Teacher and Kids in the Classroom

California Is on The Verge of Getting Rid of One of Its Final Teacher Evaluations.


A bill that could eliminate a key teaching test in California advanced through the Senate Education Committee without much opposition on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 1263, backed by the California Teachers Association, is set to go next to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

If passed by the Legislature, it would end the California Teaching Performance Assessment, or CalTPA, which currently requires teachers to show their skills through video clips and written reflections.

Supporters, like Sen. Josh Newman of Fullerton, who also leads the Senate Education Committee, argue that removing the assessment could attract more individuals to teaching.

Newman stated that the test’s preparation demands detract from more crucial training aspects, such as hands-on clinical experience.

Senator Josh Newman is giving a speech in the Senate

He noted that the test largely replicates other existing credentialing requirements.

However, opposition exists.

Brian Rivas, from the educational nonprofit The Education Trust‒West, defended the assessment, saying it’s a vital tool for measuring teacher readiness and the effectiveness of teacher training programs.

He expressed concerns that eliminating the test could lead to a decrease in qualified teachers, especially in low-income areas.

California has been moving away from standardized tests for teachers, offering alternatives like coursework to replace exams like the CBEST and CSET.

Additionally, recent educational reforms have shifted reading instruction methods towards phonics.

Last year, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 488, which set new literacy standards and replaced an older reading test with a new literacy performance assessment.

This change was also supported by the California Teachers Association, which has now proposed SB 1263 to remove the broader performance assessment, citing it as an obstacle for diverse teacher recruitment.

Mandy Redfern from the CTA criticized the current assessment as overly burdensome and ineffective.

Meanwhile, state data reveals that while the assessment poses challenges, pass rates for minority groups are not significantly lower compared to other groups.

The bill would also impact literacy oversight in teacher training programs established by another recent bill.