We're renaming TPDM, here's why


When it was first conceived, the goals of the Teacher Preparation Data Model (TPDM) was to help traditional and alternate certification preparation programs to understand not only how their candidates were progressing through the program, but also how the program was doing as a whole in meeting the needs of the communities that they support. This was all very teacher focused, since teachers are the closest to the children, and providing better education for children is why we're all here.

The Alliance took over the work on the model in late 2018 and through 2019 we worked with the initial pilot implementations and the budding community of preparation programs (through the TPDM work group) to understand the needs of the community and how the model could help. Some of the feedback from Principal and Superintendent focused programs was "what about us?" As we examined the model and talked with these providers the conclusion we came to was that the model could support other types of educator preparation programs. The fact remained, however, that the model was very heavily skewed towards teachers, especially in name.

In 2020 we started work on revisions to the model based on the feedback we had received from the community as well as some adjustments which would bring the model more in line with Ed-Fi design principles and ready it for being included in the core Data Standard. Within this scope of work was fixing the naming issue. We weren't ready to totally do away with TPDM just yet (more on that in a bit), so the the name of the model itself did not change, but most everything else did. With the release of TPDM v1.0 in January 2021, teacher specific references were removed from the model (TeacherCandidate became Candidate, TeacherPreparationProvider became EducatorPreparationProvider, and so on). 

Over the years TPDM has become a term to refer to anything related to Educator Preparation at the Alliance, the model, the workgroup, presentations all referenced TPDM. This is confusing, both to the community, especially newer members and to Ed-Fi internally. So we've decided to start working toward changing that. Since we work primarily with Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) we will be updating our branding to reflect that. So from here on out you'll be seeing a lot more "Educator Preparation Program", "EPP" and EPDM (Educator Preparation Data Model). This also brings us in line with how other teams work within the Alliance, such as our SEA (State Education Agency) team and our LEA (Local Education Agency) team.

What's Changing

  • The primary space on TechDocs - for EPP related information and work at the Alliance is now the Educator Preparation Programs space, this is where you're reading this note.
  • The TPDM Work Group will now be known as the Educator Preparation Program Work Group.
  • The data model name will now be Educator Preparation Data Model (EPDM) and this is how we will generally refer to it. You may find us slipping as TPDM has been with for years will be referred to as the Educator Preparation Data Model (EPDM) and will also be de-emphasized a bit. The model is still important to the work that we do, but is not the only work we do, so we're moving away from it's use, unless specifically talking about the model itself.
  • How we refer to the work that we do - The Alliance won't be referencing TPDM or EPDM as much, instead we'll be using Educator Prep, Educator Preparation Program, or EPP. 

What's not changing

You will still see TPDM scattered around in some places

  • The technical pieces of the model - Updating the model code to rename TPDM to EPDM means all API paths would change and would cause issues in systems trying to load data into the ODS or pull data out of the ODS and we're not ready to do that to the community. That change will come in future when the model is ready for a version 2.0. 
  • GitHub repositories - The Community Model, Community Artifacts and Core Artifacts repositories will remain keep the TPDM moniker for now, as will the items contained within. These will change in an upcoming release.
  • Older Model Documentation - In v0.8,  when the model still had entity names with teacher in them. Documentation for v1.0 and beyond have been updated to refer to both or use "previously known as TPDM" 
  • EPP Starter Kits - We launched the two EPP starter kits last year with the EPP focus in mind, so there was little reference to TPDM, other than documentation that referenced the model directly.