Expensive edTPA Not Accurate Measure of Teachers [full submitted version below]
Patricia Dunn, Professor of English, Graduate Program Director, Stony Brook University
Your January 23rd editorial (“Don’t Make Certification Easier for NY Teachers”) does not address what have been the main problems with the edTPA. As you mentioned, one question has been “whether the tests are properly measuring their [student teachers’] capabilities.” Please note that the edTPA has never been shown to be an accurate measure of what student teachers know or can do. This expensive test requires school children to be filmed in their classrooms, interrupting instruction and distracting student teachers from their most important task of actually teaching their students. Requiring pages of busy work and using a peculiar vocabulary used by no one else in education, the edTPA also forces new student teachers to become instant film technicians (in order to get usable video for Pearson), and to secure permission for filming from students’ parents they may not yet have even met. The resulting videos are then sent off for grading to Pearson employees, who may not themselves be certified to teach in the area they are assessing. Yet these hired graders are allowed to determine the certification of New York state college students. Everyone wants fully prepared teachers. The edTPA does not accurately measure that preparation.