Teaching Profession

AFT Passes Resolution Blasting the edTPA Licensing Test

By Stephen Sawchuk — July 12, 2014 1 min read

Los Angeles

The American Federation of Teachers has passed a resolution seriously criticizing the edTPA performance-based licensing exam.

“The AFT believes that neither edTPA nor any other performance assessment should be tied to a high-stakes testing regime and the outsourcing of evaluation, especially to for-profit corporations such as Pearson, as it is not an appropriate assessment of teacher education programs and teacher performance,” it says.

The resolution is more than three pages long. Among other things, it claims that the exam will standardize curriculum and teacher education; has not been shown to identify teachers who can boost student learning; ignores the context of teacher-candidates’ students; and marginalizes the expertise of teacher educators.

The resolution isn’t especially surprising, because New York State United Teachers has been very critical of the edTPA’s implementation in that state.

On the other hand, AFT President Randi Weingarten has elsewhere supported the idea of a bar exam for teaching, and right now, edTPA is the only viable option. That idea may have to wait, given the thrust of this resolution.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.