Cooperating teachers play an instrumental role in the preparation of teacher candidates. While you won’t have a role in helping the teacher candidate to complete their edTPA (that’s all on them!), your ongoing mentoring is still invaluable in helping support your future colleagues through this process.

The edTPA is a required performance assessment that takes place during the student teaching semester. Teacher candidates have all of the resources needed to complete the assessment, and can share those with cooperating teachers.

Wisconsin DPI and the edTPA

Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Fast Facts

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Cooperating Teachers FAQ

Relevant Background Information & Cost

What is the edTPA?

The edTPA is a subject-specific teacher performance assessment completed during student teaching. The assessment focuses on a learning segment of 3-5 lessons in one class. Candidates submit artifacts (lesson plans, instructional materials, teaching videos, assessments, and sample student work) and written commentaries as evidence of teaching proficiency. Professional scorers rate candidate performance in planning, instruction, and assessment using rubrics in the edTPA handbook for that subject area. Tony Evers, State Superintendent explains the edTPA in this video.

Where did the edTPA come from?

The edTPA was developed by the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity (SCALE) in partnership with the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE). It is modeled after the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ assessments of accomplished veteran teachers and was developed with input from teacher and teacher educators across the country. Stanford/Scale owns the intellectual property of the assessment and Pearson is the operational partner responsible for managing and scoring the teacher candidate edTPAs.

What does the edTPA cost?

The edTPA costs $300, which includes official scoring and score reporting for the teacher candidate and the program designated during registration. Additional score reports are $50. Retakes cost $100 for a single task (planning, instruction, or assessment) or $300 for a complete edTPA.

edTPA Requirements, Submission Deadlines & Placements

What should School Districts and Cooperating Teachers know when accepting a teacher candidate?

Candidates must have the ability to complete the edTPA. It is therefore essential that the placement give the candidate the opportunity to satisfy the requirements in the relevant edTPA handbook. The candidate must be able to: take sole responsibility for planning, instruction, and assessment of a particular class during the edTPA learning segment; make video recordings as needed; and complete the edTPA within an acceptable timeframe.

What is a co-teaching model of student teaching, and how can it be used for the edTPA?

Many educator preparation programs are shifting to a co-teaching model of student teaching, where the cooperating teacher and student teacher plan collaboratively and share teaching responsibilities. Co-teaching can take a variety of forms: one teaching while the other observes or assists students; one teaching while the other works with a small group needing extra support or challenge; both teaching as a team or in parallel at different stations; both taking turns with the teaching of particular classes, units, lessons, or activities; and so on.

Co-teaching provides extensive modeling and feedback for the student teacher while boosting student learning and sustaining a high quality of instruction in the cooperating teacher’s classes. Student teachers are still responsible for writing their own plans for instruction and may often teach on their own while the cooperating teacher attends to other duties. Student teachers will also need to take responsibility for planning, instructing, and assessing the class during the edTPA learning segment. More information about co-teaching can be found on the St. Cloud State University website.

When should Teacher Candidates complete the edTPA during student teaching?

Candidates should know their class well and be confident in their teaching ability before starting the edTPA. They are advised not to complete the assessment too early in the placement, while at the same time submitting within a timeframe that would allow for remediation. Pearson has submission windows and campus faculty will advise students regarding the timeline for completion. For an 18-week student teaching placement, the optimum time to complete the edTPA appears to be around weeks 8-12; for a 9-week placement, it may be around weeks 6-8 (which could require remediation/resubmission during a subsequent placement).

What about split placements?

Split placements provide greater pressure on candidates to advance quickly toward the edTPA. Some educator preparation programs relieve this pressure by using 18-week placements and having candidates gain experience at other levels in pre-student teaching practicums. Some programs have considered using a 12-week placement to complete the edTPA followed by a 6-week placement at another level. Where two 9-week placements are used, programs should consider candidate readiness, the fit of placement to edTPA handbook, and the submission deadlines and score report dates on the Pearson edTPA website to determine the optimum time to complete the edTPA.

Completing the edTPA

What is a learning segment in the edTPA?

The edTPA defines a learning segment as a set of 3-5 lessons that build one upon another toward a central focus with a clearly defined beginning and end.

Which class and topic should candidates choose for their edTPA learning segment?

Candidates are required to choose one specific group of students and learning segment whose content aligns with the “central focus” and rubrics in the edTPA handbook. They are encouraged to select a class with a variety of learners to help find focus students for the edTPA. The educator preparation program and cooperating teacher can help candidates make the most appropriate choices.

What is academic language, and what role does it play in the edTPA?

Academic language includes the words and phrases (vocabulary), sentence structures (syntax), and argument, presentation, and paper structures (discourse) that students need to perform successfully in the subject area. For some students this language will be familiar, while for others (especially English language learners) it may not be. In the edTPA, candidates must show how their planning, instruction, and assessment support the development of academic language related to a particular objective and task in the learning segment. More information about academic language can be found in the edTPA Handbooks.

What should candidates record for their edTPA learning segment?

Candidates should record the complete learning segment (3-5 connected lessons) so they are able to select video clips that demonstrate the evidence exemplified in the rubrics. Cooperating teachers and other appropriate school personnel can assist video record the learning segment.

How do candidates prepare to video record their classes?

Candidates follow the procedures of their program to secure permission to video record during the student teaching placement. Classroom videos may be viewed only by school district personnel, education faculty, and official scorers. In accordance with FERPA guidelines under no circumstances may videos be shared or posted online, and if candidates violate this restriction they could risk obtaining a teaching license and face a fine. Teacher candidates will sign a memo of understanding regarding appropriate use of video and the possible consequences for misuse.

Once permissions are secured, candidates are encouraged to practice video recording before the edTPA to learn how to capture clear video and audio in a classroom setting and to get students acclimated to having a video camera in the room.

How do candidates use video to complete the edTPA?

Teacher Candidates are required to videotape a learning segment and submit it with the edTPA. Video and other supporting materials will only be uploaded to a secure university network submission system. This system is accessible only by faculty, teacher candidates and Pearson Corporation.
More information can be found on the Pearson edTPA website.

Supporting Candidates

How can the cooperating teacher support candidates?

In the weeks leading up to the edTPA, the cooperating teacher can help the candidate get to know the students, build confidence as a teacher, and choose a class, topic, and focus students for the edTPA learning segment. During the learning segment (3-5 class days), the cooperating teacher should give the candidate full responsibility for planning, teaching, and assessing the class. In the week or two after the learning segment, the cooperating teacher should be aware that the candidate will need time to select video clips, write commentaries, and submit the edTPA for scoring, in addition to normal teaching duties.

Cooperating teachers should be provided a copy of Frequently Asked Questions about Student Teaching and the edTPA for Cooperating Teachers. University Supervisors should review this information with them and respond to questions that arise.

What does the University Supervisor need to communicate to the cooperating teacher?

  • What the edTPA is and why candidates need to complete it – this important conversation should occur during the initial triad meeting (early in semester/quarter).
  • That the edTPA will require candidates to plan, instruct, and assess students on their own.
  • Candidates need to begin planning for the edTPA early – choosing the week for the segment and lessons. This will mean that candidates will need to gather evidence for student performance before planning the segment lessons.
  • Candidates’ knowledge and understanding of students’ learning needs should be prompted and facilitated in a timely manner.
Scores & Retakes

What is the passing score for the edTPA?

Scores range from 15 to 75 (15 rubrics with ratings 1-5). The 2013 field test report recommends that states set a passing score in the range 39-42. Wisconsin will set a passing score in Summer 2016 based on data from 2015-16, when all candidates will complete the edTPA for program review. All candidates who complete an educator preparation program after August 31, 2016, will have to achieve the state passing score on the edTPA to be eligible for initial licensure. Until that time, educator preparation programs will need to determine whether each candidate’s performance on the edTPA provides sufficient evidence of meeting program standards for certification for licensure.

What if a candidate doesn’t pass the edTPA?

Candidates who do not meet their institution’s or the state’s passing requirements may register to re-take a single task ($100 fee) or the full edTPA ($300 fee). Retake instructions for candidates and guidelines for retake decision-making for programs are available on the Pearson edTPA website. Candidates should take particular care to address every point in the commentary prompts and to provide evidence directly related to the criteria in the rubrics.

Additional Information

Where can I find more information?

The Pearson edTPA website is the official source of information for candidates and faculty. The AACTE edTPA website provides additional resources and an online community for edTPA Coordinators. Contact your institution’s edTPA Coordinator for more information. At UW-Milwaukee, the edTPA Coordinator is Angel Hessel (