Montclair State Education Students Join Statewide Calls to End edTPA

Education students at Montclair State University join statewide calls to end the edTPA assessment. Students must pass the edTPA in order to receive teaching certification in New Jersey.

Several education associations sent a letter to state legislators and the State Board of Education calling for the elimination of the edTPA. They list a variety of problems caused by the assessment, including that it interferes with professional growth, negatively affects mental and emotional health, creates a significant financial burden, and is redundant due to other assessments currently in place. Delaware, Georgia and Washington have all recently eliminated assessment.

Students begin to thrive edTPA Requirements the semester preceding the start of their teaching. They must submit a portfolio including lesson plans, sample assessments, written reflections, sample student work, and a video of themselves teaching.

Many Montclair State students agree with the growing calls to end the edTPA. One such student is Kelly McLaughlin, a linguistics major, who is taking the teacher training program to be certified in English as a second language.

“Just as I was finally able to put all of my study and preparation into practice during my teaching internship, I had to complete the edTPA,” McLaughlin said. “It was a dark cloud over my experience as a student-teacher and my senior year of college.”

McLaughlin said the evaluation workload was unnecessarily heavy.

“In addition to teaching students full-time, completing assignments for my student teaching seminar class, researching teaching jobs, and my other responsibilities, the edTPA’s workload was to pretty much unmanageable,” McLaughlin said. “Nevertheless, I would accept a heavy workload if I knew it was useful and educational, but edTPA is the opposite of that.”

McLaughlin explained the difficulty of recording herself while teaching students.

“The filming logistics were another nightmare,” McLaughlin said. “I’m tech-savvy, but it was still very difficult to install video equipment in my classroom. Getting the audio equipment to pick up the dialogue was another challenge as everyone was wearing masks and the air purifier was creating a lot of background noise.

McLaughlin said the video does not capture an authentic classroom environment.

“My students were very embarrassed to be filmed in class,” McLaughlin said. “I explained several times that me and a stranger would be the only people watching the videos and that the videos would only be used to grade me as a teacher, not them as students. However, these explanations only limited weight for my students aged 16 and 17. As for them, they had to endure several periods of class in front of a video camera that filmed everything they did. their participation, but a big part of the grade for the edTPA is how a student teacher facilitates and builds on student input – talk about contradictory.

Jason Rosenblum, a first-year graduate student in music education, said there are better ways to ensure a student is qualified to teach.
Photo courtesy of Jason Rosenblum

Jason Rosenblum, a first-year graduate student in music education, said there are better ways to ensure a student is qualified to teach.

“I believe the edTPA should be removed as a requirement for teacher certification in New Jersey, as many other safeguards are in place to ensure that teacher preparatory programs produce quality educators” , Rosenblum said. “The assessment costs $300, placing an unnecessary economic burden on college graduates and their families. [who are] already struggling to pay for college.

Rosenblum added that the assessment takes a long time.

“This assessment is so grueling in its nature that a lot of time that could be spent on professional development is spent preparing for the edTPA,” Rosenblum said. “Lots of courses at [Montclair State] focus primarily on preparing students for the edTPA assessment.

Megan Kick, a junior English student in the dual certification program for K-6, said the edTPA is time-consuming, expensive and stressful.  Photo courtesy of Megan Kick

Megan Kick, a junior English student in the dual certification program for K-6, said the edTPA is time-consuming, expensive and stressful.
Photo courtesy of Megan Kick

Megan Kick, a junior English major in the dual certification program for K-6, shared similar sentiments.

“It’s an extremely long, expensive and stressful process that doesn’t even measure the true potential of a student teacher in the classroom,” Kick said. “Prospective teachers already have a huge workload to accomplish in order to become the best teachers possible. edTPA is by no means necessary to train a good teacher.

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