As school districts across Illinois continue to struggle with hiring teachers to fill openings, many in the field point to the government-mandated edTPA test as a significant roadblock to future teachers. State Senator Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) has filed legislation to eliminate the state’s current requirement that teachers take and pass the controversial test.
“We’ve heard from teachers and administrators alike that the edTPA is making the teacher shortage worse,” said Senator Bailey. “As a former school board member, I have personally seen a large number of good and qualified teachers that would have been very successful but were turned away because they were unable to clear this arbitrary requirement.”
Currently, in Illinois, student teachers have to pass the edTPA test to obtain licensure to teach. The test has several components, including a requirement that teachers record themselves on video teaching and then submit the video to an outside, private organization for review. Preparing for and passing the test can also be expensive for student teachers.
Many education organizations have said that the test isn’t the best indicator of future success as a teacher. It unfairly hurts certain candidates, especially lower-income students, and can take significant time away from important skills learned through hands-on student teaching.
“The current edTPA requirement overrides the opinion of professors, administrators, and local school boards as to the quality of prospective teachers,” added Bailey. “Eliminating this onerous and arbitrary requirement will help ease the teacher shortage and empower our local school boards and communities to decide who is best qualified to educate our students.”