Teacher Licensing, Teacher Supply, and Student Achievement: Nationwide Implementation of edTPA

Research Rundown Issue: September '21
Publisher: Annenberg Institute at Brown University
Date Published: July '21


The Education Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) is a standards-based assessment used to identify whether teacher candidates meet a set of core competencies and has gained popularity around the country in recent years. Using national data for 8 states that require the edTPA, researchers found that requiring the edTPA reduced the number of graduates from teacher preparation programs by 14%. They found that the negative effect was more stark for teacher candidates of color, suggesting potential equity concerns and entry barriers created by edTPA. The researchers also used national assessment data to test whether the edTPA improved student achievement, and counterintuitively, found that edTPA requirements correlated with lower, not higher, student test scores.

The authors note that their findings supplement other research related to occupational licensing. It is important to understand the costs and benefits of barriers to the profession because of the potential to:

  • Reduce labor supply, which creates shortages;
  • Exacerbate diversity concerns; and
  • Advance requirements that do not benefit the consumer or, in this instance, students.

Why This Matters in Minnesota

While it’s not required in statute, the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) regulations require initial licensure candidates to complete a board-adopted teacher performance assessment, which is currently the edTPA. Given the results of the study and Minnesota’s persistent issues with recruiting and retaining teachers of color, PELSB should reconsider requiring teacher candidates to complete the edTPA.

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