Strong, Effective, and Well-Supported Teachers
Why Great Teachers Matter
While many factors contribute to the creation of a strong school system, one thing is clear – the most important factor within the school walls is a strong, effective, and engaging teacher.
How We Can Do Better
Right now, Texas lacks a state policy for identifying, developing, and retaining our most effective teachers. And despite their critical role, teachers rarely get the support, training, or constructive feedback necessary to enter the profession prepared and continually improve their practice.
Furthermore, teachers are commonly prescribed one-size-fits-all professional development, which do not address their individual goals or translate into the work they do in the classroom.
We will support and champion efforts in Texas that will:
- Create career pathways with relevant professional development for educators
- Improve teacher compensation
- Strengthen educator preparation programs
- Ensure teacher & principal evaluations are robust, meaningful, and help teachers improve and feel supported
Our Past Efforts in Texas
During the 2011 Legislative Session, we worked to bring the issue of teacher quality to the forefront – a difficult goal during a year when budget shortfalls dominated the conversation.
As the primary champions of Senate Bill 4, which would have improved teacher evaluations and professional development, we organized hundreds of calls and emails to legislators and brought parents and teachers to Austin to testify. Chairman Rob Eissler commented during one hearing that he had never seen so many teachers testify in his committee.
Though this piece of legislation did not pass this session, we are continuing to work for improvements to the way teachers are trained, supported, and evaluated.