Letter: Test burdensome for student-teachers

Pre-kindergarten teacher Angela Tirone helps student Jarrell Love,

Pre-kindergarten teacher Angela Tirone helps student Jarrell Love, 4, write a sentence about characters in the book, "The Mitten" at West Hertel Academy in Buffalo. (Jan. 15, 2014) Photo Credit: AP

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Newsday dramatically understated the demands for the edTPA, the new portfolio assessment now required for student teachers .

For example, Newsday claimed the video portions are scored for "positive, respectful response of students." In fact, the videos will be graded according to five detailed scoring guides that go far beyond these criteria. There are another 10 detailed scoring guides for other portions of the edTPA.

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I can't share specific information with the public. As a public university employee, I was required to sign a proprietary, nondisclosure agreement with Pearson Inc., to read the assessment requirements.

The implementation of the edTPA has been rushed and incomplete. It is a counterproductive, anxiety-producing burden for would-be teachers that has transformed what should be a full semester of learning into a semester-long exam. It requires full teaching expertise before student-teachers have had a fair chance to develop that expertise.

The new requirements also include a $300 fee from each student-teacher, which goes to a private corporation. The state Education Department should immediately remove the edTPA as a certification requirement.

Ken Lindblom, Shoreham

Editor's note: The writer is an associate professor and director of English teacher education at Stony Brook University.


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