Monday, August 24, 2015

Stop the Pearson/Corporate Takeover of Illinois Student Teacher Certification!

edTPA is an onerous and un-tested Teacher Performance Assessment, marketed by Pearson (of PARCC test fame). The ISBE has voted to use it as the sole instrument for determining teacher certification for student teachers after P.A.97-060/105ILCS 5/Section 21B-30(f) was passed by the General Assembly.

Many teacher educators around the state are against the use of edTPA. Here are some reasons why you should be too. Please work to change this rule:

No research has proved that an online narrative and videotape submitted to a private company in order to evaluate a teacher candidate’s readiness for certification is more reliable than traditional student teacher evaluations done by field instructors and cooperating teachers. edTPA IS NOT BETTER.

The edTPA costs student teachers $300. If the teacher candidate fails a section of the assessment, he or she must pay additionally for remediation and new submissions.

edTPA IS AN ADDED EXPENSE FOR TEACHER CANDIDATES.  The artificial demands of the edTPA will actually distract and interfere with real tasks teachers tackle every day in their real classes. It requires a lengthy electronic portfolio including extensive narratives and videotapes. The student teacher must obtain video equipment and parent permissions. edTPA DISTRACTS TEACHER CANDIDATES FROM THE REAL WORK OF STUDENT TEACHING.

The videos submitted by student teachers contain student images, and although parental permission is required, they are already showing up on You Tube. Pearson also reserves the right to use submitted videos for their own purposes. edTPA JEOPARDIZES STUDENT PRIVACY.

The edTPA is a summative assessment of a formative experience. The state law only requires “an evidence-based assessment of teacher effectiveness.” edTPA might better evaluate teachers for tenure or master teacher status. Only two other states use it for licensure. edTPA DOES NOT MEASURE WHAT THE LAW IS INTENDED TO ACCOMPLISH.

The state statue only calls for an "evidence based assessment." The ISBE, which wrote the legislation, very quickly created a rule requiring Pearson’s product as that assessment. State Supt. Koch enjoyed several expensive trips during this period. edTPA IS THE RESULT OF A NO-BID CONTRACT BY THE ISBE WITH PEARSON PUBLISHING.

For more information:
Illinois Coalition for edTPA Rule Change- Sandy Deines at

The above post is from Fred Klonsky’s Blog.

About the Illinois Coalition for edTPA Rule Change:

We are a coalition of educators who have joined together to oppose the high stakes use of the edTPA™ in Illinois.  This coalition grew spontaneously out of a small group discussion on the status of the edTPA™ among teacher educators attending the IACTE annual meeting in Springfield in May 2014.  We work at colleges and universities across the state of Illinois, public and private, large and small, urban and rural.  We have had a variety of experiences with the edTPA™ during its pilot period since fall 2013.  Some of us have been trained as official edTPA™ scorers and have been hired. Some of us have been trained as scorers and have been rejected.  Some of us are our institution’s edTPA™ coordinators, and some of us have attended numerous state and national edTPA™ conferences.  All of us have learned that it is premature to use the edTPA™ as the one and only evidence-based high-stakes assessment of student teachers as mandated as soon as September 2015 by Public Act 097-0607.

Our Purpose

Our purpose is to share information, experiences, and ideas about the edTPA™ as it continues to evolve and develop and to coordinate our actions to ensure that our teacher education candidates are evaluated for licensure fairly.

Please Join Us:

If you would like to add your name to our email list and your voice to our efforts, please contact us at and consider signing our electronic <Petition for edTPA™ Rule Change>.

Please know that we are continuing to work toward our goal:  a rule change that would mean the edTPA TM would NOT be used as a high stakes assessment for licensure in Illinois.  Stay tuned for updates.  In addition, we continue to work for a delay of the start date of the high stakes edTPA as we continue to advocate for a rule change.

We Ask You To spread the word by sharing this link with people who support our cause. Share your concerns about the edTPA ™ with stakeholders and stay positive!


·          scores are being established without sufficient time to study the results of the pilot test, or the effect of assessment itself
·         validity and reliability due to the wide variation of contexts for student teaching placement 
·         variation in the way the edTPA will be administered and supported in programs and student teaching placement sites
·         there is no remediation plan for students who fail the edTPA and concerns about possible increased costs to those students
·         using the edTPA as a single assessment of teacher performance, rather than the use of multiple evidence based assessments to recommend    a candidate for licensure
·         Pearson’s capacity to score multiple edTPA submissions at the same time and their ability to turn scores around in time for licensure


Programs could continue to use other forms of state approved, evidence-based assessment to recommend candidates who fail the edTPA for licensure. ISBE could sponsor and pursue research of the edTPA on teacher candidates.

The above information is from

A Letter about edTPA:

The edTPA is a standardized assessment of teaching that is being required in many states, including New York State as of May 2014, for teacher certification. The edTPA is being marketed as a way to "professionalize" the field of education, a contention that is deeply insulting to those of us who have dedicated our lives to the art and craft of teaching. The edTPA will be administered during student teaching. It is a high-stakes assessment because certification depends on its successful completion. This assessment has raised concerns of teachers and teacher educators for several reasons:

Although its initial versions were developed at Stanford, the instrument is being sold and administered by Pearson, Inc. It is expected to cost candidates around $300. Assessments will not be scored by teacher educators. They will be scored by temporary workers paid about $75 per exam. These scorers are not allowed to know the teacher candidates, nor are they to be affiliated with the community in which student teaching occurs. These conditions negate the importance of relationships in the development of teaching, preferring the pretense of objectivity over trust, authenticity, and cultural responsiveness.

The assessment requires that candidates submit videos of themselves in K-12 teaching situations. This means that Pearson will own videos of young people who have student teachers in their classrooms. This is being implemented without widespread knowledge or consent of parents in states where edTPA is being mandated.

Will the edTPA affect the experience of learning to teach? You bet it will. A recent conversation I had with a student in our teacher education program highlights the potential effects of this assessment. Joel, who is enrolled in my undergraduate Introduction to Curriculum and Assessment course approached me after class and asked if I had time to talk. He was excited and concerned. He was excited because the teacher he had been assigned to for Fieldwork I, where students spend 35 hours observing and participating in secondary settings, had invited him to student teach with her. Because he had tremendous respect and admiration for this teacher, Joel was thrilled by the opportunity. But he was also worried, so worried that he hesitated to accept the offer.

Joel was apprehensive about completing the edTPA in this school. It is an urban environment in a community noted for poverty and gang activity. He had forged relationships with the young people in the school, as well as several faculty members there, but the judgment of an objective scorer who might not understand if the classroom was not filled with compliant, well-behaved learners had made my student hesitate. My heart sank.

I encouraged Joel to follow his heart and reassured him that the edTPA scorers would appreciate the diverse experiences of teacher candidates in a range of settings. I reassured Joel because I have faith in him, in his mentor teacher, and in the relationships they will form with their students. I have no such faith in Pearson, and I fear the consequences of its corporate incursions into education. But I will not allow fear to triumph over optimism, nor will I allow anonymity to erase relationships. The possibilities of education are intensely human and cannot be reduced to a number.

Written on June 3, 2013 by Julie A. Gorlewski, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at SUNY, New Paltz, New York, Department of Secondary Education, Incoming Co-Editor of English Journal.

The above letter is from Diane Ravitch’s Blog.



    “…RESOLVED, that the American Federation of Teachers reaffirms the professionalism of teacher educators and the importance of maintaining academic freedom of faculty and faculty governance over the curriculum of teacher education schools and programs; and

    “RESOLVED, that the AFT works to ensure teacher education professionals are included in decision-making about adoption of appropriate performance assessments as well as their implementation, whether they be edTPA or any other teacher preparation clinical training and performance assessment; and

    “RESOLVED, that the AFT believes that neither edTPA nor any other performance assessment should be tied to a high-stakes testing regime and the outsourcing of evaluation, especially to for-profit corporations such as Pearson, as it is not an appropriate assessment of teacher education programs and teacher performance; and

    “RESOLVED, given the lack of research to support edTPA’s being able to predict which student candidate will be a ‘good’ or ‘poor’ teacher, and given that there is no consensus on a single approach to teacher education and assessment protocols, the AFT calls on the teacher education profession to develop a ‘best practice’ approach to teacher education, articulated to the numerous circumstances under which teaching occurs; and

    “RESOLVED, approaches and assessments to teacher education should take into account professional standards, resource standards and performance standards.”

    1. The NEA/IEA have a different opinion:

      "...edTPA has the potential to bridge teacher preparation and practice by dramatically changing the way pre-service candidates are prepared.

      "A subject-specific assessment of pedagogy available in 27 fields that became fully operational in September 2013, edTPA requires pre-service candidates to document and demonstrate that they can plan, teach, and assess major learning outcomes.

      "edTPA is scored by teacher educators and accomplished teachers with expertise in the subject matter or developmental level, as well as teaching and mentoring experience in the field.

      "Seven states have adopted policies that require all teacher candidates to complete or pass edTPA as a condition of licensure or program completion: Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Washington, and Wisconsin.

      "In other states, colleges and universities are voluntarily opting to use edTPA to review and adjust their preparation programs."