New Report on First-Year edTPA® Data Shows Growth, Affirms Validity & Reliability of the First Nationally Available Licensure Assessment of Teacher Candidates

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WASHINGTON – Sept. 30, 2015 – A new public report on the first full year of edTPA implementation provides the most detailed picture to date of edTPA’s expansion as the first nationally available performance-based assessment and support system for teacher licensure. More than 18,000 candidate portfolios are included in the findings, and analyses are presented in the report to affirm reliability and consistency of scoring, examine evidence of validity, and document trends in candidate performance.

edTPA, exclusively owned by Stanford University, and developed by educators for educators, has been used operationally to assess teacher candidates since Fall 2013; and now used by 626 educator preparation programs in 41 states. Since launching its first online community in 2011, membership has grown to 7,937 faculty from more than 700 educator preparation programs, the report notes. The extensive support infrastructure available to edTPA members includes more than 150 resources that have been downloaded more than 100,000 times. 

Educative Assessment and Meaningful Support: 2014 edTPA Administrative Report presents analyses of the 18,436 edTPA portfolios from 17 states that were scored in 2014. Of those, 12,051 came from candidates in states where edTPA is required for licensure, certification or program completion/program approval, including California, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Tennessee and Washington. The remaining 6,385 portfolios came from candidates in states that at the time did not have edTPA policies in place: Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

“There’s a lot of good news in this report. More candidates are submitting portfolios; more faculty members are accessing support; more programs are using data formatively, networks and materials for program change are widely shared and disseminated; and more states are establishing policies to ensure teacher quality,” said Raymond L. Pecheone, Executive Director of the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE), which led the development of edTPA with educators nationwide beginning in 2009. Pecheone notes that an additional 30,000 portfolios are expected to be scored in 2015. “The field is to be commended for its bottom up work to support and implement edTPA, which, as this report shows, can be trusted to inform decisions about readiness to teach and program renewal.”

The annual report reviews scoring patterns to assess edTPA consistency and reliability. The findings show through multiple analyses that edTPA meets professional standards for validity and reliability. In other words, edTPA effectively assesses the three job-related tasks around which it is designed – planning, instruction and assessment of student learning. More than 2,300 teachers and teacher educators have been certified as official edTPA trainers, scoring supervisors or scorers. In 2014, about half of scorers were teacher educators and half were classroom teachers, and about 21 percent of scorers were National Board Certified Teachers.

“edTPA enables teacher preparation programs to clearly communicate expectations to students and gives them a common language to identify, discuss and collaborate around what works well and where attention is needed,” said Sharon P. Robinson, President and CEO, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. “The findings in this report can guide and support preparation programs, states and P-12 partners to inform and reform teaching and learning.”

There are five rubrics for each of edTPA’s three core areas: planning, instruction and assessment, with each rubric scored on a five-point scale. Total scores can range from 15 to 75 points. The edTPA national recommended professional performance standard is 42, although states are free to set their own cut scores. Today, state-set cut scores range from 35-41. The report finds that in 2014 the average candidate score was 44.3.

On average, candidates did best in lesson planning and instruction, with slightly lower average scores on how well they assess and give feedback to their students. Candidates for high school teaching credentials had slightly higher average scores than their counterparts seeking to teach in middle or elementary grades. Candidates also scored higher in states where edTPA is required for licensure, certification or program completion: the average score in these states was 45, as compared to 42.7 in states without consequential policy.

Differences by racial/ethnic group were small, with differences within groups much larger than differences between groups. Women generally scored higher than men, and urban teachers on average scored higher than teachers in other settings.  In addition, White and Hispanic candidates’ performance was almost equivalent. English speakers and those who speak other languages had comparable performance. The report notes that while small sample sizes for some groups prevent strong generalizations, the results are encouraging and gaps in candidate performance appear to be narrowing.

“We are encouraged by the edTPA performance outcomes across demographic groups and that there is more variability within groups than between groups,” said Robinson. “This is a positive sign that we can have a professional standard for quality preparation that can be applied equitably across different candidate groups in different program types across the country.”

The 2014 edTPA Administrative Report also provides updated edTPA background information:

  • Fee waivers were made available to educator preparation programs to distribute based on student need, as well as additional allocations of waivers to support the educational use of edTPA.
  • About 30 percent of edTPA portfolios are “double scored” to ensure reliability. Ten percent of portfolios are double scored at random, and others are selected for review if the total score is close to the professional performance standard.

“We are committed to sustaining edTPA as an equitable assessment for all teacher candidates and will continue to monitor candidate performance, scorer training, assessment design and implementation,” said Andrea Whittaker, Director, Teacher Performance Assessment, SCALE. “We are equally committed to creating educative opportunities for educator preparation faculty and their P-12 partners to engage in and learn from edTPA.”


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