Ethical, Legal, and Pedagogical Issues in edTPA

  • Kristen A. Gilbert Augusta University
  • Nai-Cheng Kuo Augusta University
Keywords: edTPA, ethics, legalities, and pedagogy


The purpose of this article is to address ethical, legal, and pedagogical issues in the use of edTPA, a mandatory and consequential assessment required for teacher candidates in many states. We discuss issues such as the cost of edTPA, implicit bias in scoring teacher candidates, marginalization in K-12 settings, property rights, privacy, and disconnections between the real classroom and what teacher candidates are asked to do in edTPA. At the end of the paper we make three suggestions. First, edTPA can be used as a learning progression assessment, but not a high-stakes assessment. Second, private publishers should play an assistive role, not a dominant role, in teacher education. Third, educators should examine the rubrics of edTPA within and across disciplines to reduce inappropriate practices. 

Author Biographies

Kristen A. Gilbert, Augusta University

Kristen A. Gilbert is Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at Augusta University. Her specific areas of expertise include educational leadership that promotes equity, school law and policies, and school practices that support social justice in schools. Dr. Gilbert can be researched at

Nai-Cheng Kuo, Augusta University

Nai-Cheng Kuo, Ph.D., BCBA, is Assistant Professor of Special Education at Augusta University. Her specific areas of expertise include Response to Intervention (RTI), applied behavior analysis, language and literacy, families and community engagement (FACE) for exceptional children, and teacher education. Dr. Kuo can be researched at