DeMatthews, Brown the new teacher exam will hurt Texas education

The Texas State Board of Teacher Certification recently passed a new teacher certification exam called edTPA. In appearance, this is something that the state should welcome – improving the quality of the teaching staff – this is a noble idea. But there is a serious problem. The timing and negative potential impact of this new exam on teachers ’workforce is not in line with the realities of Texas public schools, especially in the midst of a pandemic.

The goal of any teacher certification exam is to provide the state with quality teachers in every classroom, but our state has struggled to provide enough quality teachers before the pandemic. This has disproportionately affected urban and rural schools with a higher percentage of low-income students and colored students. Adding a new exam will not improve this long-standing problem. In fact, it can be argued that this is contrary to the goals of the state.

Any adjustment to the certification policy should take into account the state’s demand for the supply of quality teachers. A policy of common sense during a pandemic and a surge in teacher dismissals would be to reduce the cost of teacher certification, which could be an obstacle for qualified candidates. However, adopting edTPA would increase the financial burden for novice teachers because the exam costs $ 311, which in addition to other fees or alternative teacher training programs.

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