Why we want to #STOPedTPA

by Chelsea Hahn, The College of New Jersey

As many preservice teachers are well aware — student teaching is tough. It is an extremely trying time for preservice members to balance teaching practices, creating lessons and subsequent materials, getting to know the students, finding time to eat a full meal, maintaining some semblance of a social life, completing accompanying college coursework, and, most importantly, finding time to sleep that isn’t when you’re driving to or from your assigned practicum school. It is a balance that can seem almost impossible, but once preservice teachers get through this semester of student teaching, we feel like we can get through anything! However, things just got a bit more complicated thanks to the greedy hands of Pearson — education’s BFF.

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As you can see from these slideshows in this post, there are so many reasons to be against edTPA, but let’s just expand on a few now. Along with a college/university’s normal student teaching workload, preservice teachers will be asked to do additional writings and assignments for edTPA, which means less time to plan lessons, have any sort of social life, eat, and sleep. There is also a video taping component. Preservice teachers are asked to use their cell phones to record a fifteen minute portion of his or her lesson. What if the school doesn’t allow pictures or video taping? Well, edTPA suggests just going to a different school for one day to teach students you don’t know and content that could have nothing to do with what you’ve currently been teaching. Are you wondering where that video goes and who owns it? If so, good question. We don’t know the answer either and neither does Pearson. What we do know is that people scoring the assignments are strangers that don’t know the preservice teacher or the students being taught. These strangers may not even be familiar with the content, grade level, or the demographic of the school. Adding to the numerous issues, this will cost students an extra three hundred dollars, and edTPA is not funded, which makes this fiscally discriminatory.

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NJEA full-time members are backing us up on the absurdity of edTPA. In fact, NJEA Vice President Marie Blistan testified against edTPA. In her testimony, which can be found at the following link: http://bit.ly/2dhKT52, she states, “Between department regulations and your actions as members of the State Board, you have now regulated that our preservice students have more financial debt, have to devote more time and energy to pass another standardized test by Pearson, have to continue to successfully meet the requirements for each college, including student teaching, and then have to wait up to three years to get a regular certification while dealing with a tripled emphasis and weight of students’ standardized test scores on their cooperating teacher’s evaluation.”

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Want to learn more specifics on edTPA and why you should stand against it with us in solidarity? Visit these sites to educate yourself and help us educate others and advocate against this:
http://www.edtpa.com
https://www.njea.org/news/2016-05-23/stop-edtpa-in-new-jersey
​http://earlycareer.njeasites.org/2016/04/22/what-is-edtpa/

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What are your thoughts on edTPA? What are the reasons you want to #STOPedTPA?

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