Tag Archives: Assessments

Developing Retake Commentary Responses

Student teachers who fail edTPA may retake the assessment by submitting one task or the entire portfolio. Submitting revised and edited versions of portfolio parts, including commentary, is not permitted (www.edtpa.com).

Approaches to retaking edTPA vary depending on specific deficiencies. However, an analysis of one example1 for special education shows some general considerations for earning additional points.

For example, comparing an original and new commentary response shows

  • Additional description – increasing word count
  • Use of handbook terms and concepts – pre-assessment, baseline data, rubric
  • Quantitative results – reporting standardized test and pre-assessment scores
  • Articulation of effective practice – chunking content, having students revise work

Comparison of Original and New Commentary

1. All student details, such as standardized test scores and names of tests – along with other background information – have been changed to ensure anonymity. Original and new responses shared with permission of the author.


The definition of assessment according to the edTPA model is that it “includes all those activities undertaken by teachers and students that provide information to be used as feedback to modify teaching and learning activities.”

There are many types of assessments. Nowadays, educators often talk about formative and summative assessment. However, in edTPA, assessments are categorized as informal and formal. It is possible to align informal assessment with formative and formal with summative.

Nevertheless, the definitions provided for informal and formal assessment are defined with examples. Informal assessments include questions posed by the teacher or teacher observations of students. Practical methods for conducting observations for assessment include pair-share and think aloud, among others. In addition, any type of prompt presented by the teacher to elicit student response may be labeled as an informal assessment.

Some examples of formal assessment include assignments, quizzes, journal entries, projects, tests, lab reports, and so on.

Generally, the requirements for edTPA include multiple informal assessments across lessons, assessment of students’ prior learning to begin the lesson sequence, assessment of student voice, and a formal assessment summarizing student learning of the lesson sequence. In addition, the formal assessment should include an evaluation criteria, though brief assessment criteria could be presented for each assessment included in the portfolio.

This sample pre- and postassessment with evaluation criteria may help you design your own.