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University of Houston College of Education Commissioned by Raise Your Hand Texas

Download the full report to access information on the purchasing power of average teacher salaries over time and demographic data about the teacher workforce. The report also contains data on what kind of students are most likely to have more inexperienced teachers, retention rate information for alternative certification versus university programs, and much more.

Texas’ teacher workforce, with over 368,000 teachers, plays one of the most important roles in our public education system. Effective teachers are central to student learning, emotional and physical well-being, and social development. 

In order to study and ultimately help strengthen and improve how our state recruits, develops, and retains teachers, Raise Your Hand Texas commissioned the University of Houston College of Education to prepare a comprehensive longitudinal analysis of Texas’ teacher workforce.    

As noted in the report, over the past 10 years, the state has experienced vast transformations, including changes in demographic composition, developments in state and federal education policies, and shifts in both educator and student outcomes.

“For Texas to achieve its goal of providing education for all, the state must place increasing effort into recruiting, developing, and retaining a diverse group of teachers.”

Recruit

For the first time since 1968, a majority of parents indicate they would not want their children to become teachers.1 In 2019, only 4 percent of students who took the SAT expressed an interest in becoming a teacher.2 With this perception, there is an urgent need to elevate the teaching profession in our state and recruit a stronger, more diverse pool of candidates.

Report Recommendation
Expand investment in strategies that cultivate a diverse teacher workforce.

This report documents a persistent gap in the number of in-service teachers of color working with a growing and racially diverse student population. Empirically-documented efforts such as grow-your-own programs, targeted scholarships, and culturally and socially responsive curricula offer strong examples to consider as such efforts move to scale.

Develop

Prior research on educator preparation and certification demonstrates the importance of high-quality training programs. Teachers trained in quality preparation programs achieve better student outcomes, rank higher on principal evaluations, and remain in the field longer than those trained in ineffective programs.  Unfortunately, the majority of Texas teachers are trained in low-quality alternative certification programs.

Report Recommendation
Expand investment in research-based Educator Preparation Programs that well-prepare teachers to enter and stay in the profession.

This report documents distinct differences by university-based programs and Alternative Certification Programs in production, in-service placement, and retention patterns. The state is compelled to spend its limited resources wisely. Supporting programs that include research- based elements like pre-service clinical practice experiences offers a sound investment with a likely positive return.

Retain

Statewide data on retention from 2010-2011 to 2019-2020 for one first-year teacher cohort found that teachers are the least likely to be retained from year one to year two.

Report Recommendation
Increase capacity to understand the role of the workplace environment on teacher retention.

Findings from this report consistently suggest that teachers are moving away from schools that are in most need of high-quality teachers. The challenge is that state data are not currently available to understand what conditions exist that are underlying those moves. The state should invest in data collection and analysis that explores thoroughly the perceptions of current teaching, learning, and workplace conditions in Texas. By 2019-2020, 45.7% of teachers who earned their certification through for-profit ACPs and 42.8% of teachers who earned certification from nonprofit ACPs remained in the workforce, compared with 57.3% from university-based programs.