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 Information for Teacher Candidates 

Frequently Asked Question About the edTPA™ Program: Teacher Candidate Edition


What is the edTPA?
The edTPA is a subject-specific teacher performance assessment completed during student
teaching. The assessment focuses on a learning segment of 3-5 lessons in one class.
Candidates submit artifacts (i.e., lesson plans, instructional materials, teaching videos,
assessments, and sample student work) and written commentaries as evidence of teaching
proficiency. Professional scorers rate candidate performance in planning, instruction, and
assessment using rubrics in the edTPA handbook for that subject area.

Where did the edTPA come from?
The edTPA was developed by the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity
(SCALE) in partnership with the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education
(AACTE). It is modeled after the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’
assessments of accomplished veteran teachers and was developed with input from teacher and
teacher educators across the country. While SCALE is responsible for the edTPA handbooks,
rubrics, and scorer training materials, they have entered into an operational partnership with
Pearson to manage candidate registration and scoring of the edTPA. More information can be
found on the SCALE website at scale.stanford.edu/teaching/edtpa.

What is an edTPA handbook?
The edTPA handbook is your guide to the structure, language and rubrics of the edTPA.
Handbooks are available in every licensure area. You program will decide which handbook you
will complete. It is important to be very familiar with your edTPA Handbook and to keep a copy
nearby (either electronic or a hard copy) as you are working on your edTPA and refer to it

Why am I required to complete an edTPA?
The edTPA is mandated by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction (DPI) as one of the
requirements for teacher candidates seeking initial licensure.

What does the edTPA cost?
The edTPA costs $300, which includes official scoring and score reporting to the candidate and
to the program designated by the candidate during registration. Additional score reports are
$50. Retakes cost $100 for a single task (planning, instruction, or assessment) or $300 for a
complete edTPA. [During the exploratory/scale-up phase, educator preparation programs will
determine what fees to charge candidates for local evaluation of pilot edTPAs. Candidates who
want official scores must register online and pay the $300 fee.]

How do I register for the edTPA?
Candidates register on the Pearson edTPA site (www.edtpa.com) and pay the registration
fee. [During the exploratory/scale-up phase, educator preparation programs will have
candidates complete pilot edTPAs without registration. Candidates who want official scores
must register online and pay the $300 fee.]

How do I submit the edTPA?
Candidates use the submission procedure prescribed by their educator preparation
program. The edTPA can be submitted through the Pearson ePortfolio System or through an
integrated edTPA Platform Provider System. More information can be found on the Pearson
edTPA site (www.edtpa.com). At UW Oshkosh, we have chosen Foliotek as our integrated
platform provider. Candidates will upload their completed edTPA portfolios into Foliotek to be
sent to Pearson for official scoring.


Which edTPA should I complete? What if I am certifying in more than one area?
Every candidate needs to complete one edTPA. Candidates completing multiple certifications will complete an edTPA in only one area. The educator preparation program will select the edTPA based on the candidate’s student teaching placement (i.e., class, level, and subject matter) and the list of allowable handbooks provided by DPI. 

What should the educator preparation program consider when making my student teaching placement?
Candidates must have the ability to complete the edTPA. It is therefore essential that the
placement give you the opportunity to satisfy the requirements in the relevant edTPA handbook.
You must be able to: take sole responsibility for planning, instruction, and assessment of a
particular class during the edTPA learning segment; make video recordings as needed; and
complete the edTPA within an acceptable timeframe. It is important to communicate with your
university supervisor, cooperating teacher and edTPA Coordinator about your readiness to
complete the edTPA. At UW Oshkosh, your edTPA Coordinator is Dr. Lori Kroeger
(KroegerL@uwosh.edu) (920-424-3420).

What is a co-teaching model of student teaching, and how can it be used for the edTPA?
Many educator preparation programs are shifting to a co-teaching model of student teaching,
where the cooperating teacher and student teacher plan collaboratively and share teaching
responsibilities. Co-teaching can take a variety of forms: one teaching while the other observes
or assists students; one teaching while the other works with a small group needing extra support
or challenge; both teaching as a team or in parallel at different stations; both taking turns with
the teaching of particular classes, units, lessons, or activities; and so on. Co-teaching provides
extensive modeling and feedback for the student teacher while boosting student learning and
sustaining a high quality of instruction in the cooperating teacher’s classes. Student teachers
are still responsible for writing their own plans for instruction and may often teach on their own
while the cooperating teacher attends to other duties. Student teachers will also need to take
responsibility for planning, instructing, and assessing the class during the edTPA learning
segment. More information about co-teaching can be found on the St. Cloud State University
website at www.stcloudstate.edu/soe/coteaching/

When should I complete the edTPA?
Candidates should know their classes well and be confident in their teaching ability before
completing the edTPA, but they should also submit the edTPA early enough to allow for
remediation as needed. It takes 3-4 weeks to receive scores after submission; check the
Pearson edTPA site (www.edtpa.com) for submission deadlines and score report dates, which
can be used to set program deadlines. At UW Oshkosh, we are piloting a 9 week edTPA
completion timeline. A review of scores and stakeholder (i.e., teacher candidate, university
faculty and staff, and the cooperating teacher) will be used to determine if this is an appropriate
timeline for completion.

What about split placements?
Split placements provide greater pressure on candidates to advance quickly toward the edTPA. Some educator preparation programs relieve this pressure by using 18-week placements and having candidates gain experience at other levels in pre-student teaching practicums. Some programs have considered using a 12-week placement to complete the edTPA followed by a 6-week placement at another level. Where two 9-week placements are used, programs should consider candidate readiness, the fit of placement to edTPA handbook, and the submission deadlines and score report dates on the Pearson edTPA website (www.edtpa.com) to determine the optimum time to complete the edTPA. Check with your edTPA Coordinator for information specific to your institution. At UW Oshkosh, your edTPA Coordinator is Dr. Lori Kroeger (KroegerL@uwosh.edu) (920-424-3420).


Which class and topic should I choose for their edTPA learning segment?
Every candidate should choose a class and topic whose content aligns with the “central focus” and subject-specific rubrics in their edTPA handbook. You should also try to pick a class with a variety of learners to help find focus students for the edTPA. The educator preparation program, university supervisor, and cooperating teacher can help you make the most appropriate choices.

What is academic language, and what role does it play in the edTPA?
Academic language includes the words and phrases (vocabulary), sentence structures (syntax), and argument, presentation, and paper structures (discourse) that PK-12 students need to expand learning and perform successfully. As part of the edTPA you are asked to explain the academic language of the lessons being taught during the edTPA learning segment, the ways you will ensure your students have adequate access and practice with the academic language, and how you know your students understood that academic language. Academic language is more than just vocabulary terms and definitions. It might include terms and definitions within their instruction, but must go beyond providing those to having your students complete work and activities to demonstrate that they can use those appropriately. In addition, there might be terms and context embedded in lessons that students in a class are assumed to know and understand. For example, if second graders are asked to complete a timed multiplication test, the candidate needs to ensure that all of the students understand the term “multiply,” and the term “timed” in the context of the expectation. For some students this language will be familiar, while for others (especially English language learners) it may not be. In the edTPA, you must show how their planning, instruction, and assessment support the development of academic language related to a particular objective and task in their learning segment. Additional information about academic language can be found in the edTPA handbooks, at http://edtpa.aacte.org and through the SCALE video, Academic Language video with Nicole Marino.

What should I record for their edTPA learning segment?
You should record the complete learning segment so you are able to select the required number
of unedited video clips that demonstrate the evidence called for in the rubrics. It is helpful to
have one video focus more on you delivering instruction while another focuses more on
students engaging in learning activities with your guidance and feedback. Focus students
should be seated where they will be visible during recording. For instruction, the camera should
be zoomed in just enough to make visual aids legible while keeping some students in the frame;
for student work, the camera should zoom in enough to pick up video and audio of the students
in focus. In accordance with FERPA guidelines under no circumstances may videos be
shared or posted online, and if you violate this restriction you could risk losing your
teaching license and face a fine. You will sign a memo of understanding regarding
appropriate use of video and the possible consequences for misuse.

How should I prepare to video record their classes?
You should follow the procedures of the educator preparation program to secure permission to video record during the student teaching placement. Classroom videos may be viewed only by school district personnel, education faculty, and official scorers; under no circumstances may they be shared or posted online, and candidates who violate this restriction risk losing their teaching license. Once permissions are secured, candidates should practice video recording before the edTPA to learn how to capture clear video and audio in a classroom setting and to allow students time to acclimate to having a video camera in the room.


How can my cooperating teacher support me?
In the weeks leading up to the edTPA, your cooperating teacher can help the you get to know the students, build confidence as a teacher, and choose a class, topic, and focus students for the edTPA learning segment. During the learning segment (i.e., 3-5 class days), you should take full responsibility for planning, teaching, and assessing the class. 

How can my educator preparation program support me?
Educator preparation programs should select the appropriate edTPA handbook from the DPI approved list to match the candidate’s certification area and student teaching placement. At the start of the semester, the program should provide you with the edTPA handbook and the “Making Good Choices” guide available on the Pearson edTPA site (www.edtpa.com). Programs can help candidates succeed by: teaching and using edTPA terminology; practicing tasks with formative feedback in courses leading up to student teaching; providing student teachers with handbooks and a timeline for completing the edTPA; helping candidates become familiar with the edTPA requirements and rubrics; discussing edTPA tasks and samples in a student teaching seminar; encouraging peer feedback on clarity and completeness of responses; and providing logistical and technical support for video recording and uploading. Programs may not tell you which videos to use or what to write, and under no circumstances may faculty edit or upload your materials. Examples of appropriate and inappropriate support are spelled out in the document “Guidelines
for Supporting Candidates Completing edTPA” available on the Pearson edTPA site

How can the educator preparation program manage the video requirements of the edTPA?
Programs should work with school districts to establish standard procedures for securing permissions at the start of the school year. Under no circumstances may videos be shared or posted online. You will be required to sign a memorandum of understanding regarding appropriate use of video and the possible consequences for misuse, which include nonrecommendation of your teaching license or potential loss of your teaching license. Programs should check the Pearson edTPA site (www.edtpa.com) and the AACTE edTPA site (edtpa.aacte.org) for tips and sample release forms.


What is the passing score for the edTPA?
Official scores range from 15 to 75 (15 rubrics, with ratings 1-5). The 2013 field test report recommends that states set a passing score in the range 39-42. Wisconsin will set a passing score in Summer 2016 based on data from 2015-16, when all candidates will complete the edTPA for program review. All candidates who complete an educator preparation program after August 31, 2016, will have to achieve the state passing score on the edTPA to be eligible for initial licensure. Until that time, educator preparation programs will need to determine whether each candidate’s performance on the edTPA provides sufficient evidence of meeting program standards for certification for licensure.

How long will it take until I  get my results?
It takes 3-­‐4 weeks to receive scores after submission of your edTPA.  You will be notified of your scores  by email. Your teacher preparation program will also receive your results.

What if a I don’t pass the edTPA?
Candidates who do not meet their institution’s or the state’s passing requirements may register to re-take a single task ($100 fee) or the full edTPA ($300 fee). Retake instructions for candidates and guidelines for retake decision-making for programs are available on the Pearson edTPA site (www.edtpa.com). Candidates should take particular care to address every point in the commentary prompts and to provide evidence directly related to the criteria in the rubrics.

Where can I find more information?
The Pearson edTPA site (www.edtpa.com) is the official source of information for candidates and faculty. Contact your institution’s edTPA Coordinator for more information. At UW Oshkosh, your edTPA Coordinator is Dr. Lori Kroeger (KroegerL@uwosh.edu) (920-424-3420).

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