EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Those wanting to become teachers in Texas may have to pass a more rigorous exam to do so.

Meanwhile El Paso is dealing with a teacher shortage. KTSM 9 News reached out to area school districts to see how many teacher job openings there are.

  • Socorro ISD -176 vacancies
  • El Paso ISD – 140 vacancies
  • Ysleta ISD – 91 vacancies

The new testing is meant to help retain teachers but the President of the El Paso Teacher Association says the main reason teachers are leaving the profession is the pay.

“If they’re going to retain our teachers and bring teachers into the profession and retain them, they are going to have to pay them because that is the biggest issue right now not just in El Paso but across the country,” said Norma De La Rosa the President of the El Paso Teachers Association.

On Friday the the State Board for Educator Certification approved the test called edTPA.

If approved, the new test would require prospective teachers to submit a 15-minuet video of them teaching a class, submit a sample lesson plan and answer essay questions, rather than answering multiple choice questions.

However, De La Rosa says the new test will cost prospective teachers more to take than the current test.

 “It’s going to cost the teachers more than doing the “PPR” right now and all of the other test that they are required to do,” said De La Rosa. “And were looking at $195 dollars more for teachers to take this test so that’s not a little bit that’s an awful lot.”

On the Texas Education Agency’s website it talks about the edTPA. “edTPA is a performance-based, subject-specific assessment and support system…” the site states.

 “Within the portfolio, candidates have the opportunity to demonstrate their effectiveness to support students, engage students in ambitious learning, analyze students’ learning, and adjust their instruction to meet their students’ needs,” the TEA website says under edTPA.

In June, the State Board of Education will either approve or deny the “Ed-T-P-A”. If approved prospective teachers would be required to take the exam starting in 2023.

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