Overview / Introduction

TPA Overview Presentation (PPT)

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Senate Bill 2042 (Chapter 548, Statutes of 1998), signed by the governor in 1998, requires all multiple and single subject preliminary credential candidates attending fifth year, intern, or blended teacher preparation programs in California to pass a Teaching Performance Assessment (TPA). This assessment is designed to give preservice teachers the opportunity to develop, refine, and demonstrate their teaching knowledge, skills, and abilities during their teacher preparation program.

State of California, Teaching Performance Assessment Web Site

The TPA is imbedded in coursework and is designed to be both formative and summative in its usage. It is also linked to the California state-adopted academic content standards for students, the California Standards for the Teaching Profession, and the California Frameworks. The TPA is part of a three-year preparation cycle of growth and development for teachers. All teacher candidates must take and pass the TPA in order to be recommended for a Preliminary Teaching Credential. After receiving the Preliminary Credential, and upon employment within a California classroom, preservice teachers will participate in an approved induction program leading to a Professional Credential. The results of the TPA will inform their Individual Induction Plan (IIP). Completing the TPA will also help preservice teachers to begin using the California Formative Assessment and Support System (CFASST), or another assessment system, during induction.

All materials and information necessary for preservice teachers to complete the CA TPA are available and public. Preservice teachers will have the opportunity to review the tasks and rubrics before they take the assessment. The formative aspect allows preservice teachers to confer with, collaborate with, and receive support from both instructors and peers while preparing for the CA TPA.

General Information

Why is the TPA important? There are two major purposes for performance Assessment:

  • To help candidates grow as professionals; showcase their skills to others; synthesize information from diverse coursework in their content areas, education courses, and student teaching experiences; and demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the Teaching Performance Expectations.
  • To assure the education profession and the public that teachers who are prepared at California State University Fullerton meet the highest professional standards and are able to positively impact the learning of their students.

Who is required to take and pass the TPA?
All single subject candidates in the CSU Fullerton Single Subject Credential Program are required to successfully complete EDSC 460 Teaching Performance Assessment seminar. TPA tasks are embedded in this course and other credential courses. Effective July 1, 2008 candidates must successfully complete all four Teaching Performance Assessment tasks: Subject-Specific Pedagogy, Designing Instruction, Assessing Learning, and the Culminating Teaching Experience.

What type of information will the TPA provide to a candidate?

The TPA will result in both formative and summative candidate assessment data.

  • Formative Assessment Data
    The Single Subject Credential Program will provide TPA data to the candidate during their teacher preparation experience. The data will assist a candidate in documenting the quality of their teaching and focusing on those aspects of teaching in which they need further support. This type of ongoing detailed feedback is called formative assessment.
  • Summative Assessment Data
    To be recommended for a preliminary credential, candidates must successfully complete all four tasks: Subject-Specific Pedagogy, Designing Instruction, Assessing Learning, and the Culminating Teaching Experience. TPA Scores are an indicator of teaching quality and are documented on the STI-3 TEACHING PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT RESULTS AND INDIVIDUAL INDUCTION PLAN, which candidates may present to the Induction Coordinator of their employing district. Results of the TPA inform the development of an individual induction plan for candidates during their Induction years.

Who administers and scores the TPA?

The Coordinator of the Single Subject Credential Program is responsible for insuring scores are reported to candidates and keeping candidate scores on file. Tasks are scored by university faculty and supervisors who have been trained and certified as TPA assessors. Specifically, the Subject-Specific Pedagogy Task is administered and scored by PDD Coordinators. The Designing Instruction Task is co-administered by PDD Coordinators and the Assessment Coordinator. It is scored by certified assessors. The Assessing Learning Task and the Culminating Teaching Experience Task are administered by the Assessment Coordinator and scored by certified assessors.


Who is responsible for evaluation of the quality of the TPA for each professional preparation program?
Review of the quality of the TPA will be part of the professional preparation program accreditation process.

What happens if a candidate does not pass the TPA?
Candidates who do not pass the TPA during the regular administration may enroll in a remediation course in the following Intersession/Summer and retake the tasks missed.

Relationship of TPA to BTSA/Induction Program

How is TPA completion related to BTST/Induction? Candidates may present their STI-3 TEACHING PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT RESULTS AND INDIVIDUAL INDUCTION PLAN to the Induction Coordinator of their employing district. Results of the TPA inform the development of an individual induction plan for candidates during their Induction years.

How may TPA completion be used to qualify for the Induction Early Completion Option? There is an Early Completion Option for BTSA/Induction, and each district is required to have an Early Completion Option. However, each district may require different criteria for qualification. The Early Completion Option was originally created for out-of-state teachers and for teachers who have been teaching for many years before getting a preliminary credential.

Some districts use TPA scores to determine if candidates qualify to APPLY for the Early Completion Option. There are additional conditions for this option (which are based on teacher quality and experience). Successful completion of Task 4 would be an additional indicator of teacher quality. Please be aware that the expectation is that less than 5% of new teachers would qualify for this option. Candidates should contact their employing district for additional information.

What does the teacher earn if he/she qualifies for the Induction Early Completion Option? Early Completion of BTSA Induction Program also means different things for each district. Possibilities include the reduction of the 2-year induction program to 1.5 years and/or some flexibility in the completion of CFASST Events. Candidates should contact their employing district for additional information.

Technical Information about Tasks and Scales

What kinds of performance tasks are candidates asked to complete?
The TPA has four performance tasks. Each performance task measures a range of teaching performance expectations. Three of the tasks requires the candidate to base their responses on the needs of real students they are currently teaching. Task 4 includes an analysis of a videotaped lesson. All four tasks provide information to the candidate about their achievement of the teaching performance expectations.

(All tasks will be designed so that candidates can practice them repeatedly.)

What are teaching performance expectations (TPE)?

The CCTC developed, through rigorous research and consultation with California educators, a set of knowledge, skills and abilities beginning teachers should be able to demonstrate. Teaching performance expectations describe teaching tasks that fall into six broad domains:

  1. Creating and maintaining effective environments for student learning
  2. Making subject matter comprehensible to students
  3. Assessing student learning
  4. Engaging and supporting students in learning
  5. Planning instruction and designing learning experiences for students
  6. Developing as a professional educator

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Page updated: February 8, 2013