What You Need to Know About Texas Principalship Changes

A principal is looking at a tablet

There are new changes in the route to Texas principalship that will have a major impact on the internal leadership pipeline. Here’s everything you need to know.

New Standards

Back in 2016, TEA adopted new principal standards for everyone seeking their Texas Principal Certification. The Domains and Competencies that are assessed in the new certification process were also revised to provide a laser-like focus on instruction and student achievement.

With these new standards, the state now has two requirements for principal candidates: completing a computer-based exam and three authentic Performance Assessments. This new certificate is called Principal as Instructional Leaders K-12 and is a more rigorous, costly, and time-consuming process than the previous principal certification requirements.

Requirement: TExES 268 Test

The Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) is the certification test by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). These examinations are based on the Texas principalship standards that have been developed by SBEC and Texas educators. A candidate must pass the Principal exam as one of two state assessment requirements in order to be recommended for the standard certification.

The TExES-268 exam includes four constructed-response (CR) questions, each about 10% of the exam score, in addition to a variety of 70 selected-response (SR) questions. The test item types include discrete items, cluster sets, and technology-enhanced items (including video stimulus).

You have a total of 4 hours and 45 minutes following opening tutorial to complete this exam. The exam is administered on a quarterly basis through Pearson. You must be recommended to take this exam through your preparation program, and then register to take the exam.

Finding preparation materials for the test is hard, because it’s so new. However, some resources to check out include the Pearson website where you will find a variety of helpful resources including a preparation manual. There are also some preparation texts by well-known test prep authors including Elaine L. Wilmore (emphasizes understanding competencies and test-taking strategies) and Dr. Vance Cortez-Rucker (emphasizes understanding content). Region 13 also provides a 268 exam preparation course that provides participants an opportunity to review and apply their skills.

Requirement: Performance Assessment for School Leaders, 368 (PASL-368)

A new requirement for all those seeking principalship certification is the Performance Assessment for School Leaders.

The PASL assessment allows you to demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills identified as relevant and important for beginning school leaders. The assessment is administered twice per year during pre-established submission windows. The assessment contains three tasks requiring written commentary and submission of required documents called artifacts. You will complete tasks by entering and submitting a written response and uploading artifacts via an online submission system.  

Task 1: Problem Solving in the Field

In this task, you will demonstrate the ability to address and resolve a significant problem/challenge in your school that influences instructional practice and student learning. The task asks you to provide evidence in regard to your colleagues, the school and/or the community and to identify a problem/challenge that has implications for instructional practice and student learning. 

Task 2: Supporting Continuous Professional Development

In this task, you will demonstrate your skills in establishing and supporting effective and continuous professional development with staff for the purpose of improved instruction and student learning.

Task 3: Creating a Collaborative Culture

In this task, you will demonstrate your ability to facilitate stakeholder’s efforts to build a collaborative team within the school to improve instruction, student achievement and the school culture. A 15-minute video is required with this task.

More information on PASL, task requirements, rubrics, registration window and cost information, and more can be found here.

Certificate Eligibility Prerequisite Changes

In the past, in order to be eligible for a principal intern or probationary certificate, a principal candidate only needed to be enrolled in a principal preparation program and receive their recommendation. Now, all candidates are required to pass the TExES-268 exam to be eligible for intern or probationary certificates.

Just like intern and probationary certificates, those seeking standard certification must also pass the TExES 268 exam and PASL-368.

This likely means that Texas principalship candidates must be a significant way through their program requirements in order to be cleared by their program to take and be ready to pass this new exam. 

Finally, the new principalship changes may seem overwhelming, but Region 13 is here for any questions or support you may need.

For more information on how Region 13 can support you in the pursuit of principal certification, see our Principal Certification Network.

Sarah is the Coordinator of Administrator Quality here at ESC Region 13.


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  • I am curious to find the current passing rate of the Principal Exam 268. Do we have information on this? After taking the exam, it seemed that more time for completion would be nice. The composition questions often had 4-5 documents to analyze before even preparing a response. Also, several of the multiple choice questions had several documents to analyze before answering them. If I were to make a suggestion, it would be to make this a two day exam, or give more time, or reduce the amount of questions or essays.

    • Hi Rachel!

      We don’t believe the information about the passing rate has been released yet, since the test is so new. Also, thank you for your suggestion! Pearson is always looking for feedback, so feel free to send it to texas.support@pearson.com as well. Thanks!

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