January 25, 2014

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Dangler brings edTPA issue to SUNY
Faculty Senate

uupdate 1-25-14

UUP VP for Academics Jamie Dangler explains UUP's position on the edTPA at the SUNY University Faculty Senate meeting Jan. 25.

What she found was a roomful of allies willing to listen and interested in finding out more about the new high-stakes teacher ed requisite.

Dangler explained that State Education Department (SED) Commissioner John King Jr. has refused to budge from a May 2014 edTPA implementation deadline, even though educators haven’t had enough time to adapt curricula and adequately prepare students for the new student teacher performance assessment.

“We have basically set up a cohort of our students to fail,” said Dangler. “I firmly believe that we have been set up for failure here (by SED) and the consequences will be disastrous for students and teaching programs.”

Dangler, invited by Senate President Peter Knuepfer to address the Senate, also delivered UUP’s take on the new Executive Budget, released Jan. 21. A number of UUP leaders are Senate members, including VP for Professionals Philippe Abraham and Outreach Committee Co-chair Arty Shertzer, who were at the meeting.

Under the edTPA initiative, teacher ed students who earn their teaching degree but fail the edTPA will not be certified to teach in the state. SED has predicted that as many as 40 percent of graduating seniors will fail the edTPA and won’t qualify for certification. New York is one of just two states that tie the edTPA to teaching certification.

Dangler asked Senate members to help UUP mobilize members and students on their campuses to meet with legislators and Regents over the coming weeks.

UUP has a seven-point action plan to press for changes in the edTPA; those points include extending the timeline for use of the edTPA, updating state student teaching regulations to align with the Regents Reform Agenda, and demanding that SED remove the edTPA as a requirement for teacher certification.

Several Faculty Senate members nodded in agreement as Dangler shared UUP’s concerns about the edTPA.

Faculty Senate member Dennis Showers, a SUNY Geneseo teacher ed professor, said students who earn teaching degrees but are denied certification because they fail the edTPA should complain loudly to their legislators.

“If I wanted to break public education, I’d do exactly what (King) is doing,” he said.

Dangler urged senators to read UUP’s new edTPA fact sheet, a four-page document that details UUP’s questions and concerns about the new requirement. The edTPA fact sheet is available on the UUP website.

“We need to work together,” Dangler said. “Things are coming to a head in a very negative way.”

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