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February 16, 2021

American University School of Education Adopts edTPA for Teacher Candidate Evaluation Press Release

Washington, DC - This spring, the American University School of Education (SOE) will launch the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) as part of its comprehensive evaluation of P-12 teacher candidates. This rigorous capstone teaching assessment is completed during the student teaching semester, just prior to graduation. American University is the only university in the District of Columbia using edTPA as part of its teacher evaluation system.

The edTPA multi-measure assessment system engages teacher candidates in developing the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to meet the needs of today’s diverse learners. Developed by researchers at the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity (SCALE), the edTPA is an authentic measure of teacher candidate readiness. Additionally, the edTPA provides beginner teachers a solid foundation on which to build successful careers and offers P-12 students a well-prepared teacher.

“As a School of Education, we pride ourselves on ensuring that our teacher candidates are prepared to teach on day one. That means we must engage in evaluation that provides reliable information and feedback on our candidates’ readiness to teach effectively,” said Dr. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Dean of the School of Education.

The SOE looks forward to maximizing the many benefits of edTPA: improving student outcomes; engaging in relevant and impactful professional development experiences that directly support student learning; leveraging the alignment between edTPA and professional development priorities with district partners; and using edTPA data to engage in targeted SOE program improvement.

As the SOE is committed to cultivating teachers in an antiracist learning community, SOE faculty are integrating their antiracist pedagogy and curriculum with the edTPA portfolio. Dr. Tracy Spesia, the edTPA Coordinator for the SOE Teacher Education Program, stated, “The edTPA evidence includes antiracist teaching practices such as lesson plans that leverage students’ assets, ongoing formative assessments that build relationships between students and their student teacher, instructive and supportive feedback to improve student learning, and support for the language demands of the content and the classroom. At the SOE, we highlight that these practices build equitable instruction and align with our explicit priority to develop antiracist educators.”

To learn more about AU School of Education’s edTPA implementation, please contact Dr. Tracy Spesia at

The AU Undergraduate and Graduate Teacher Preparation programs are committed to continuous improvement and assessment. Review our performance mesures here.