Op-Ed: Every success story starts in a classroom

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March 20, 2019

Op-Ed

Every success story starts in a classroom

‘We Teach Texas’ calls on Texans to become teachers

By John Sharp

Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System 

Kudos to Governor Gregg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Speaker Dennis Bonnen for making teachers the top priority this legislative session.

Teachers work hard every day to make a difference. They positively impact the future, and they deserve our support. Giving them all a raise is a good start.

I certainly hope it will encourage more young Texans to consider becoming teachers — and help keep more experienced teachers in the classroom — because Texas faces a teacher shortage.

Data from the Texas Education Agency shows Texas faces an increasingly tight supply of teachers. Since 2009, K through 12 student enrollment is up by 14 percent, while the number of teachers has risen by less than 9 percent. Meanwhile,, Texas has seen a 14 percent drop in the number of initial teacher certifications in the past decade.

We’re trying to turn those numbers around at The Texas A&M University System with We Teach Texas, a system-wide campaign to focus attention on our 11 education colleges across the state and encourage more Texans who care to become teachers.

The 11 education colleges in The Texas A&M University System graduate more fully certified teachers than any other public university system in Texas. We’re also No. 1 in producing certified teachers in mathematics, as well as bilingual and special education.

Simply put, we teach Texas. If you are interested in becoming a teacher, we are committed to your success.

A teacher himself, Tarleton State University’s founder and benefactor initially taught school for $30 a month before taking a job with a mercantile. He understood firsthand that every success story begins in a classroom.

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When he bequeathed a portion of his life’s savings to establish the university that bears his name, John Tarleton’s dream was for students to receive the kind of high-quality, affordable higher education that would improve their quality of life and make the world a better place.

Today, Tarleton is one of the state’s top universities for teacher development, with one in three graduates earning some type of educator certification. Ninety-seven percent of students enrolled in the university’s traditional teacher preparation program pass the statewide certification examination on first try.

Established in 1986, the Tarleton Model for Accelerated Teacher Education (TMATE) program is one of the first of its kind approved in Texas. The year-long graduate program is ideal for students with a bachelor’s degree who want to become certified teachers.

The Texas A&M University System has been providing highly qualified teachers for Texas Schools for more than 100 years by encouraging consideration of teaching careers, growing the highest quality teacher and leadership programs and providing ongoing quality support to boost retention in the field.

The need for dedicated teachers across the DFW Metroplex is constantly growing.

Teachers are on the frontlines of building our economy, and they are enablers of young people who want to see their dreams come true. We take our charge to prepare them for the classroom on Day One seriously.

To learn more about becoming a teacher, visit www.WeTeachTexas.org.

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About The Texas A&M University System

The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.7 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities and seven state agencies, the Texas A&M System educates more than 153,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $996 million in FY 2017 and helped drive the state’s economy.

Contact: Laylan Copelin
Vice Chancellor of Marketing and Communications
(979) 458-6425
(512) 289-2782 cell
[email protected]