NYSED wants to change teacher certification requirements

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 24: A teacher wears a mask and teaches remotely from her classroom on September 24, 2020 in New York City. New York City, the nation’s largest school district opened its classrooms to remote teaching this week and plans to open in-person blended teaching and learning next week. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — State officials are looking for changes in teacher certification requirements. On Monday, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) announced proposed modifications to teacher certification that eliminates requirements for candidates to pass the edTPA, a national teacher performance assessment.

For the edTPA, candidates must pay $300, plan for instruction and assessment, videotape themselves teaching and engaging students in learning, assess and analyze students’ learning, and reflect on their practice. NYSED wants to replace the examination with a teacher performance assessment during a candidate’s student teaching—or similar clinical experience—in a state-registered teacher preparation program.

According to Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa and Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young Jr., this has the potential to reduce barriers to certification as the state continues to facing teacher shortages. “By eliminating the edTPA requirement, we are allowing our teacher candidates to focus on developing the critically important skills necessary to successfully deliver classroom instruction,” Rosa said in a press release. “To grow and sustain a diverse and qualified teacher workforce, we must ensure we are bringing as many candidates as possible into the profession. The amendments proposed today lay a foundation to streamline the pathway to teaching.”

“As schools and districts across the state face a shortage of qualified teachers, we must do everything in our power to enhance the state’s talent pipeline, including eliminating any financial barriers that may impede candidates from entering the teaching profession,” Young said.

The requirement for teacher candidates to pass the edTPA to obtain most certifications in New York has been in place since May 2014. NYSED anticipates that amendments will be presented to the Board of Regents for adoption at the April 2022 meeting. If it’s adopted, New York-registered teacher preparation programs would have until Sept. 1, 2023 to integrate a teacher performance assessment into teacher candidates’ student teaching or similar clinical experience.

NYSED is seeking public comments on the proposal to eliminate the requirement through February 28 via email.

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