Warner School Professors Awarded Spencer Foundation Funding to Study Early Impacts of edTPA Implementation

Kevini MeuwissenTwo Warner School of Education professors, Kevin Meuwissen and Jeffrey Choppin, of the University of Rochester, have received a one-year research grant from the Spencer Foundation to examine teaching candidates’ experiences with and perceptions of edTPA initiation and its impact on their teacher preparation programs. edTPA is the new high-stakes performance test for beginning teachers that New York and Washington States first implemented as a teacher certification requirement in 2013.
Developed by the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE), the edTPA project is one of the latest education reforms to focus on teacher quality. Thirty-three states are in the process of considering or adopting its use as a certification test. The assessment requires student teachers to submit videos of their practice, along with written lesson plans, reflections, and samples of student work, demonstrating that they can plan, execute, and assess instruction.
Jeffrey ChoppinMeuwissen, principal investigator, and Choppin, co-principal investigator, will examine edTPA’s impact in New York and Washington, the first two states to require successful edTPA completion as a condition of teacher certification. The two states have taken different approaches to developing and initiating the performance assessment. Amid backlash from teacher preparation programs and student teachers regarding New York’s hurried adoption of edTPA, the study is timely because it will help to generate important discussions about the early ramifications of rapidly initiated policy reforms around teacher quality.
Using a mixed methods research approach that includes electronic surveys and in-depth interviews, the nearly $50,000 grant will allow the researchers to explore what occurred in the first and second cycles of edTPA implementation (2013-14 and 2014-15) to better understand its consequences for beginning teachers and teacher education programs, and to inform future implementation of the assessment in ways that support teacher learning and practice.
Director of the social studies teacher education program and an assistant professor at Warner, Meuwissen traveled to Albany, New York in May to testify at a NYS Assembly hearing on New York State’s implementation of the edTPA teacher certification exam.

Choppin, director of the mathematics teacher education program and an associate professor at Warner, also focuses his research on how other policy reforms, such as the mandated high-stakes tests and teacher evaluations associated with the new Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM), have impacted teachers’ classroom practices. 
The Spencer Foundation was established in 1962 and investigates ways in which education can be improved around the world. Since 1971, the foundation has awarded approximately $250 million in grants.
About the Warner School of Education
Founded in 1958, the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education (www.warner.rochester.edu) offers master’s and doctoral degree programs in teaching and curriculum, school leadership, higher education, educational policy, counseling, human development, and health professions education. The Warner School of Education offers a new accelerated option for its EdD programs that allows eligible students to earn a doctorate in education in as few as three years part time while holding a professional job in the same field. The Warner School of Education is recognized both regionally and nationally for its tradition of preparing practitioners and researchers to become leaders and agents of change in schools, universities, and community agencies; generating and disseminating research; and actively participating in education reform. 
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Tags: edTPA, Jeffrey Choppin, Kevin Meuwissen, performance assessments, research, Spencer Foundation, Spencer Foundation, teacher certification