More Bad News For The Teacher Shortage Crisis In Texas

A Texas teacher prep company might be to blame for some of the issues the lone star state has finding teachers.

By Erika Hanson | Published

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The great teacher shortage crisis in America is felt in every state, especially in Texas. The problem in the Lone Star state is so bad that Governor Greg Abbott recently called upon the Texas Education Agency to hastily develop a task force with the goal of devising solutions to address the uptick in teacher vacancies. Regardless of why teachers are leaving the profession, the problem might have been heavily affected by the state’s largest teach prep alternative, and the problem might just get worse.

Texas Teachers of Tomorrow is a popular alternative for people looking to attain their teaching credentials outside of colleges and universities. Enrolling nearly 70,000 potential educators last year alone, the teacher prep company is now under fire by state regulators. According to reports from The Dallas Morning News, Texas Teachers of Tomorrow is accused of misleading people with false advertising. Going even further, claims against the company state that they failed to support candidates with mentors, as is required under law, and also failed to prove that its training was based on research. Overall, these issues led to countless candidate complaints, and potentials walking away from the teaching profession altogether.

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According to the company’s website, Texas Teachers of Tomorrow claims to be the No. 1 teacher prep company preferred by school districts. And even amid some staggering reports, this might be true. More and more potential teachers are turning to prep alternatives to attain degrees and credentials. As colleges and universities shuttered their doors during the pandemic, even more candidates turned to online alternatives like Texas Teachers of Tomorrow. The school has the enrollment numbers to back this claim up as well, yet much fewer of those candidates ever end up teaching in classrooms.

One enrollee in the program opened up about him and his horrible experience with Texas Teachers of Tomorrow, which ultimately ended with him changing his mind altogether about becoming an educator. Derek Hardy was preliminarily approved to teach pre-algebra at Joshua ISD after completing his teacher prep program. After one year of teaching, Hardy was told by school officials that he was going to be docked a semester of pay because he was not actually certified. After struggling to get a hold of someone with Texas Teachers of Tomorrow, he was eventually told by the company to “give it time”. After that, he was later informed by the teacher prep company that he was missing coursework. In the end, Hardy walked away from the profession after losing so much money.

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The teacher prep company has made meager promises that they are turning things around. When they go before the State Board for Educator Certification later this month, they face losing state approval if they fail to comply. The board has a range of options as to how they can dish out reprimands to Texas Teachers of Tomorrow. They can accept or reject a negotiated agreement, or they can appoint a monitor. They can even go as far as revoking the program’s right to operate in the state. The problem looks to be a double-edged sword, as the company already might be affecting the rate at which new teachers enter the field. On the other hand, nixing the prep company that hands out teacher accreditations to a large portion of the state could also be detrimental.