Evaluating Prospective Teachers: Testing the Predictive Validity of the edTPA

Dan Goldhaber, James Cowan, and Roddy Theobald

Given the rapid policy diffusion of the edTPA, a performance-based, subject-specific assessment of teacher candidates, it is surprising that there is currently no existing large-scale research linking it to outcomes for inservice teachers and their students. This report uses longitudinal data from Washington State that include information on teacher candidates’ scores on the edTPA to provide estimates of the extent to which edTPA performance is predictive of the likelihood of employment in the teacher workforce and value-added measures of teacher effectiveness.

While edTPA scores are highly predictive of employment in the state’s public teaching workforce, evidence on the relationship between edTPA scores and teaching effectiveness is more mixed. Specifically, continuous edTPA scores are a significant predictor of student mathematics achievement in some specifications, but when we consider that the edTPA is a binary screen of teaching effectiveness (i.e., pass/fail), we find that passing the edTPA is significantly predictive of teacher effectiveness in reading but not in mathematics.