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Prepare for Principal Exams With an Online Master's Degree

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is engaged in a redesign of its Principal Certification test framework. The State Board for Educator Certification adopted new principal standards in 2016, and TEA began working with principal preparation program faculty and practicing principals to develop a new test framework and new test instruments.

Beginning September 1, 2019, all candidates will need to pass the new TExES Principal (268) test and complete the Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL) in order to obtain a standard principal certification from the TEA.

The TExES 268 Test

The 268 test will include approximately 100 selected-response questions and four constructed-response questions. The previous test (068) consisted of 120 selected-response questions. According to the TEA, the new 268 test will have a much greater emphasis on instructional coaching and providing evidence-based feedback to teachers. In addition, there is emphasis being placed on supporting staff in the effective use of instructional data and on the continuous improvement, change management, and importance of culture and diversity in schools.

The content included on the Principal 268 test is deliberately aligned with the Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System (T-TESS) and the Texas Principal Evaluation and Support System (T-PESS). "This alignment should help candidates recognize the inter-connectedness of their daily work in schools, the certification process, and the Texas evaluation systems," according to the Texas Educator Certification Examination Program website.

The Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL)

The TEA explains: "The ETS Performance Assessment for School Leaders consists of three tasks. Each of the three tasks takes place during your clinical experience and focuses on addressing a problem/challenge, developing continuous professional development, and building a collaborative culture." In programs that require it, this assessment may be taken during your clinical experience prior to exiting your educator preparation program. Your score is one of the factors that may determine your acceptance into the profession.

Classroom observations are required as part of the PASL assessment. For those concerned about completing the assessment while interning, all the tasks are embedded into the actual clinical experience. The assessment does not require a testing location. All activities required in the PASL Tasks are completed by the candidates at their school, as coordinated with their principal. All PASL Task Requirements and Rubrics are available online.

Preparing for the Texas Education Agency Principal Exams

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) has a fully online master's degree program that prepares educators for leadership roles in increasingly complex school systems. This program consists of coursework worth 30 credit hours and can be completed in as few as 10 months. The program is designed to help educators prepare for and pass the required Texas Education Agency principal exams, such as the new Principal 268 and PASL Certification Assessment.

The TAMIU program has an emphasis on helping you develop essential problem-solving skills with a focus on supporting student success. Core courses in this program include Principalship, Public School Law, Administration of School Facilities and Finance, Organization & Evaluation of Curriculum, and Foundations of Educational Research.

The Practicum in School Administration I and II each require students to complete 80 hours of field work. In keeping with the new TEA test requirements, these practicums focus on authentic experiences and activities that will have a positive impact on instructional practices and student learning.

Learn more about TAMIU's online Master of Science in Educational Administration program.


Sources:

Texas Education Agency (TEA): Educator Testing

ETS: Task Requirements for the ETS Performance Assessment for School Leaders (PASL)

Texas Educator Certification Examination Program: Principal as Instructional Leader FAQs

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