Waiver of Performance Assessment Certification Requirements During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
The following guidance provides a description of the New Jersey Department of Education’s (NJDOE) waiver of the teacher certification performance assessment (edTPA) requirement as necessitated by the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and related limitations. The NJDOE aims to ensure all candidates who are otherwise eligible for certification but cannot complete the edTPA due to temporary assessment disruptions caused by the pandemic can earn initial or permanent (standard) educator certification.
This waiver provides temporary flexibility for Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) candidates who are on track for completing educator preparation programs in spring 2020 and provisional teachers who hold a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) and are applying for standard certification. These flexibilities are in effect for candidates who are applying for certification on or after April 28, 2020 and they expire on September 1, 2020 or when the Public Health Emergency declared by Governor Murphy (Executive Orders 103, 119, and 138) is lifted, whichever is earlier.
The edTPA is the Commissioner-approved performance assessment required by regulations and is an electronic portfolio process that requires CEAS teacher candidates and CE provisional teachers to plan lessons, assess student work, and submit a video recording of themselves teaching students. School closures have disrupted the administration of edTPA and some candidates are unable to complete the assessment during the current state of emergency.
Temporary Flexibilities for Those Applying for Certification:
- Candidates applying for CEAS will be granted a waiver of the performance assessment requirement for a CEAS, if they meet all other requirements. The NJDOE is providing temporary flexibility for approved educator preparation programs to, in lieu of the performance assessment, recommend candidates for a CEAS after verifying their preparedness to teach.
- CE provisional teachers applying for a standard certificate will be granted a waiver of the performance assessment requirement for a standard certificate. The NJDOE is providing temporary flexibility for approved educator preparation programs to, in lieu of the performance assessment, recommend candidates for a standard certificate after verifying their preparedness to teach.
Next Steps for Educator Preparation Providers (EPP)
Since the performance assessment has been waived as a CEAS or standard certification requirement, the NJDOE expects approved CE and CEAS EPPs to submit a plan explaining how they are determining that each candidate recommended for certification that was unable to complete edTPA has otherwise demonstrated preparedness to teach. Acceptable evidence of candidate preparedness includes, but is not limited to:
- Locally scored edTPA or similar activities
- Clinical practice observations
- Compilation of candidate evidence throughout the program
- Clinical supervisor/cooperating teacher recommendations
- Formal observations/evaluations (provisional CE candidates)
- Supervisor recommendation (provisional CE candidates)
- Exit interview
Every approved CE and CEAS EPP must submit a plan to the NJDOE via survey by May 30, 2020 or prior to recommending spring 2020 completers for certification, whichever is earlier. Providers that operate both CE and CEAS programs must submit a separate plan for each pathway. Plans will be reviewed by the NJDOE.