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California Educator Credentialing Examinations

About CalTPA

The CTC redeveloped the state-sponsored teaching performance assessment, the California Teaching Performance Assessment (CalTPA). Pursuant to Education Code Section 44320.2, this assessment meets one of the requirements for earning a Preliminary Multiple Subject or Single Subject Teaching Credential. The Commission recently updated both its Teaching Performance Assessment Design Standards and Teaching Performance Expectations (TPEs), and so also updated the CalTPA to reflect these recent changes.


The redevelopment effort included the following main steps:

TPE Validity Study
April–May 2016
Assessment and Scoring Rubric Development
June–October 2016
Pilot Test
January–April 2017
Field Test
Fall 2017–Spring 2018
Standard Setting
Summer 2018
CTC Adoption of Passing Standards
Summer 2018
Operational Administration
Fall 2018
graphic illustrating the TPA cycle of plan teach reflect apply

CalTPA Design

The revised CalTPA is structured around two full instructional cycles based on the pedagogical sequence of plan, teach and assess, reflect, and apply, each conducted within a school placement. The complete sequence is addressed by each instructional cycle, with candidates providing evidence of instructional practice for each step. Acceptable evidence may be in a variety of forms, including annotated video clips and written narrative. As the revised CalTPA is designed to address subject-specific teaching and learning, candidates are asked to respond to the instructional cycles within the context of their teaching assignments.

Instructional Cycle 1 focuses on developing an engaging content-specific lesson for one class and 3 focus students based on what you learn about their diverse assets and needs, including their prior knowledge, interests, and developmental considerations. In this cycle, you will demonstrate how you select an appropriate learning goal(s), how you determine what you expect your students to know and be able to do, and how you will assess that learning. You will develop content-specific student activities and instructional strategies to develop your students' thorough understanding of the content you are teaching. This cycle also focuses on how you monitor student understanding during the lesson and make appropriate adaptations to support individual student learning needs. As you teach and video-record the lesson, you will demonstrate how you establish a positive and safe learning environment, provide social and emotional supports through positive interactions with students, and use resources and materials to enhance content-specific learning.

Instructional Cycle 2 emphasizes the interaction between standards, assessment, and instructional decision making. While standards describe what students are expected to know, understand, and be able to do, assessment is the ongoing process of gathering evidence from multiple sources to determine what each student actually knows, understands, and can demonstrate. Assessment results are then used to improve instruction. Effective assessment will evaluate a student's academic progress, but may also include measures that examine other aspects of educational development. Assessments should provide valid, reliable, and fair data to support high-quality teaching and learning activities for teachers, parents, and students. Assessments help teachers make informed decisions about which curricular goals or strategies need to be strengthened, how instructional strategies can be modified or expanded depending on what students are understanding or misunderstanding during instruction, and whether or not a particular sequence of instruction has been successful. In this cycle, you will provide feedback to students about their academic performance(s) based on informal assessment(s), student self-assessment, and formal assessment results.

Together, these instructional cycles and the related rubrics assess a range of the TPEs.

Opportunities to Participate

The Commission is seeking current California teachers, practicing TK–12 school administrators, educators who help prepare and/or mentor beginning teachers, and teacher preparation program faculty to participate in the upcoming scoring and standard setting study for the revised CalTPA. Scoring opportunities will be available on an ongoing basis beginning in fall 2018.

The continuing involvement of California educators is critical to the success of the CalTPA program and maintaining high-quality education in California schools. If you are interested in finding out more about participating in scoring or standard setting activities for the CalTPA, please contact Evaluation Systems.