Preparation of Educators in Texas

In our previous blog post, we reviewed the last decade of data pertaining to the overall number of public educators in Texas by preparation route. Overall, Texas has seen an almost 13% increase in how many teachers are employed on a half-time or more basis from 2013 to 2022, as approximately 1 out of every 9 public school teachers in America teaches in a Texas public school classroom. The percentage of Texas teachers who achieved their initial teacher certification from a university-based certification program fell from 55% to 43% in 10 years, while the percentage of Texas educators being certified through Non-Institution-based Alternative Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) grew from 26% to 34%.

In this second edition of our educator preparation series, we will narrow the focus to those early-career educators who became fully-certified and employed within one year of completing their educator preparation program.

Trends by Educator Preparation Program (EPP) Type

The first visualization below shows the most recent six years of data published by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). There are two primary distinctions of EPPs in the TEA data: College/University EPPs and Non-Institution-based Alternative EPPs. College/University EPPs include all pathways to certification (traditional, alternative, and post-baccalaureate) that are offered by a college or university in Texas. Alternative EPPs are “nontraditional routes to certification” that are not affiliated with a college or university, and which allow non-certified teachers who hold at least a bachelor’s degree to serve as teachers-of-record while completing the teacher certification requirements in Texas.

Production by EPP Type

  • During the 2016-2021 time period, Texas EPPs collectively produced an average of 17,598 newly-certified educators who were employed within a year of completing their preparation program. 
  • The 2019 year appears to be somewhat of an anomaly, with more than 19,000 newly-certified and employed teachers produced in that year.
  • If we set aside the 2019 outlier, the number of new teachers produced in Texas has decreased from almost 17,600 in 2016 to just under 17,000 in 2021.
  • While the total is remaining relatively stable over time, the proportion of educators produced by Alternative EPPs has been increasing. In 2016, 52% of newly-certified/employed teachers were from Alternative EPPs, a metric that increased to over 56% in 2021. 
  • College/University EPPs saw their production of new educators drop by over 1,000 from 2016-2021, falling from 8,465 in 2016 to 7,404 in 2021.

Public University EPP Production

  • Out of the more than 7,400 new educators produced by College/University EPPs in 2021, more than 85% completed preparation programs at public universities in Texas. The remaining 15% completed programs primarily at private four-year institutions.
  • The Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) has long-held the moniker as the top-producing public university system in Texas, accounting for almost 27% of the teachers produced by public university EPPs in Texas in 2021.
  • The top 5 producers include Texas State (542), Texas A&M University (502), University of North Texas (423), Sam Houston State University (382), and Texas Tech University (374).

So What?

So far, the two blog posts on educator preparation and employment have shown us that the total number of public school teachers in Texas has continued to grow in the past decade, although the 2022 data showed the slowest growth in more than a decade in Texas. The data in this blog post showed the state’s educator preparation programs have produced roughly the same number of newly-certified and employed teachers during the past six years, except for a spike in 2019. Does this mean that teachers are staying in the profession at higher rates to compensate for the decreases in EPP productivity? That is a question we will explore in the next data blog post.

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