Teacher Certification Program
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CWU edTPA Policy for Acceptable Candidate Support

edTPA is designed to assess a teaching candidate’s readiness to teach. The CWU edTPA policy outlines guidelines for supporting candidates before/during their completion of edTPA. These guidelines apply to all edTPA support – from faculty content specialists, university supervisors, student- teaching cooperating teachers, undergraduate peers, and other support providers (e.g., a writing center or tutor).

Consistent with research on student learning (Black & William, 1998), at CWU, each endorsement program is encouraged to help candidates examine expectations for performance evaluated by edTPA in meaningful ways and discuss how they will demonstrate their performance in relation to those expectations. Given the placement of edTPA within an educational program, professional conversations about teaching and learning associated with the outcomes assessed in edTPA are expected and encouraged. Faculty content specialists, university supervisors, and student-teaching cooperating teachers may take time to examine the language, structure, and progression of the edTPA rubrics during formative experiences throughout the program. 

Throughout each endorsement program at CWU, teacher candidates should receive a variety of support during their coursework and fieldwork that aligns with assessed elements of edTPA. For instance, methods courses and practicum courses could help support the candidate’s thinking about how to design lessons and understand assessment in relationship to the expectations identified in edTPA. During student teaching course, teacher candidates are trying out what they have learned in relation to teaching effectiveness, and they receive feedback on their teaching performance from university supervisors, cooperating teachers, and other support providers. These activities and formative experiences provide opportunities for teacher candidates to practice edTPA and to synthesize their learning from the program. Preparation for edTPA offers many collegial opportunities for teacher candidates to share and discuss their experiences as well as to share and discuss responses to practice activities.

Although many teacher education programs provide acceptable forms of support for teacher candidates within the edTPA process, other activities are not acceptable within a summative assessment process that is intended to determine whether each candidate individually demonstrates mastery of Washington state standards and INTASC standards should be recommended for an initial license. This document clarifies what are acceptable and unacceptable forms of support for teacher candidates at CWU.

  • Unacceptable Forms of Candidate Support during the edTPA Process

    Unacceptable Support During edTPA Drafting Process (including Planning) Includes:

    • Editing a teacher candidate’s edTPA drafts prior to submission
    • Offering critique of candidate edTPA drafts prior to submission for official scoring that provides specific, alternative responses
    • Telling candidates which video clips or work samples to select for submission
    • Uploading candidate edTPA responses (written responses or videotape entries) on public access social media websites or uploading them to the scoring platform for the candidate.
  • Acceptable Forms of Support for Candidates within the edTPA Process

    Acceptable Support Prior to Beginning Official edTPA Drafts Includes:

    • Providing candidates with access to handbooks and other explanatory materials about edTPA and expectations for candidate performance on the assessment
    • Explaining edTPA tasks and scoring rubrics and guiding discussions about them
    • Providing and discussing support documents such as Making Good Choices and Understanding Rubric Level Progressions
    • Examining lessons or examples of effective teaching using edTPA rubrics or support documents
    • Discussing samples of previously completed edTPA portfolio materials (where appropriate permissions have been granted)
    • Engaging candidates in formative experiences aligned with edTPA (e.g., assignments analyzing their instruction, developing curriculum units, or assessing student work)
    • Referring students to a writing center for assistance in improving their writing for course assignments
    • Explaining scoring rubrics, and using these rubrics in formative exercises or assignments
    • Relating expectations in edTPA tasks and scoring rubrics to earlier assignments or experiences in the program
    • Using rubric constructs or rubric language to evaluate and debrief observations made by university supervisors or cooperating teachers as part of the student-teachingsupervision process
    • Offering candidate seminars focusing on the teaching skills and abilities identified in edTPA, such as an Academic Language seminar

    Acceptable Support During edTPA Drafting Process (including Planning) Includes:

    • Answering common questions in a group setting
    • Candidates with a documented disability are eligible to receive relevant accommodations they have received for coursework and program assessments OR to apply to Pearson for approval of accommodations.
  • Special notes
    • If candidates, peers, or instructors use rubrics in formative exercises or assignments, they must be aware that such local scoring cannot be assumed to be comparable to the scoring conducted by trained evaluators who have met calibrated scoring standards.
    • After your graduation, teacher candidates need to find their own best teaching context for their implementation of edTPA. CWU School of Education will not respond to teacher candidates’ placement after their graduation. 
    • Each year, Pearson will update the edTPA materials promptly with slightly changes. Teacher candidates should be expected the minor differences between what they have been advised by content specialists and Pearson.
    • Additional placements will not be sought for any candidates that have previously completed Student Teaching. Should you need access to a classroom, in order to complete your edTPA, you will need to arrange your own placement as a volunteer with the district or school.
    • While Pearson does not require submission of video recording permission forms, it is the responsibilities for all CWU teacher candidates to collect the permission forms from K-12 students’ parents or school district (if applicable). Although, some school districts have collected video recording permission slips, CWU teacher candidates shall collect such documents for legal and ethical purposes.