ABOUT THE TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY (TEA)
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is the state agency that oversees primary and secondary public education in the state of Texas. It helps deliver education to more than five (5) million students. The mission of the TEA is to provide leadership, guidance and resources to help schools meet the educational needs of all students and prepare them for success in the global economy. See this TEA report outlining the Supply/Demand of educator workforce in the state of Texas.
TEA, under the leadership of the commissioner of education, carries out the following functions:
- Administers the distribution of state and federal funding to public schools;
- Administers the statewide assessment program and accountability system;
- Provides support to the State Board of Education (SBOE) in the development of the statewide curriculum;
- Assists the SBOE in the instructional materials adoption process and managing the instructional materials distribution process;
- Administers a data collection system on public school information;
- Performs the administrative functions and services of the State Board for Educator Certification;
- Supports agency operations, including carrying out duties related to the Permanent School Fund; and
- Monitors for compliance with certain federal and state guidelines.
THE HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR TEXAS EDUCATORS
Texas Educators’ Code of Ethics:
The Texas educator is required to comply with standard practices and ethical conduct toward students, professional colleagues, school officials, parents, and members of the community. Educators are expected to respect and obey the law, demonstrate personal integrity, and exemplify honesty and good moral character. Educators are also expected to extend just and equitable treatment to all members of the profession, and to cooperate with parents and others to improve public schools in their community. (See attached Texas Educators’ Code of Ethics.)
All Urban Teachers candidates are required to complete ethics training during Summer Institute A that includes: professional ethical conduct, practices and performance; ethical conduct towards professional colleagues; and ethical conduct towards students. The purpose of this training is to make teachers aware of their actions and hold them accountable for their behavior. Candidates will be asked to sign an agreement that indicates their willingness to comply and commit to these ethical practices.
Please note that your local district or charter school policy may differ from that used as guidance in the ethics training. Always check with your district or school to find out local policies on social media and reporting procedures, or if you feel you are in a situation that needs guidance.
Best Practices for Teachers:
Always check with your district or school on local policy, but the following are some best practices. If you witness another teacher doing something unethical make factual notes about what you saw. Report the behavior or actions to the principal or other immediate supervisor. The district or school will investigate the report. Avoid placing oneself in compromising situations. Candidates are required by law to report child abuse. Urban Teachers encourages its candidates to revisit ethics regularly to ensure that they know and understand the district or school procedures.
TEXAS EDUCATORS CERTIFICATION STANDARDS
The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) creates standards for beginning educators. These standards are focused upon the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), the required statewide public school curriculum. They reflect current research on the developmental stages and needs of children from early childhood (EC) through grade 12. (See attached Texas Teacher Standards.)
PEDAGOGY AND PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES STANDARDS
The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) also creates standards regarding the pedagogical abilities and professionalism that teachers are required to exhibit. These standards are thought to encompass the requisite skills and knowledge that all beginning teachers should possess. (See attached Texas Pedagogy & Professional Responsibilities Standards.)
THE HIGH EXPECTATIONS FOR TEXAS STUDENTS
The Texas Education Agency and schools and districts throughout the state are committed to ensuring that Texas’ students are the best and brightest in the nation. The goal is that Texas is among the top ten states for graduation college-and career-ready students by the 2019-2020 school year. To this end, the state of Texas recently developed a new model of assessment to ensure student preparation for college and careers upon graduating from high school. This comprehensive program of assessment, State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR), works to align curriculum and performance standards from elementary and middle school through high school graduation. This charge, coupled with a focus on feedback-driven assessments, means that students are not just prepared for state tests, but are prepared for postsecondary opportunities and to compete in an increasingly competitive global setting. Students are expected to meet readiness standards throughout their progression through elementary, middle and high school, which achieve a level of depth and rigor previously unmet. As an applicant for teacher certification in Texas, you are expected to hold students to these same high standards.
TEXAS ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS (TEKS)
One way to ensure that teachers have high expectations of students is to ensure that teachers are using rigorous standards in their planning and practice. The Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, known as TEKS, are the state standards for Texas education from kindergarten to grade 12. The standards were broadly revised and implemented in order to ensure the broad incorporation of technology into K-8 courses.
In order to be an effective teacher in the state of Texas, it is imperative that candidates deeply understand and internalize the TEKS for and surrounding their content and grade-level. These standards should be used as a guidepost for what students should know and learn throughout their time in the candidate’s classroom and school. As candidates familiarized themselves with the standards in their grade-level and content area, they will gain a more robust understanding of how best to instruct and grow their students.
Please consult the TEKS, along with additional resources, on the TEA website. (Binders of the TEKS are also provided to candidates during Summer Institute A orientation.)
Please note: Specific information regarding TExES™ tests required for a Standard Certificate and other state and local requirements to teach in Texas are included here.