Texas Teachers Commentary

TEA Rule Changes Explained; Important Updates to the Texas Teachers Program

Texas Teachers Curriculum – What’s NEW!!

In January, we will launch the all-new Texas Teachers curriculum designed to create a greater engagement with our prospective teachers to ensure they are ready to teach and succeed! Specific changes include:

  • New, highly interactive engaging curriculum; candidates are asked to respond to questions and scenarios on-screen throughout coursework, with “hear from the expert” assistance following the candidate’s response
  • Now with more than 350 hours of pedagogy, field based experiences, key assessments, content methodology and projects, and resources to prepare the candidate for content and certification examinations
  • More specialized coursework includes opportunities for candidates to engage in courses that are focused on their individual teaching assignment
  • New elective curriculum includes more than 35 pedagogy titles from which to choose in order to provide additional help to our teachers
  • Candidates are assigned students in two ‘mock’ classrooms, each reflective of the overall demographics of the state
  • Individual students from the ‘mock’ classroom are woven throughout the coursework to focus the candidate’s attention on the needs of all students in teaching decisions
  • Classroom management courses include a decision-making course using students from the mock classroom
  • More than 35 hours of videography from actual classrooms in Texas, including interviews with principals and students
  • Curriculum assesses knowledge through objective assessments, and the application skills through projects
  • All coursework is aligned to Texas Educator Standards

These courses reflect the “latest and best practices” in educator preparation to ensure our teachers have all the tools they need to be the absolute best. Check out our curriculum tour video!

Important TEA Changes to Certification

We know many of our district partners are curious regarding the scope and impact of TEA’s pending changes to certification regulations, which are likely to be adopted at the December SBEC meeting. Rest assured Texas Teachers is prepared to incorporate these changes into our program, and we will continue to provide the quality and number of teachers necessary for your classrooms.

For more information regarding these changes, please visit our new FAQ page, which we will continue to update in coming months. Below is a partial summary of pending changes:

Starting December 27, 2016:

  • Candidates will now be required to complete 150 hours of pre-service training in addition to 30 hours of field based experiences
  • Candidates will no longer receive credit for field based experiences completed prior to enrollment in an EPP

Starting September 1, 2017:

  • 1st year “probationary certificates” will no longer be issued. They will be replaced by “intern certificates”
  • Candidates will no longer be eligible for hire based on 24/12 hours within college transcripts. All candidates must instead pass their specific subject exam to demonstrate Subject Area Knowledge
  • All supplemental certification exams must be passed prior to being included on a certificate. This includes Bilingual and ESL

TEA has increased accountability systems for all EPPs, and programs will be more restrictive in the number of test attempts we can allow our candidates. In response, we are including a high degree of test preparation curriculum in our updated training, and we will provide increasing support to ensure our candidates are successful in passing their exams.


Texas Teachers – A Tradition of Excellence as We Look Forward

Over nearly 12 years, Texas Teachers has certified over 42,000 teachers for Texas schools. We had a record-setting 2015-16 year, certifying over 6000 first year teachers in 75 certification areas! And for 2016-17 we are on pace to have 7000 new teachers entering the classroom, with over 5800 hired just through October.

Texas Teachers also strives to certify teachers across a wide range of important certification areas. Here are some highlights regarding our efforts to meet your needs in recent years:

New Teachers Certified Since January 2014

  • 1297 Secondary Mathematics
  • 1203 Secondary Science
  • 2735 Special Education
  • 2291 ESL
  • 880 Bilingual
  • 484 LOTE
  • 1066 CTE
  • 130 Trade & Industry
  • Our first 5 ROTC teachers for 16-17!


The Research

We remain committed to providing Texas districts an effective pool of diverse candidates. See the 2 studies below, proving we’re up to task!

  1. Student Achievement: In 2012, a University of Texas team conducted an independent study of 100 teacher preparation programs in Texas to determine differences in student achievement from teachers of different certification providers. A+ Texas Teachers had the most teachers in their analysis. With almost 300,000 student math scores and 210,000 student reading scores, researchers found no statistical difference in student achievement between our teachers and teachers from other routes, including four-year university programs.
  2. Diversity: TFA compared Title II data from over 26,000 programs across the U.S. and found that they have the highest percentage of non-white teachers and Texas Teachers is number 2 – 46% of our teachers are non-white. We recruit locally to ensure our candidates match the demographics of your classrooms.

Texas Teachers and Jia Jia Partner In Recruiting International Candidates to Address Teacher Shortages

Texas Teachers has partnered with Jia Jia in an effort to recruit Chinese candidates with a strong educational background in teacher shortage areas.  Jia Jia, based out of Frisco, TX, has both cultural ties and professional experience with a solid network of top Chinese universities that are producing quality graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).  Texas school districts struggle to find qualified teachers for these subjects, paying teacher stipends that place starting salaries well over $50,000, while the TEA offers student loan forgiveness programs as incentive.

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