Texas Educator Certification Program
Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §230.5(b) requires every person seeking educator certification in Texas to perform satisfactorily on comprehensive examinations. The purpose of these examinations is to ensure that each educator has the prerequisite content and professional knowledge necessary for an entry-level position in Texas public schools. These programs were developed for this purpose.
The Texas Examinations of Educator Standards™ (TExES™) are criterion-referenced examinations designed to measure a candidate's knowledge in relation to an established criterion rather than to the performance of other candidates. The TExES Educator Standards, based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), form the foundation for the TExES tests.
Developing the tests was a collaborative process involving classroom teachers and other educators from public and charter schools, university and Educator Preparation Program (EPP) faculty, representatives from professional educator organizations, content experts and members of the community. Detailed information about the test development process is available on the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website.
All of the tests in the TExES program contain multiple-choice questions. Some tests also have additional types of questions (e.g., open-ended written or oral responses). For more information about individual tests and test composition, see the Preparation Manual for each test.
The Texas Examinations for Master Teachers™ (TExMaT™) program has its origins in legislation passed in 1999 (House Bill 2307) that required the creation of the Master Reading Teacher (MRT) Certificate, the development of standards for the certificate and the development of a Master Reading Teacher test. The MRT Certificate was implemented as part of the Texas Reading Initiative to ensure that all Texas students are reading at grade level by the end of the third grade and that their reading knowledge and skills grow throughout their public school careers. The MRT test was the first test to be offered in the TExMaT program.
In 2001, the Texas Legislature passed legislation that created two additional categories of Master Teacher Certificates: the Master Mathematics Teacher (MMT) Certificates (Early Childhood-Grade 4, Grades 4-8 and Grades 8-12) and the Master Technology Teacher (MTT) Certificate. Tests for these certificates were first administered beginning June 28, 2003.
In 2002, Governor Rick Perry proposed the creation of an additional category of Master Teacher Certificate: the Master Science Teacher Certificate. In 2003, the Texas Legislature created Master Science Teacher Certificates for Early Childhood-Grade 4, Grades 4-8 and Grades 8-12. Tests for these certificates were first administered beginning October 21, 2006.
TASC™ and TASC-ASL™
The Texas Assessment of Sign Communication™ (TASC™) and the Texas Assessment of Sign Communication-American Sign Language™ (TASC-ASL™) are extensions of the TExES program for certification in specific areas.
- The TASC is for candidates who plan to teach students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The TASC assesses sign communication proficiency within one or more of several sign communication systems used in Texas classrooms.
- The TASC-ASL is for candidates who plan to teach ASL as a Language Other Than English. The TASC-ASL assesses proficiency in American Sign Language (ASL) exclusively.
Both tests use an interview format. An experienced interviewer conducts a 20-minute, one-on-one conversational interview with a candidate. The interview is videotaped, and the videotape is viewed by scorers who rate the candidate's expressive and receptive sign communication proficiency.