Texas Creates Tougher Teacher Training Standards

Used through a Creative Commons License from Flickr user CC Rogers

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Amidst criticism from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that too many colleges of education are “cash cows” that send unprepared, ineffective instructors into the nation’s classrooms, Texas has become one of the first states to strengthen its standards for teacher training programs, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Last month, Texas’ State Board for Educator Certification gave initial approval of a new rating system that will hold training programs accountable for their graduates’ job performance. Programs whose teachers chronically fail to help students excel academically could risk having their accreditation revoked. The Board is expected to finalize its approval in February.

Though the Houston Independent School District has been using student test scores to calculate teacher bonuses for a few years, linking student achievement to teacher training is uncharted territory for Texas’ largest school district and most other public school districts across the country. But the sheer number of different paths one can take to gain teacher certification in Texas begs for more oversight.

Texas has 177 accredited educator training programs. Some are run by universities and community colleges while others are run by school districts or for-profit companies. In one program a student can become a teacher after just a few months of course work, while other programs require at least a year of rigorous training.

 

 

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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