The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Texas, a state that was thought to not be in trouble because of raids into other states to get teachers, is the next state to be in big trouble over an inability to find teachers … but this story has a twist.
Given Texas’ anti-education batshittery (the governor once seriously threatened to close down the physics departments at many of the colleges in the University of Texas system because there weren’t enough people graduating … people needed to remind him that closing the physics department would likely result in serious problems with colleges of engineering).
According to the Texas Department of Education, colleges and universities in Texas are graduating only half of the teachers that are needed, a gap of over 11,000 teachers.
Texas is a state that routinely pursues teachers via “certification through other means”. This means allowing people out of industry to take a crash course on methods and get certification, or equally disturbing, recruiting through programs like Teach for America. For years, teachers have been questioning the use of teachers gaining alternative certification. This is generally derided as entitled teachers trying to save their jobs. However the very conservative state of Texas may be finally singing a different tune:
In the latest release of evaluations (which are likely to be highly questionable anyway, but everything is relative) … 87% of teachers entering teaching in Texas in the 2013-14 school year earned an evaluation of “F”, 8% received a “D” grade, and 5% earned a “C” grade. If you do the math, that means none received a grade of “B” or “A”.
I don’t have a lot of faith in current evaluation systems, and so I will say that this is likely not fairly evaluating these teachers. That said, for a state that is close to getting desperate for anyone to stand in a room and do something, this is not a particularly good means to attract and improve talent.
We are moving closer to a time when many states will have very little choice other than to offer a lot more money to attract teachers, or to back away from the damage they are doing to kids and the profession. I don’t have hope that they will take action before rural and inner city schools see serious shortages.