Topic: Certification

State board keeps CTE certification standards in place

Last month, the Texas State Board Of Education Subcommittee on School Initiatives unanimously rejected a rule approved by the State Board for Educator Certification that would have significantly reduced the number of pre-service training hours from 180 to 110 for those seeking to teach Career and Technical Education in the areas of Trade and Industrial Workforce, Marketing, or Health Sciences....

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Upholding Standards for the Teaching Profession

On a busy day in state House and Senate education committees, we want to highlight one issue in particular raised by companion bills in both chambers. SB 1278 by Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) and HB 2924 by Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) reflect the agenda of private, for-profit educator-preparation programs calling for lower standards of entry into the teaching profession. Texas...

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Bills to Crack Down on Educators’ Misconduct with Students Need Careful Drafting

SB 7 by Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) and SB 653 by Sen. Van Taylor (R-Plano) are bills that would strengthen and expand the reach of penalties for inappropriate relationships maintained by educators and other education employees with student in Texas public schools. The bills have been inspired by recent news reports of increased incidence of improper relationships between educators with...

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Certification Board Proposes Higher Standards for Educator Preparation

On August 5 the State Board for Educator Certification took notable action to raise standards for educator preparation. SBEC members approved a rule proposal to create a new, tiered licensure model for teacher candidates employed as a paid teacher of record while completing their educator preparation program’s requirements. The proposal also calls for more support for would-be teachers in the...

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As Teacher Shortage Intensifies, Loan Forgiveness Available in Some Fields

Texas public schools continue to add 80,000 to 85,000 pupils per year, a pace five times faster than enrollment growth nationwide. While teacher shortages are a national phenomenon, the booming student population in Texas makes the problem here even more acute. The challenge of recruiting and retaining sufficient numbers of properly qualified teachers also has been heightened by the state’s...

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Hazard Warning: Local “Innovation Plans” Can Nullify Employee and Student Safeguards in State Law

One of the most hazardous pieces of legislation enacted by Texas lawmakers last year bears a harmless-sounding name. We refer to the law authorizing school districts to declare themselves “districts of innovation” and thereby to exempt themselves from many important safeguards of educational quality and employee, student, and parental rights in the Texas Education Code. Some of the core state...

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How the Teacher Shortage Could Turn Into a Crisis

Texas school administrators have begun to sound the alarm over a looming teacher shortage that could leave Texas classrooms more than 30,000 teachers short when school resumes next August. The phenomenon is not unique to Texas, though the fast-growing Texas student population makes the problem more acute here. As American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten wrote in an April...

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Agency Updates—Curbing Testing Excesses, Debating Superintendent Certification Standards

Texas Education Agency: Commissioner of Education Michael Williams announced today a move toward partial compliance with HB 743 by Rep. Dan Huberty (R-Humble), a key bill passed last session by the legislature to curb state testing excesses and demand proof that state tests are valid and reliable before they are administered. The commissioner told school districts that the length of...

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