q&A Panel 8
- Hardy – Can the edTPA be used in the meantime while developing a Texas specific plan?
- Kling – If this body cedes control, there is a concern that Texas rules will not be included
- Hardy – Are you familiar with teachers’ ethics not being reflected in edTPA?
- Kling – edTPA is aligned with Texas standards, but does not reflect them exactly
- Maynard – Could you provide a copy of the survey data?
- Kling – Yes
- Maynard – How did you enter the teaching profession?
- Bull – I coached swimming at the high school
- Pérez – Is there anything in edTPA that is not included already in Texas program standards?
- Kling – There is definitely overlap, but not sure about everything
Item 2: Review of the Report on Permanent School Fund Percentage Distribution Rates Under Consideration for Fiscal Years 2024 and 2025
- Setting Distribution rate from Permanent School Fund (PSF) to Available School Fund (ASF), done over three board meetings
- Setting the range of distribution, rate not set until September and November
- Rate last set two years ago at 4.18%; increased dollar amount of distribution by over 50%
Carlos Veintemillas, Permanent School Fund
- Presented distribution presentation
- Tasked to ensure intergenerational equity; adjust for inflation
- Board successful in intergenerational equity in the past
- Shifted from interest-based model to total return model
- Assets managed by State Board of Education and Land Board
- Adoption of Distribution Rate must be passed by state legislature
- Average rate since 2001 inception is 3.7%
- Optimum rate calculated with expected total return, rate of inflation, and population growth
- Calculated 6.23% as expected total return for FY2024 and FY2025
- Recommends distribution rate between 2.58-3.33% for FY2024 and FY2025
- Hickman – Could you explain the ten-year test?
- It’s a way to preserve the value of the fund when the market is down, but there is a catch-up provision
- Hickman – Your inflation rates are lower than the current in the news, why?
- These are projections over the next five to ten years; the Fed will be aggressive and it will be corrected
Keith Stronkowsky, NEPC
- Presents financial analysis presentation for distribution rate recommendations
- Attempts to maintain same market value of distribution each biannual calculation
- Discussion with financial committee Thursday may change recommendations
- Hickman – How will inflation affect these funds?
- There will be an update on Thursday
- Motion to recommend to the State Board of Education a distribution range of 2.5-3.33% passes
Item 3: Proposed New 19 TAC Chapter 126
- Item is on second reading and final adoption
Mary Lough, Self
- Passage of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Technology Applications creates extra screen time for children
- Science proves more screen time and inanimate interactions are unhealthy for child development
- Technology contributes to mental health and behavioral issues
- Reading and math de-emphasized by emphasis on technology
- Recommends the modification or rejection of TEKs
Jackie Besinger, Self
- Government’s goals are a failure; technology makes poor decisions for children
- Technology creates weakness where there once was rigor
- Core concept scores declining due to technology
Holly Plemons, Self
- Concerned about children’s data being collected and stored by the state
- Technology is dangerous and children need to be protected
- Texas children failing in reading due to technology
Q&A Panel 1
- Hardy – Can you see a difference in technology implementation between schools that have more money?
- Lough – Is a big difference in rural areas; is an overall negative effect from technology
- Hardy and Lough discuss technology’s effect on brain development
- The board has already adopted TEKs for K-8; this is a revision to the standards
- Response to legislation; added instruction addressing cyberbullying and coding and computation
- Modeled after national and computer science standards
- Hickman – Do we need TEK apps for every single grade?
- There is not an explicit requirement; the standards are grade banded currently
- In middle school, they are grade level specific
- Work group members feel that every grade should be grade specific
- Hardy – Why is the grade level over banded? Do we even have time to teach these things?
- It changes with coding and computation requirements; we’ve always had technology requirements
- Chair Ellis – How does the grade banding work?
- I need to go back to the staff and ask
- Chair Ellis – Do we conduct a time analysis of how long it takes to teach this?
- There were instances where they had to cut, but they felt it was necessary
- Chair Ellis – How much time to spend on each TEK is a district level decision correct?
- Yes; districts have added time to teach students technology acceptable use policies
- Maynard – Is there anything in these standards that requires more screen time?
- Depends on the districts and how they choose to implement
- Many districts apply technology to other subjects such as reading
- There is nothing that directs more screen time
- Chair Ellis – Would not having these standards prohibit technology usage?
- No, but the standards teach students how to use technology properly
- Hardy – Are these standards require technology usages for specific grades?
- The standards don’t identify assignments; they state what students should know and be able to do
- The standards break down these requirements by grade
- Hardy – Mothers have written to me about how we are pushing technology too much; I will be voting against it
- Ellis – But they aren’t spending time on technology TEKs, are they?
- Hardy – No
- TEA Staff – The standards are not about using devices more, they deal with computational thinking and computer science
- Pérez – Computer safety is like learning how to cross the street at a stoplight; it’s necessary for students to learn
- Maynard – Motion for final adoption; approved
Item 4: Proposed New 19 TAC Chapter 127
- Second reading and final adoption
- Changes requirements for computer science related courses
- Public comments indicate computer science courses are better aligned with computer science standards
- Proposed amendments clarified and resolved
- 20 days to file with Texas Register after adoption
- Hickman – What is instantiation?
- It’s specific to the discipline
- Hickman – Can you elaborate on the prerequisites?
- Students take Algebra I usually in eighth grade or freshman year; they could take computer science I at the same time
- Hickman – Amendment for discussion; add “and internship” in computer science section
- Hickman – What would you add in this section?
- Students can already enroll in work or internship opportunities
- Amendment is adopted
- Maynard – Motion for final adoption; approved
Item 5: Proposed New 19 TAC Chapter 113
- Second reading and final adoption
- Recommends language changes; requests more mention of personal employment trajectories
- Hardy – Not every child has to take this course?
- Chair Ellis – What is the timing on similar course revisions?
- Staff – The existing economics course will be considered with other high school courses
- There are three courses that deal with financial literacy
- Hardy – Could the economics course exclude personal financial literacy?
- Staff – It could, but that’s not where the work group wants to go
- If that’s the only course they take, they want to provide some personal financial literacy
- Davis – Our industry needs children to know these specific language changes?
- This would help students engage with the material better
Little – Motion for approval and second reading
- Must be filed 20 days after adoption with the Texas Register
- Public comments passed out
- Staff found that some areas could use edits; provides recommendations
- Motion to adopt staff recommendations; motion carries
- Hickman – Did workgroups talk about inflation?
- Staff – When they were working on this, we were still in the early days of this inflationary period
- Better for the economics course
- Motion carries as amended
Item 6: Proposed Amendment to 19 TAC Chapter 74
- Second Reading
- Public comments provided
- Hardy – Could we let schools choose between which of the two economics courses to offer?
- That was an option presented at first hearing; there was a desire to offer both unless the district is small
- Hardy – I would like every district to be able to choose which
- Chair Ellis – But then students don’t have the choice
- Maynard – How many students are in exempted “small” districts?
- 500 students in high schools across the district
- Ellis – What if not enough students sign up?
- It still will be offered at least biannually
- Ellis – What are the graduation economics requirements?
- Either of these economics courses satisfy
- Pérez – How will rural schools handle this? Could it be offered virtually across districts?
- Through the Texas Virtual School Network, there is an available course load
- All students can access the catalog
- Little – This is one of the things we are determining in the virtual learning commission
- Staff have presented to social studies groups; they are aware and have no comments on this part
- Ellis – Does no one have an issue with it after being published in the Texas Register?
- Hardy – This will cause counselor confusion
- Byer – There are other virtual options, but they have certain performance related limitations
- Pérez – Does the carve out language deny the ability for smaller schools to offer both?
- No, small districts submit an application if they don’t want to offer both
Maynard – Motion for second reading and adoption
- Motion carries
- First reading and filing authorization
- At the April 2022 SBOE meeting, the Committee of the Full Board discussed possible amendments to Chapter 66 related to requiring certification by school districts and open-enrollment charter schools regarding protection against access to obscene or harmful content in online instructional materials.
- The proposed amendment would add a certification requirement to align with Senate Bill 1, 87th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2021.
- Districts would certify annually they are in compliance with the internet safety act
- Survey asked districts if they have a filter and 82% of districts completed the survey and 99% said yes
- Ellis provides background, this came from Abbott letter about prohibiting pornography in books
- Ellis if you are a district that receives E-Rate funding you are already required to do this, checked with Texas Midsize School Association and did not hear any concerns or pushback on this rule
- Ellis said the burden on districts may be about asking them to notify if they do it, it will be another question asked on a form districts already are filling out
- Maynard makes the motion to adopt first reading and filing authorization
- Ellis said two other bodies working on Abbott letter, TEA has published a sample model policy and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission is going through formal process to update standards
- Melton-Malone has been appointed to that group and will be the liaison for SBOE
- Hardy – Discussed Follett and Gale systems nationwide; in Texas they got these vendors to put up special walls so Texas has firewalls but this will go away without legislation; Hardy asked if this rulemaking addresses?
- Staff does not think so
- Little – How does it impact various sizes of districts, those who did not complete the form
- Staff will be reaching out to those who did not complete the form
- Reopening of EMAT is occurring but need to complete certification form to get updated access
- Hickman – Thanks TEA staff for their work
- Ellis – This will come up for second reading in September meeting
- Voice vote – motion carries
- Chair Ellis – Commissioner’s comments start us off in the morning
- About 102 people signed up to testify tomorrow on charter applications, applicants will also be presenting
- Hickman asked if there was a packet to review for long range, staff said it will be a discussion item