2011 Expanding the Pool of Teachers Policy
The state should ensure that its alternate routes provide streamlined preparation that is relevant to the immediate needs of new teachers.
Texas does not ensure that its alternate route candidates will receive streamlined preparation that meets the immediate needs of new teachers.
Texas provides no specific guidelines about the nature or quantity of coursework for its alternate route. There is no limit on the amount of coursework that can be required overall, nor on the amount of coursework a candidate can be required to take while also teaching.
All new teachers receive mentoring support.
Alternate route candidates are eligible for standard certification after two years.
http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=5830&menu_id=865&menu_id2=794 Texas Administrative Code Title 19, Part 7, Rule 228.30(b)
Establish coursework guidelines for alternate route preparation programs.
The state should articulate guidelines regarding the nature and amount of coursework required of candidates. Requirements should be manageable and contribute to the immediate needs of new teachers. Appropriate coursework should include grade-level or subject-level seminars, methodology in the content area, classroom management, assessment and scientifically based early reading instruction.
Ensure that new teachers are supported in the first year of teaching.
Texas should provide more detailed induction guidelines to ensure that new teachers will receive the support they need to facilitate their success in the classroom. Effective strategies include practice teaching prior to teaching in the classroom, intensive mentoring with full classroom support in the first few weeks or months of school, a reduced teaching load and release time to allow new teachers to observe experienced teachers during each school day.
Texas contended that alternative certification programs are required to follow the SBEC approved educator standards for each certification area. The standards outline the overall knowledge and skills the candidate must be able to demonstrate. The Educator Standards, the domains, and the competencies of the certification areas are part of the required curriculum each educator preparation program must follow. The standards are based on the state student Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, which are mandated for K-12 students.
The state further explained that new teachers are required to have completed 110 hours of field observations and coursework prior to being allowed in a classroom as a teacher of record. In the event of a "late hire" the teacher has 90 days to complete the 110 hours. The total hours for the coursework portion of all educator preparation programs is a minimum of 300 clock hours.