BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — On Tuesday night some Brownsville ISD educators took to the podium opposing the State Board for Educator Certification’s (SBEC) recommendation of a new exam called the edTPA.
“It just seems like it’s another obstacle for teachers to get certified and get into the teaching profession. With teaching shortages I just feel like it’s not the right time,” said Veronica Borrego, a special education teacher at Brownsville ISD.
On Friday, the edTPA was voted by the majority of SBEC as the new standard for certifying new teachers.
The new exam asks teachers to submit answers to essay questions, provide a sample lesson plan, create a 15-minute video of themselves teaching in the classroom, and a report on their students’ progress.
Borrego publicly spoke at Tuesday night’s BISD school board meeting where she asked fellow teachers to send letters to the Texas Board of Education against the edTPA.
“This exam is also an additional $195 than the current PPR and because of the cost the edTPA will be harder to pass by low-income candidates,” said Borrego.
Borrego referred to the original test called the Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities exam, a 100 multiple-choice certification exam that has been used since 2002.
She mentioned other states have removed it due to low success rates.
“States that have eliminated the edTPA as of now: Georgia, Wisconsin, Washington, Delaware, New York, and in the process of eliminating it: New Jersey,” said Borrego.
However, the only way edTPA would become the new standard is if the Texas Board of Education majority voted on it at its next meeting in June.
Meanwhile, Texas Board of Education Member District 2 Ruben Cortez said he is opposed to it.
“It seems like they’re trying to make things more difficult for teachers in a time where teachers are leaving the field,” said Cortez. “I’m inclined to veto the recommendation by SBEC (State Board of Educator Certification) when it comes to our board meeting in June.”
Cortez believes the state is considering the use of the exam because it could make the state money.
“SBEC is a body that is appointed by the Governor of the State of Texas, and edTPA is an assessment that cost twice as much money and it’s owned and operated by a private company called Pearson,” said Cortez.
Cortez said he is working with multiple Texas teaching associations to oppose the recommendation of edTPA.
ValleyCentral asked BISD for a comment but they did not respond.