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Texas Educator Testing Changes

July 17, 2018 • Patti Ellis and Karen Dooley


Multiple changes to the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program, including new vendors and limits to exam attempts, will go into effect at the end of August.

Last week, Marilyn Cook, Director of the Division of Educator Certification and Testing at Texas Education Agency (TEA), provided attendees at the Texas Association of School Personnel Administrators (TASPA) Summer Conference with an overview of several important changes, which are detailed below.

New certification test vendor

Effective September 1, 2018, the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program will transition to a new vendor, NCS Pearson, Inc., for the TExES, TExMaT, TASC, and TASC-ASL tests.

While the vendor for testing will change, all tests will remain the same.  Anyone currently planning to test or re-test prior to September 1, 2018, should make sure registration and all other requirements are completed by August 31, 2018. Other information, including key dates regarding the vendor transition are available on the TEA website.

Testing limits and waivers

Texas Education Code §21.048, effective on September 1, 2015, placed a limit of five attempts to pass a certification examination. A subsection of the law, counting all attempts of the same examination taken before September 1, 2015, as only one attempt, is set to expire at the end of next month.  According to TEA, beginning September 1, 2018, all attempts of the same examination, no matter when they occurred, will count toward the five-attempt testing limit.

Testers impacted by the change must take their examination(s) by August 31, 2018, if the new test attempt counting method will make them ineligible on September 1, 2018. A candidate who reaches the five-time testing limit must apply for a test-limit waiver to retest.

Information for candidates, educators, and others who took and have not passed certification examinations prior to September 1, 2015, may find information in the candidate guidance document provided by TEA.

Elimination of tests

Four certificates are being eliminated by August 31, 2018, including the following:

  • Computer Science: Grades 8–12 (TExES 141)
  • Technology applications: Early Childhood-Grade 12 (TExES 142)
  • Technology Applications: Grades 8–12 (TExES 139
  • Dance: 8–12 (TExLES 179)

An individual who took and passed these certification exams prior to their expiration will have until October 30, 2018, to apply and pay the certification fee.

Out-of-state test exemptions

A new process allows the exemption of Texas tests for eligible individuals certified outside the state in accordance with Commissioner’s Rules Concerning Examination Requirements (19 TAC §152.1001). Individuals seeking this exemption must provide a review of credentials application and required documents with a $164 fee, verification of tests for test exemptions, and a service record completed by the employing school verifying required years of experience (classroom teacher: one year, administrator: two years). Verification of accreditation is required for service earned in a private school or any school outside of the United States.

An FAQ for test exemptions is available on the TEA website.

Principal certification redesign

The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) adopted new principal standards in 2016 because of the evolving role of the principal as an instructional leader and the needs of Texas schools and communities. Starting on September 1, 2019, all candidates for principal certification will need to pass the new TExES Principal (268) exam and the Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL) to obtain a standard principal certification.

Testers passing the TExES Principal (268) exam by August 31, 2019, will be exempt from the PASL if all other certification requirements are complete by that date and the individual has applied and been recommended by October 30, 2019. The TExES Principal (268) exam will be offered free of charge to eligible candidates during the initial testing window of December 2018 through February 2019. The current TExES Principal (068) test is available through December 31, 2018 and for re-testers through August 31, 2019.

If you have questions regarding these changes, a guide for contacting the TEA certification division can be found in the HRX Infographic: How to Contact the TEA Certification Division.

Tagged: Certification, TEA, "Teacher certification", "Texas Education Agency"