For-Profits in Texas Offer A Faster Track to Teaching

Career College Central Summary:

  • A billboard that periodically springs up along Texas highways asks two questions: Want to teach? When can you start? It is a message that reflects the teacher shortage in a state where 80,000 new students are entering public schools each year — and the thriving business that has grown around it.
  • Last year, nearly 3,000 people earned their teaching certificates from the company behind the billboards, A+ Texas Teachers — more than at any other program in the state.
  • Texas is the only state that allows for-profit companies not affiliated with higher education institutions to offer teaching certificates.
  • Alternative certification programs like the one at A+ Texas Teachers offer a faster way into the classroom than college and university programs, taking anywhere from three months to two years to complete and costing about $4,000.
  • Such programs now outpace traditional training in turning out certified teachers in Texas.
  • In particular, for-profit programs, which graduate almost one in four of the state’s new teachers, have flourished. Every year since 2009, the state’s two largest for-profit providers, A+ Texas Teachers and iteachTexas, have produced far more teachers than any other traditional or alternative program.
  • Alternative certification providers say they are filling a need and preventing schools in poorer districts, which are more likely to suffer from shortages, from going without teachers.
  • But some education advocates question whether the state has adequate control over the quality of training provided by such programs.

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