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Education News

Virtually All Alternative Routes to Teaching in Texas Get F’s

New report on teacher preparation examines alternative certification and traditional university programs.



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In Texas, 40 percent of new teachers enter the classroom through alternative routes.

They get state-certified by taking classes not taught by traditional universities.

But virtually all of those alternative programs are failing to prepare new teachers, according to a new report.

“The results we got were nothing less than deplorable,” said Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality.

The group looked at how selective the teacher training is, how well candidates know the subject they’re going to teach and what supervision they get in the classroom.

Walsh said the alternative programs in Texas stood out for their poor practices and little state regulation.

“The only thing we could find that was unique about Texas other than its seeming affection for alternative certification was that that it allows for for-profit providers,” Walsh said.

Texas is the only state in the country that allows for-profit groups to train public school teachers. They can include online courses or classes at a store front.

“It basically comes down to the programs pretty much taking anyone who applies – very low standards to get in. I’m sure you’ve seen these billboards on the highway in Texas that make it clear that it’s pretty easy to become a teacher,” Walsh said.

One place in Texas that is doing a good job in preparing teachers is the University of Houston.

It ranked No. seven in the country for new elementary school teachers and among the top 25 for secondary teachers.

To read the full report, visit here.


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