July 12, 2014

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UUP recognized for edTPA action

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UUP VPA Jamie Dangler, right, celebrates the union’s AFT award with Secretary Eileen Landy, center, and Treasurer Rowena Blackman-Stroud.

UUP and the Professional Staff Congress/CUNY were honored for their collaborative work to slow full implementation of the edTPA student teacher certification requirement. They received the award at the AFT’s Convention in Los Angeles.

Both unions received the AFT’s Lawrence Gold Professional Issues Award July 12 at the AFT Higher Education Breakfast.

Later that day, AFT delegates approved a resolution that said the union does not believe the edTPA or any performance assessment should be linked to high-stakes testing. The resolution, offered by UUP, also said AFT will call on teacher education professionals to develop a “best practice” approach to teacher education.

UUP and the PSC were recognized by the AFT for successfully organizing a campaign to press the state Education Department to rethink its edTPA requirement. The result was a safety net for student teachers seeking initial teaching certification next year; the safety net expires June 30, 2015.

“We are so pleased that the AFT has recognized the significance of our grassroots organizing,” said statewide VP for Academics Jamie Dangler, who led UUP’s resistance to the edTPA. “They recognized the issues and the results.”

“UUP really led the way on this,” said PSC President Barbara Bowen. “We are in their debt for their vision and leadership.”

On April 29, the Board of Regents approved a resolution that put off the edTPA’s full implementation to July 1, 2015. The Regents also created a new task force to review the edTPA—representatives include UUP, PSC and NYSUT members—and decided that edTPA scores will not be used in the state’s institutional profiles until the 2015-16 academic year.

Dangler said UUP wouldn’t have been successful without the strong support of NYSUT, the PSC, students, parents, and private college colleagues who came together to pressure the Regents and SED to slow the edTPA’s implementation.

“The edTPA safety net is one small step forward,” she said.

Under the Regents agreement, teacher candidates who do not pass the edTPA will be allowed to use a passing score on the Assessment of Teaching Skills-Written (ATS-W) to demonstrate readiness to enter the classroom as a teacher. The edTPA/ATS-W is one of four exams future teachers must currently pass to get initial teaching certification in New York.

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