HPISD’S Jean Streepey says change could address preparedness, retention
The State Board of Education will consider a new certification exam in hopes of better preparing new teachers and keeping them in the profession.
“We want to (staff) our classrooms with teachers who are well-trained and want to stay,” said Jean Streepey, a state and local leader.
The Highland Park ISD STEAM coach serves on the State Board for Educator Certification, which oversees public school educators’ preparation, certification, and standards of conduct.
“We know that teachers are the single most important factor in student outcomes,” Streepey said. When teachers come well prepared to teach, “everyone can work together for the benefit of the students.”
The 11-member board approved the adoption of the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment, also known as the edTPA exam, in an 8-to-1 vote on April 29, per the Texas Tribune. The test still needs State Board of Education (SBOE) approval before it’s officially adopted. The SBOE is expected to consider the issue in June.
We know that teachers are the single most important factor in student outcomes.Jean Streepey
The edTPA exam, developed at Stanford University, requires would-be teachers to answer essay questions, submit sample lesson plans, provide a video recording of themselves teaching in a classroom, and analyze student progress.
The new test would replace the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) exam, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, which Streepey said has a 90%+ pass rate.
Streepey said edTPA is a more precise way of measuring an aspiring teacher’s effectiveness than the old PPR exam.
“I’m a second-career teacher, and I depended on my preparation program,” Streepey added.
She said she hopes better preparing new teachers will also help lessen the burden on longer-serving teachers, who help train and mentor new teachers.
Streepey also serves on the state’s Teacher Vacancy Task Force, tasked with better understanding the staffing challenges in Texas public schools and making recommendations to address those issues. Launched March 10 with 28 members but only two teachers (including Streepey), the task force was expanded to include two dozen additional teachers after an uproar.
However, critics of the edTPA exam say it could create barriers to some teachers entering the profession because of cost. The exam has been scrapped in New York and Washington, two states where it had been required, the Texas Tribune reported.
If the State Board of Education adopts it, the edTPA exam would be an optional test alongside the PPR exam in 2022-2023 and required as a pass/fail exam in 2023-2024 before being fully implemented in 2024-2025.