While some participants are accepted based on transcript qualifications, most participants will have passed the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards™ (TExES™) content examination in their content area prior to admission into Urban Teachers. This is known as the Pre-Admissions Content Test (PACT). The specific assessment required varies by program of study and measures general and subject-specific teaching skills. Participants must take and pass all required state-mandated examinations required for the initial Intern/Probationary Certificates and then for the Standard Certificate.
Even though Urban Teachers will act as liaison with TEA during the certification process, participants are responsible for obtaining and submitting required forms in a timely manner while pursuing certification. Urban Teachers will provide specific details about which examinations are required for each certification area.
The Urban Teachers Certification Officer for the Dallas Site will be required to enter each approved participant onto the TEA Accountability System for Educator Preparation (ASEP) before they may register to take any exam. Urban Teachers will require that all of the following criteria be met by a participant before they can be recommended for testing:
- The participant must have been accepted as a member of the Urban Teachers program.
- The participant must be placed in a partner school district for the two-year internship.
- The participant must not be on academic probation after completing the first three semesters with Urban Teachers.
Participants are responsible for all costs associated with the teaching certification examinations, application fees, and required transcripts. Information on registration, fees, and materials to prepare for testing can be found at http://www.texes.ets.org.
The TEA website contains test preparation materials for the TExES™ examinations. It is highly recommended that participants prepare fully for the examinations, as participants are only permitted to take an examination a total of five (5) times. If a participant fails an examination, a forty-five (45) day waiting period must pass before the participant may retake the examination. Additionally, the examination fee for each seating is currently $118.87 and is the responsibility of the participant.
TExES™ 163 SPECIAL EDUCATION SUPPLEMENTAL EXAMINATION:
Urban Teachers requires participants to obtain certification in special education in addition to certification for their content area. Urban Teachers offers extensive coursework in special education, and participants develop a deep knowledge of practices and content in special education. All Urban Teachers participants in Dallas must take and pass the TExES™ 163 Special Education Supplemental examination in the spring of their first year in the program, before moving on to becoming a teacher of record in Program Year 2 (internship). The one hundred thirty-five (135) multiple choice questions range from grades EC-12. Participants will have five (5) hours to complete the examination. Results are represented as a score in the range of 100-300, with 240 being the minimum passing score.
TExES™ 154 ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE SUPPLEMENTAL EXAMINATION:
Urban Teachers requires participants in Dallas to obtain a supplemental certification in English as a Second Language in addition to certification for their content area. Urban Teachers offers extensive training in English as a Second Language, and participants develop a deep knowledge of practices and content in English as a Second Language. All Urban Teachers participants in Dallas must take and pass the TExES™ 154 English as a Second Language examination in the spring of their first year in the program, before moving on to becoming a teacher of record in Program Year 2 (internship). The 80 multiple choice questions range from grades EC-12. Participants will have (5) hours to complete the examination. Results are represented as a score in the range of 100-300, with 240 being the minimum passing score.
edTPA in TEXAS:
edTPA is a performance-based, subject-specific assessment and support system used by educator preparation programs throughout the United States to emphasize, measure, and support the skills and knowledge that all teachers need from day one in the classroom. All Urban Teachers participants in Dallas must prepare a portfolio of materials as they complete their alternative certification program. edTPA requires participants to demonstrate readiness to teach through lesson plans designed to support their students' strengths and needs, engage real students in ambitious learning, analyze whether their students are learning, and adjust their instruction to become more effective. Participants submit unedited video recordings of themselves at work in a real classroom as part of a portfolio that is scored by highly trained educators. edTPA builds on decades of teacher performance assessment development and research regarding teaching skills and practices that improve student learning.
All Urban Teachers participants in Dallas are required to complete an edTPA portfolio during their Fellow Year 1 (Program Year 2). The cost of the first attempt of edTPA in Texas will be $311.
INTERN AND PROBATIONARY CERTIFICATES:
The certification process begins in the Program Year 1, with Urban Teachers serving as the liaison between participants and TEA. At the conclusion of the first semester with Urban Teachers, participants will identify the certification area aligned with their program of study, in addition to special education. The Dallas Site Team will provide information mid-year about requirements for each certification area.
Urban Teachers participants will participate in a two-year internship that will follow the Program Year 1 residency. Participants must hold a non-renewable Intern Certificate during their first year of the internship (Program Year 2). Participants will apply for a Probationary Certificate prior to entering their second year of the internship (Program Year 3).
While participants hold a Probationary Certificate, they will begin working towards the requirements for a Standard Certificate. Urban Teachers will continue to serve as a liaison between program participants and TEA, regarding state-required tests and graduate school transcripts. These requirements must be completed before the Probationary Certificate expires to ensure a smooth transition between the Probationary Certificate and the Standard Certificate.
During the second semester of Program Year 3 (Semester 6) of the Urban Teachers commitment, the Dallas Site Team will work with participants to apply for the Standard Certificate, assuming that the participant is meeting the expectations set forth in this Handbook and the Urban Teachers evaluation system. At that time, participants will need to request official graduate transcripts that document their degree conferral.