New Texas teacher certification exam receives pushback

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With a teacher shortage in Texas, the state teacher certification board voted on Friday in favor of a new exam called the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment, also known as the edTPA. 

The current certification exam is multiple-choice, but the new test would require teachers to record themselves teaching and create a lesson plan. They would also have to pay $200 more to take the exam.

RELATED: New Texas teacher certification exam requires sample lesson plans  

Sylvia Tanguma, an elementary school teacher in McAllen and the local teacher’s union leader, is not happy about the idea of a new teacher exam.

"This is not the time to implement something new,” Tanguma said.

Ruben Cortez is a member of the State Board of Education, representing the Valley and the Texas coast. Cortez will have to decide on whether to approve the new measure.

“What we should be doing is making educators’ lives easier and we're not,” Cortez said.

While the exam is intended to better prepare teachers and keep them from quitting, Cortez isn't buying it.

"At which point, I will make the recommendation that we veto,” Cortez said.

Channel 5 News reached out to all 15 State Board of Education members.

Georgina Perez, who represents El Paso and portions of west and South Texas, wrote that the edTPA will only make the teacher shortage worse due to its increased price.

Pat Hardy, who represents Fort Worth and portions of North Texas called the edPTA dubious, and full of busy work not actually resulting in better-prepared teachers, adding "given the shortage of teachers, putting hurdles does not seem like a wise thing to do.

Pam Little, who represents parts of Dallas and Collin counties, says she is still gathering information on the exam and will be meeting with stakeholders next week.

Channel 5 News also reached out to six Valley school districts on the proposed exam, but we still have not heard back.

The state board of education is expected to take this up for a vote in June.


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