What is the edTPA?

The edTPA™ is an assessment process that requires student teachers to demonstrate they have the skills to help all students learn, by applying high-impact teaching strategies proven to close opportunity gaps for young people. Beginning with the 2012‒2013 academic year, due to laws passed at the state legislature, all 31 Minnesota institutions of higher education now require this step as part of the state’s pathways to teacher licensure. The edTPA is a performance-based assessment that requires student teachers to demonstrate the skills needed to enter the classroom ready to teach and help all students learn.

Since 2001 Minnesota teacher candidates have been required to pass subject-matter tests of knowledge and other tests to become licensed, but these tests have not captured whether candidates can demonstrate that they know how to teach. In 2011, the Minnesota Board of Teaching formally adopted edTPA as the statewide performance assessment tool that would be used to meet the state requirement.

The edTPA was developed by Stanford University in partnership with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. More than 700 educators from 24 states and the District of Columbia and more than 160 institutions of higher education collaborated in the development of edTPA to meet the need for a nationally available research-and standards-based assessment of candidate performance.

Student teachers submit artifacts of one Planning-Instruction-Assessment cycle to be reviewed by trained educators nationwide. The core competencies of the edTPA are structured around high-impact teaching that achieves equity in schools.  The rubrics that are used to score a candidate’s performance are cross-walked to many other instructional frameworks, including the Danielson framework. If you’d like to see these crosswalks, contact the Clinical Experiences Office.

You can read more about the edTPA here:

edTPA Permission Slips

edTPA Handbooks

edTPA: Understanding Rubric Level Progression

“The edTPA was a positive experience for me, and I learned a lot about explaining my steps in depth during my teaching to not only remind myself why I am teaching something a certain way, but to show administrators and other teachers as well.” – BSU teacher candidate

Passing Scores

Currently, all Teacher Candidates in Minnesota need to complete the edTPA assessment, but a passing score is not yet required to secure initial licensure.  The Minnesota cut scores are as follows:

  • Planning – 13
  • Instruction – 13
  • Assessment – 12

At this time, the score does not reflect a candidate’s ability to get a teaching license, but should a candidate not achieve the BSU threshold for edTPA performance, he/she will need to do remediation with an instructor before being recommended for licensure.

Preparing for the edTPA Assessment

All student teachers will complete one edTPA and submit the edTPA in SL&L by Watermark.

In the first few weeks of student teaching, using the Cooperating Teacher’s curricular scope and sequence for the semester of student teaching, the student teacher and cooperating teacher should meet and decide on a 3-5 day unit of instruction that the student teacher will deliver during the first 5 weeks of student teaching so that the student teacher will be able to complete their edTPA. The student teacher should leave that initial meeting with:

  • An understanding of the 1-3 MN standards to which the unit will align.
  • Any ideas or actual teaching materials that might be related to the Cooperating Teacher’s curricular resources for those standards.
  • Baseline data about the classroom’s performance in relation to those standards. If baseline data is not available, the cooperating teacher and student teacher can make plans to give a mini-unit pretest early in the student teaching experience.

It is understood that the student teacher assumes full responsibility for teaching this series of lessons, even if they will have yet to assume full responsibility for the Cooperating Teacher’s full teaching load. During ED 4799, candidates will be supported in developing initial lesson plans for their edTPA assessments so when student teaching commences, they will be more prepared to teach and reflect on the edTPA lesson sequence.

All teacher candidates are invited to attend edTPA on-campus workshops or PEDL-hosted webinars throughout their student teaching assignment.

During these workshops, candidates can work on the edTPA submission artifacts, offer each other support, and work in a collaborative atmosphere to complete their commentaries and submit their edTPA . The Cooperating Teacher and the Mentor-Coach can give general direction to the candidate, but the bulk of teacher candidate questions about the edTPA should be directed to the Director of Clinical Experiences. The edTPA will be scored by outside evaluators and the scores are sent to candidates and to BSU.  Because the edTPA is required for initial licensure, teacher candidates will receive their grade for student teaching ONLY after their edTPA scores have posted and any necessary remediation completed.