NYC teachers to stop taking controversial certification exam


Prospective teachers in New York state will no longer have to take the controversial edTPA, a national assessment that some have criticized as being a barrier to diversifying and growing the teacher workforce.

New York’s Board of Regents, the state’s education policymaking body, voted unanimously Tuesday to remove the multi-part exam as a requirement for earning a teaching certificate. The change goes into effect April 27.

Members of the board did not discuss the matter before approving the change. But several Regents applauded the idea when it was first proposed in December, with New York City-based Regent Kathleen Cashin calling it “a very good move.”

The edTPA, which comes with a $300 fee and is assessed by Pearson, involves multiple parts. Teacher candidates must provide a portfolio of work, video recordings of their classroom instruction, their lesson plans, analyses of their students’ progress, and their reflections from classroom practices.

The pandemic helped drive the state’s decision to scrap the requirement, and follows reforms in recent years to teacher certification in New York. New Jersey educators have also recently pushed to get rid of the test.

During the public health crisis, state education officials have allowed teaching candidates to take a written exam in lieu of the edTPA, and teacher prep program leaders embraced the change. That led many of them to ask for the removal of the test altogether, William Murphy, the state education department’s deputy commissioner of higher education, told the Regents in December.

Program leaders reported that their students were more focused on completing edTPA requirements than learning from their student teaching experiences, according to Murphy. It was also challenging for them to manage the multiple components of the exam.

In lieu of the exam, teacher preparation programs will be required by Sept. 1, 2023, to create their own “multi-measure assessment” that stacks up with New York’s teaching standards.

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