Instant gratification in Texas

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Texas is known as a business-friendly state, and apparently the teacher prep industry is no exception.

A recent analysis by Ed Fuller shows that 40 percent of new teachers in Texas come from alternative certification programs. If you meet the rock-bottom requirements of a 2.5 GPA, $4,000 and 30 hours of your time (and we don't mean credit hours), you, too, can receive your Texas teacher certification.

While the ease of this approach is conducive to career-changers looking to become classroom teachers, it's unclear whether these programs are all that concerned about producing effective teachers, as we learned in a 2007 study examining some pretty shaky alt cert programs, many of which were in Texas.

Just as the auto industry lobbies against raising environmental standards for vehicles, the for-profit teacher preparation industry has also successfully blocked any legislation that attempts to raise the bar for teacher training. It argues that it serves the needs of school districts. Serving the needs of students may be another matter.