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Many states require teachers to be certified, meaning they must pass one of two national tests.

National assessments show UD students are ready to teach

State of Delaware now requires teachers to pass a national exam

For education majors to become licensed, certified teachers, many states require them to pass a national performance assessment — either the edTPA, administered through Pearson, or the Praxis Performance Assessment for Teachers (PPAT) offered by the Educational Testing Service.

In 2016, the State of Delaware joined these ranks, requiring teacher preparation candidates to pass a national performance assessment in order to qualify for Institutional Recommendation.

University of Delaware undergraduate and graduate education students pursuing teaching certification submitted their assessments during the 2016/2017 academic year.

As of July 24, 2017, 96% of these students passed either the PPAT or edTPA.

Performance assessments seek to measure candidates’ classroom teaching skills. Students submit an extensive portfolio of work that includes examples of their lesson plans, videos of them teaching in a classroom, and written reflections and analyses of their classroom practice outlining how they could adjust their instruction to improve student learning.

Both edTPA and PPAT then have trained evaluators, using analytic rubrics, assess more than 10 key aspects of the candidate’s performance.

Given the strong support and guidance of UD faculty and program advisors, as well as extensive hands-on student teacher training in local schools (see UDaily’s Collaborative Teaching article), it was not surprising education students were well-prepared for these evaluations.

“Students in the majority of our education programs were expected to compile portfolios and videos of their teaching practice even before the assessments were required. It was part of our rigorous process, preparing our candidates to develop the skills necessary to succeed in the classroom,” said Elizabeth Soslau, interim director of UD’s Delaware Center for Teacher Educators (DCTE).

UD education candidates generally complete the performance assessment selected by their program.  For example, secondary English education majors typically take PPAT, while secondary science education majors submit the edTPA.  Programs provide some flexibility depending on where the candidate plans to teach. For example, while Delaware accepts either assessment, some states like New York accept only the edTPA.

Assessment scores are reported on a rolling basis. As of July 24, results within UD’s programs show:

  • Nearly all elementary teacher education (ETE) students seeking teacher certification have passed their edTPA, supported by Steff Kotch-Jester, Dede Lilly, Bridget Duda and the ETE faculty. ETE is UD’s largest education major offering six different certification areas.

  • Early childhood education candidates earned a 100% pass rate on the PPAT and, for the New York state-bound, a 100% pass rate on the edTPA, with support from Lynn Worden and Elise Colomb.  

  • Secondary social studies education candidates secured a 100% pass rate on the PPAT and one New York-bound candidate received a passing edTPA score, guided by Hannah Kim.

  • Secondary science education candidates, supported by Kate Scantlebury and Sue Gleason, earned 100% on the edTPA.

  • Agriculture education students, guided by Arba Henry, took the PPAT and earned a 100% passing rate.

Additional recognition goes out to UD faculty and staff who have prepared and supported education students during the arduous assessment process: Steve Taylor (secondary English education), Suzanne Burton (music education), Jungeun Park and Diana Roscoe (secondary mathematics education), Basia Moltchanov (world languages), Alyssa Truszkowski (DCTE), and all of the faculty, staff and UD leaders working to support student success.


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