AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced today that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has launched a pilot project for six learning programs targeted at educators within select districts across the state. The pilot is part of a broader initiative in the agency’s shift towards impact-focused training and will help to form the future of professional development in Texas.
Nearly 400 educators will participate in the pilot, which is designed to provide an innovative way for teachers and school board members to demonstrate proficiency of their skills and acquire micro-credentials (or digital badges). Educators who complete micro-credentials through the program will also be eligible to earn Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours for their efforts.
Six learning programs have been designated for the initial pilot focusing on: Teacher Effectiveness; College/Career Readiness for Guidance Counselors; Early Literacy; Ethics for School Board Governance; Student Outcomes Alignment for School Board Governance; and Career Technical Education.
“The most important person in public education is the teacher at the front of every classroom, and we want to ensure they receive the support they deserve,” said Commissioner Morath. “By offering this new approach to professional development, we are working to improve our support of teachers, principals, counselors and even school board members throughout Texas.”
As part of this statewide pilot project, programs will be provided to educators who will have access to curated collections of online learning resources and collaboration tools. These resources will allow them to connect with one another as they work towards earning their micro-credentials. A certified facilitator will be assigned to each program to guide and support educators along the way.
Upon implementation in the classroom, school, or district, educators can submit information for the opportunity to earn their micro-credential. Educators can also acquire CPE hours for earned micro-credentials, which can be used towards renewal of an educator’s teaching certificate.
The pilot will utilize BloomBoard, a leading professional development platform. BloomBoard, along with partners Digital Promise, Learning Forward, Resources For Learning, Martin Consulting, San Antonio Works, and Toyota, will design and implement the comprehensive micro-credentialing pilot.
TEA’s new professional development pilot officially begins in June.