What is edTPA?

The edTPA is a nationally available assessment of teacher candidates’ readiness to teach. The assessment focuses on the impact the teacher has on student engagement and learning. edTPA complements existing entry-level assessments used by states that focus on basic skills or subject matter knowledge and campus-based evaluations of clinical practice, coursework, grades and curriculum-embedded assessments of candidate performance. Currently 33 states and the District of Columbia are in various stages of implementing the edTPA as an assessment of candidate performance.

edTPA at NIU

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has mandated that starting September 1, 2015 all licensure program graduates will be evaluated, as one of their major assessments, by the edTPA. Northern Illinois University is committed to this endeavor and began field testing the edTPA and developing plans for full implementation in 2012. Since we began this undertaking, we have been considering the implications of adopting edTPA for educator preparation programs, our students, our cooperating teachers and partnership schools, and how to build the required infrastructures necessary to support adoption and implementation by all teacher preparation programs throughout the university.

Performance Measures for Teacher Candidates in the edTPA

The edTPA is a performance-based assessment embedded throughout the pre-service teaching experience. While the final and culminating submission of the project is developed and submitted during the final semester of a teacher candidate's program, the principles, practices and various components of the project are spread throughout a student’s entire enrollment in a program, from the earliest clinical and pedagogical courses to the very end.

Within each credential area, the standardized assessments measure five discrete but interrelated dimensions of teaching:

  • Planning for Instruction and Assessment. Candidates provide evidence of their ability to select, adapt or design learning tasks and assessments that offer all students equitable access to curriculum content. Artifacts include lesson plans and assessments.
  • Instruction and Engaging Students in Learning. Candidates provide evidence of their ability to engage students in meaningful learning task and demonstrate how they facilitate students' developing understanding of the content. Artifacts include video of teaching and written commentary.
  • Assessment of Student Learning. Candidates demonstrate how they analyze their students’ learning and use assessment information to plan future instruction. Artifacts include classroom assessments of the whole class and cases of individual student learning over time.
  • Analyzing Teaching. Candidates reflect on and analyze evidence of the effects of instruction on student learning.
  • Academic Language. Candidates demonstrate their ability to expand students’ language repertoire for the content domain.

edTPA Scoring Process

Each assessment is scored by qualified and trained teachers and teacher educators who are subject matter experts with experience supporting beginning teachers. Half of current scorers are recruited from higher education and half are recruited from P-12 educators, including National Board Certified Teachers. (SCALE 2015)