TCTA Director of Professional Development and Advocacy Holly Eaton was invited to testify at a May 18, 2012, meeting of the Senate Education Committee as part of a panel focusing on teacher retention. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst had charged the committee with studying a broad set of issues addressing educator preparation, recruitment and retention.

TCTA was asked to address the importance of beginning teacher induction and mentoring programs. Eaton spoke of the value of investing early in teachers’ careers, citing the enormous financial costs to the state and local districts associated with the high percentage of new teachers leaving the profession.

Eaton advocated that the state implement a comprehensive statewide teacher induction and mentoring program, recommending that the committee consider as a model a nearly passed bill from the 2011 legislative session (SB 570) authored by Senate Education Committee chair Florence Shapiro, with whom TCTA worked closely during the bill's development.

This meeting was the first of several planned to address the committee's interim charges.

Highlights of TCTA's testimony:

  • Texas has thus far failed to put into place a comprehensive statewide induction/mentoring program, even though considerable research supports the effectiveness of such programs.
  • The costs associated with high turnover of new teachers have been estimated at approximately $82 million during a five-year period.
  • TxBESS, a mentoring/induction program first implemented in the late 1990s (and subsequently de-funded), showed strong results in retaining beginning teachers, particularly minority teachers.

Eaton told committee members: "The time has come to finally act on what we know to be good educational policy that will have long-lasting and positive effects on one of our most precious resources, our beginning teachers."

View TCTA's complete testimony here.