September 2019 Committee on School Initiatives Item 5

Review of Proposed Amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 230, Professional Educator Preparation and Certification, Subchapter A, General Provisions, §230.1, Definitions, Subchapter C, Assessment of Educators, §230.21, Educator Assessment, Subchapter D, Types and Classes of Certificates Issued, §230.36, Intern Certificates, and §230.37, Probationary Certificates, and Subchapter G, Certificate Issuance Procedures, §230.101, Schedule of Fees for Certification Services

September 13, 2019

COMMITTEE ON SCHOOL INITIATIVES: ACTION
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION: ACTION

SUMMARY:  This item provides the State Board of Education (SBOE) an opportunity to review the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) rule actions that would propose amendments to 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 230, Professional Educator Preparation and Certification, Subchapter A, General Provisions, §230.1, Definitions, Subchapter C, Assessment of Educators, §230.21, Educator Assessment, Subchapter D, Types and Classes of Certificates Issued, §230.36, Intern Certificates, and §230.37, Probationary Certificates, and Subchapter G, Certificate Issuance Procedures, §230.101, Schedule of Fees for Certification Services. The proposed amendments would update the figure specifying required tests for issuance of the standard certificate; would create new requirements for issuance of intern and probationary certificates for the proposed new intensive pre-service option, as concurrently proposed in Chapter 228, Requirements for Educator Preparation Programs; would update the list of certification testing fees to include the performance-based assessment, edTPA, and content certification (subject-matter only) examinations; would provide technical edits; and would remove redundancies. 

STATUTORY AUTHORITY:  The statutory authority for 19 TAC §230.1 is the Texas Education Code (TEC), §§21.041(b)(1), (2), and (4) and (c), 21.044(a); 21.048, 21.050, and 22.082. The statutory authority for 19 TAC §230.21 is the TEC, §§21.041(b)(1), (2), and (4); 21.044(a); 21.048; 21.050; 22.082; and the Texas Occupations Code (TOC), §54.003. The statutory authority for 19 TAC §230.36 and §230.37 is the TEC, §§21.003(a), 21.031, 21.041(b)(1)-(5) and (9), 21.051, and 2.0831(c) and (f). The statutory authority for 19 TAC §230.101 is the TEC, §§21.031(a); 21.041(b)(1)-(5) and (9) and (c); 21.044(a), (e), and (f); 21.048, 21.0485, 21.050, 21.054(a); 22.082; and 22.0831(f); and TOC, §53.105.

The full text of statutory citations can be found in the statutory authority section of this agenda.

PREVIOUS BOARD ACTION:  None.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND JUSTIFICATION:  The SBEC rules in 19 TAC Chapter 230 specify the requirements for issuance of educator certificates and permits, the testing requirements and associated fees, and the types and classes of certificates issued. These requirements ensure that educators are qualified and professionally prepared to instruct the schoolchildren of Texas.

Some of the changes presented in this item correspond to revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 228, Requirements for Educator Preparation Programs, and amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 227, Provisions for Educator Preparation Programs


§230.1. Definitions

The proposed amendment to §230.1 would align the test descriptions in Chapter 230 with the changes to pre-admission content test (PACT) examinations proposed in 19 TAC Chapter 228 and Chapter 227.

Proposed new §230.1(8) would define the term content certification examination and proposed new §230.1(9) would define the term content pedagogy examinations. This amendment would ensure alignment and clarity across chapters regarding the content of certification examinations. Conforming technical edits would also be made. 

At the July 26, 2019 SBEC meeting, the SBEC adopted a change to add new §230.1(17) that would define the term pilot exam to align with the SBEC’s intention of the two-year edTPA pilot and would require the SBEC to review the pilot exam by September 1, 2021. Subsequent definitions were also renumbered accordingly.  

Since published as proposed, TEA staff has made edits to proposed §230.1(11) and §230.1(22) to maintain the current definitions of "educator" and "teacher."  

§230.21. Educator Assessment

The proposed amendment to §230.21(a)(1)(D) would confirm that a candidate who has not passed a computer- or paper-based certification examination is required to wait 45 days before attempting the examination again. This 45-day wait period would support the reliability and validity of examination results for computer- and paper-based examinations because a candidate could potentially memorize the material and examination questions if he or she were allowed to retake the examination more frequently. The proposed amendment would align with TEC, §21.048(a)(1), that states that the SBEC may not require that more than 45 days elapse before a person may retake an examination. This change allows candidates completing a portfolio or performance-based examination to attempt the examination before the 45 days have elapsed. 

TEA staff recommends conducting a robust two-year pilot of edTPA, a performance-based assessment for teachers, prior to full implementation. At the April 2019 SBEC meeting, the SBEC approved, the edTPA pilot, and requested an update on the status of the pilot.  A list of follow-up attachments is below:

•    An update with a list of pilot programs can be found in Attachment III.
•    Response to SBEC inquiries made at the April 2019 SBEC meeting can be found in Attachment IV.
•    Summary of communication processes and public documents can be found in Attachment II.
•    A list of edTPA considerations and responses can be found in Attachment V.

At the April 2019 SBEC meeting, the SBEC requested that staff continue to engage with educator preparation programs (EPPs) interested in pursuing an alternative performance assessment.  A summary of actions and examination design standards can be found in Attachment VI.

The proposed amendment to Figure §230.21(e) would add edTPA as an optional, pilot exam in addition to the current Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR EC-12) exam for the demonstration of pedagogical knowledge and skills for the majority of initial educator certification categories. This change is necessary to enable a candidate taking part in the edTPA pilot to receive certification on the basis of edTPA and to prevent a pilot candidate from having to take an additional test, thus removing a potential disincentive from participating in the pilot and helping to ensure a more representative pilot sample. 

At the July 26, 2019 SBEC meeting, the SBEC adopted a change to add "pilot exam" after each listed edTPA examination to Figure §230.21(e) to provide clarification that each edTPA optional examination will be used for pilot purposes only until and if the SBEC decides differently.

The proposed amendment would align Figure §230.21(e) to the current list of active certifications by removing §233.10, Dance: Grades 8-12, and §233.5, Technology Applications: Grades 8-12, which are no longer offered. The proposed amendment would replace two TExES assessments: 141 Computer Science, 8-12, and 142 Technology Applications, EC-12, with the following updated TExES content assessments for those certificates: 241 Computer Science, 8-12, and 242 Technology Applications, EC-12, respectively. These proposed changes are necessary to remove outdated provisions and provide clarity to candidates and preparation programs.

The proposed change to the column titles in Figure §230.21(e) would align the test descriptions in this chapter with the changes to PACT examinations, concurrently proposed in 19 TAC Chapter 228 and Chapter 227, and would align with the new definitions proposed in §230.1(8) and §230.1(9). The proposed amendment would adjust the "Required Content Test(s)" column name to "Required Content Pedagogy Test(s)" to reflect the distinction between examinations that test only pedagogy and those that test content in alignment with the new PACT examinations. The proposed amendment would adjust the "Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities (PPR) Requirements" column name to "Pedagogical Requirement(s)" as it is intended to encompass all pedagogical assessments for all classes of certification.

In addition, the proposed amendment to Figure §230.21(e) would move the Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL), the content test for the Principal as Instructional Leader certification and endorsement, from the proposed new "Required Content Pedagogy Test(s)" column to the proposed new "Pedagogical Requirement(s)" column. This amendment would align with the certificate issuance procedures found in §§230.36, 241.20, and 241.35 because the PASL is a performance-based pedagogical certification exam that will require additional time for candidates to complete during their intern year. 

§230.36. Intern Certificates and §230.37. Probationary Certificates.

SBEC is statutorily authorized to ensure that all candidates for certification or renewal of certification demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to improve the performance of the diverse population of this state. The SBEC rules in 19 TAC §230.36 and §230.37 specify the types and classes of certificates issued. These rules help ensure that applicants for certification and candidates enrolled in EPPs are qualified and professionally prepared to instruct the schoolchildren of Texas. 

Research has shown that teachers who engage in hands-on practice as educators prior to entering the classroom as teachers of record are better prepared for their first teaching assignments, leading to better student outcomes. The proposed amendments to §230.36 and §230.37, along with concurrently proposed amendments to Chapter 228, would add an optional new route toward certification for candidates called intensive pre-service. The programmatic requirements of this route are stated in proposed new §228.33, Intensive Pre-Service. Candidates using the proposed new intensive pre-service option would demonstrate their proficiency and readiness to enter a classroom through pre-service practice instead of a standardized assessment. This would allow candidates to focus on their pre-service practice prior to entering the classroom as a teacher of record. Candidates would subsequently be held accountable to the same required certification assessments as other educator candidates before becoming fully certified. The proposed amendments to §230.36 and §230.37 would set out the requirements for certificate issuance of candidates participating in this proposed new optional intensive pre-service route. The proposed amendments also include minor technical edits. 

§230.36. Intern Certificates.

The proposed amendment to §230.36(d)(1) and (2) would align the test descriptions in Chapter 230 with the forthcoming changes to PACT examinations as outlined in the Chapter 227 and would align with the definition changes in §230.1(8) and §230.1(9). This change is necessary to ensure alignment across the chapters and to provide clarity and consistency for candidates and EPPs. 

Proposed new §230.36(f) would align with proposed new 19 TAC §228.33, Intensive Pre-Service, which would allow certification candidates to be supported by their EPP as they complete the programmatic requirements of intensive pre-service. Specifically, the proposed new rule would reflect the following:

•    Section 230.36(f) would clarify that the proposed new intensive pre-service option would apply to applicants for certification admitted into an EPP on or after January 1, 2020 and would clarify that these applicants must meet the requirements specified in rule. This amendment would align with the implementation date listed in proposed new §228.33, Intensive Pre-Service, and would ensure programs are not allowed to issue certifications under this route until the stated implementation date. 
•    Section 230.36(f)(1) would clarify that a passing score on the aligned pedagogical rubric specified in proposed new §228.33, Intensive Pre-Service, would be a requirement for issuance of an intern certificate for the intensive pre-service option. This amendment would define the proficiency level required for candidates to be issued an intern certificate through intensive pre-service. This would ensure that teacher candidates have demonstrated a level of content and pedagogy before entering the classroom.  
•    Section 230.36(f)(2) would confirm successful completion of the required content certification (subject-matter only) examination and would be required for issuance of an intern certificate for the intensive pre-service option. This amendment would ensure that candidates issued an intern certificate through intensive pre-service have demonstrated a minimum amount of content knowledge needed to teach their specific certification category.
•    Section 230.36(f)(3) would clarify that candidates must meet the provisions, requirements, and conditions specified for issuance of all intern certificates in §230.36(a)-(c).

The proposed amendment to §230.36(f)(1) and (2) would apply to all certification categories, except Special Education EC-12 and Bilingual Education. This amendment would acknowledge that candidates teaching in special education and bilingual categories need special critical proficiencies to serve in these specialized areas. Section 230.36(f)(2)(A) and (B) would specify that Special Education EC-12 certification candidates must also pass the TExES Special Education Supplemental and that candidates for bilingual certificates would be required to pass the Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT) or related language proficiency exam. This amendment would ensure that candidates teaching in Special Education and bilingual categories demonstrate the required critical proficiencies to serve in these specialized areas.

Since published as proposed, TEA staff has made technical edits to proposed §230.36(f)(2) to comport with the commissioner's rules concerning passing standards for educator certification examinations in 19 TAC §151.1001. 


§230.37. Probationary Certificates.

The proposed amendment to §230.37(e)(3) would clarify that the needed assessments for issuance of probationary certificates for certificate categories other than classroom teacher would be those listed in the content pedagogy column of Figure §230.21(e). The pedagogical assessments for certifications other than classroom teacher require extensive preparation and demonstration that would be unreasonable to complete before a candidate seeks a standard certificate. The proposed amendment would ensure that a candidate has the appropriate amount of time to complete the pedagogical assessment. Currently, this only applies to the Principal as Instructional Leader certification.

Proposed new §230.37(f) would allow candidates undertaking intensive pre-service to receive a probationary certificate without having to pass the PPR EC-12 examination. The proposed amendment would also clarify that an applicant must meet the requirements for the intern certificate options specified in §230.36(f); the provisions, requirements, and conditions specified for all probationary certificates in §230.37(a)-(c); and successfully complete the required content pedagogy tests prescribed in Figure §230.21(e) by the end of the first school year. The proposed amendment would ensure that candidates participating in this optional route are held to the same certification requirements as other candidates and would allow candidates the time needed to complete the required assessments. 

Since published as proposed, TEA staff has consolidated the requirements in proposed §230.37(f)(1)-(3) to remove redundancies by consolidating former §230.37(f)(1)-(3) into new §230.37(f)(1) and has made technical edits to proposed §230.37(f)(3) to comport with the commissioner's rules concerning passing standards for educator certification examinations in 19 TAC §151.1001.

§230.101. Schedule of Fees for Certification Services.

The proposed amendment to §230.101(c)(6) would specify the required fee for edTPA and §230.101(c)(7) would specify the fee for edTPA re-takes. This would establish the fee for edTPA in rule and would allow for the pilot of edTPA. During the pilot period, candidates would have the option to take the edTPA or the current PPR EC-12 assessment.  

Proposed new §230.101(d) would differentiate between the examinations used for admission purposes and the examinations used for certification purposes. 

Attachment I reflects the proposed changes to Chapter 230, Subchapters A, C, D, and G, including Figure §230.21(e).

SBOE Review of Proposed SBEC Rules

Under the TEC, §21.042, the SBEC must submit a written copy of each rule it proposes to adopt to the SBOE for review.  The SBOE may reject the proposed rule by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the SBOE present and voting but may not modify a rule.

FISCAL IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed.  The TEA staff has determined that there is additional fiscal impact on state government required to comply with the proposal. The TEA estimates a cost of $128,909 for each of the next five fiscal years (FYs) from FYs 2020-2024 for the development and ongoing administrative costs needed to maintain assessments. However, the TEA will receive an $11 remittance for each Pre-Admission Content Test taken for an estimated total of $128,909 for FYs 2020-2024 to offset the costs. Based on the 2017-2018 testing data, the TEA estimated 11,719 test attempts under the Pre-Admission Content Test route. In most cases, because an EPP has a choice in their admission requirements, estimated costs to state government in this analysis do not include EPPs.

LOCAL EMPLOYMENT IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal has no effect on local economy; therefore, no local employment impact statement is required under Texas Government Code (TGC), §2001.002.

SMALL BUSINESS, MICROBUSINESS, AND RURAL COMMUNITY IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal has no direct adverse economic impact for small businesses, microbusinesses, or rural communities; therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis, specified in TGC, §2006.002, is required. The SBEC does not anticipate an adverse effect for EPPs as a result of this proposal, including EPPs that qualify as small businesses or micro-businesses. The SBEC expects that these proposed rule changes may allow more candidates to qualify for admission into EPPs as a result of the admittance test now only requiring subject-matter knowledge. If EPPs have been relying on the PACT test to screen out candidates who did not already understand pedagogy, rather than teaching pedagogy to the level required by the educator standards, the increased revenue brought by more candidates may be offset to some extent by increased instruction costs. Even for these EPPs, the increase in instructional costs is not expected to be so significant as to overcome the increase in revenue from the additional qualified candidates. The educator standards on which the EPPs' curriculum is based have not changed with these proposed amendments. Moreover, EPPs can avoid any economic impact from the new assessment by implementing an additional pre-admission pedagogy examination of their own as an additional admission requirement. SBEC also does not anticipate an adverse effect for EPPs that choose to participate in the edTPA pilot, as the standards on which the EPPs' curriculum is based have not changed.

COST INCREASE TO REGULATED PERSONS: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal does impose a cost on regulated persons, another state agency, a special district, or a local government, and, therefore, is subject to TGC, §2001.0045. However, the proposal is exempt from TGC, §2001.0045, as provided under that statute, because the proposal is necessary to reduce the burden or responsibilities imposed on regulated persons. In addition, the proposal is necessary to ensure that certified Texas educators are competent to educate Texas students and, therefore, necessary to protect the safety and welfare of the residents of this state.

TAKINGS IMPACT ASSESSMENT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal does not impose a burden on private real property and, therefore, does not constitute a taking under TGC, §2007.043.

GOVERNMENT GROWTH IMPACT: The TEA staff prepared a Government Growth Impact Statement assessment for this proposed rulemaking. During the first five years the proposed rulemaking would be in effect, it would require an increase in fees paid to the agency, but those fees will only cover the increased costs of administering the new PACT examination and the edTPA performance assessment for those who choose to participate in the pilot. The proposed rulemaking would create new regulations. A new regulation in proposed §230.21(a)(1)(D) would require a candidate who has not passed a computer- or paper-based certification examination to wait 45 days before attempting the examination again in order to prevent the candidate from memorizing the material and examination questions. A new regulation in proposed new §230.37(f) would allow candidates undertaking intensive pre-service to receive a probationary certificate without having to pass the PPR EC-12 examination and ensure that candidates participating in this optional route are held to the same certification requirements as other candidates. In addition, the new regulation would allow candidates the time needed to complete the required assessments and, ultimately, these candidates would meet the same certification requirements as other teacher candidates.

The proposed rulemaking would not create or eliminate a government program; would not require the creation of new employee positions or elimination of existing employee positions; would not require an increase or decrease in future legislative appropriations to the agency; would not require a decrease in fees paid to the agency; would not expand, limit, or repeal an existing regulation; would not increase or decrease the number of individuals subject to its applicability; and would not positively or adversely affect the state's economy.

PUBLIC BENEFIT AND COST TO PERSONS: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed.  The public and student benefit anticipated as a result of the proposed amendments would broaden the pool of potential educators in Texas by allowing EPPs to admit educator candidates who are competent in the subject they wish to teach but are not already well-versed in pedagogy. It would also offer continued and clear guidance on processes and procedures for testing and certificate issuance.

The TEA staff has determined that there is a cost to individuals required to comply with the proposal. Certain candidates for admission to an EPP--candidates who have neither a 2.5 undergraduate grade point average nor the required number of hours of college coursework in the specific content area in which the candidate is seeking certification--would have to take a new, additional content certification examination prior to admission. Previously, these candidates could simply take the examination required for final certification as an educator prior to admission. Under the proposed rules, these candidates take three examinations in the course of the educator preparation process: (1) a content certification examination before admission to an EPP, and after completion of the EPP for certification as an educator, (2) the content pedagogy examination, and (3) the PPR EC-12 examination. The total estimated cost to persons will be $1,242,214 for each of the next five fiscal years (FYs) from FY 2020-2024. The cost is based on 11,719 possible examinees estimated to take the tests (using 2017-2018 data) at the price of $106 per test. The $106 total testing fee will be required from each candidate applying to take the content certification examination. The remainder of the fee for the content certification examination will go to the testing vendor, NCS Pearson. 

Since the edTPA pilot examination is optional, compliance with the proposal does not result in additional costs to regulated persons.

DATA AND REPORTING IMPACT: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The proposal would have no data and reporting impact.

PRINCIPAL AND CLASSROOM TEACHER PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS: No changes have been made to this section since published as proposed. The TEA staff has determined that the proposal would not require a written report or other paperwork to be completed by a principal or classroom teacher.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:  In accordance with the SBEC rulemaking process, a summary of comments received by the SBEC on its proposed rules is shared with the SBOE under separate cover prior to this SBOE meeting.


MOTION TO BE CONSIDERED: The State Board of Education:

Take no action on the proposed amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 230, Professional Educator Preparation and Certification, Subchapter A, General Provisions, §230.1, Definitions, Subchapter C, Assessment of Educators, §230.21, Educator Assessment, Subchapter D, Types and Classes of Certificates Issued, §230.36, Intern Certificates, and §230.37, Probationary Certificates, and Subchapter G, Certificate Issuance Procedures, §230.101, Schedule of Fees for Certification Services.

Staff Members Responsible:
Ryan Franklin, Associate Commissioner, Educator Leadership and Quality
Grace Wu, Director, Educator Standards, Testing, and Preparation    

Attachment I:            Text of Proposed Amendments to 19 TAC Chapter 230, Professional Educator Preparation and Certification, Subchapter A, General Provisions, §230.1, Definitions, Subchapter C, Assessment of Educators, §230.21, Educator Assessment, Subchapter D, Types and Classes of Certificates Issued, §230.36, Intern Certificates, and §230.37, Probationary Certificates, and Subchapter G, Certificate Issuance Procedures, §230.101, Schedule of Fees for Certification Services, including Figure: 19 TAC §230.21(e)

Attachment II:           Summary of Communication Process and Documents Prior to Official Rulemaking

Attachment III:          edTPA Pilot Update

Attachment IV:         Response to SBEC Questions at April Meeting

Attachment V:          edTPA Considerations and Responses

Attachment VI:        Update on Exploring edTPA Alternatives