After a year of active participation on a statewide commission on the teaching profession, TCTA withdrew from the group in December 2012 when members approved several recommendations that TCTA does not support, and, in fact, will actively oppose if introduced in the Legislature.

The final report of the Texas Teaching Commission, a group convened by Educate Texas (a public-private initiative), included the following recommendations opposed by TCTA:

  • Eliminate the minimum salary schedule, replacing it with a required minimum salary based on the statewide average.
  • Develop a more rigorous, annual teacher evaluation system that would significantly account for student growth through multiple measures including state standardized test results.

During the commission’s yearlong effort to develop recommendations for state policymakers and school districts – a process that often included intense dialogue – TCTA expressed strong opposition to these recommendations.

Why TCTA opposes these recommendations

TCTA representatives told the commission that because these are such core issues to our members, TCTA would have to withdraw from the group if they were adopted. Nonetheless, the recommendations were included in the final report, and TCTA, along with the three other teacher groups, withdrew from the commission.

In our letter of withdrawal, TCTA pointed out that we simply could not support a measure of teacher proficiency based on student performance on standardized tests when a large and growing body of research indicates that this approach is both invalid and inappropriate.

TCTA also stated that we were opposed to any proposal to eliminate the state minimum salary schedule when it serves as the primary mechanism for driving dollars to the classroom and when teachers should have a reasonable expectation of salary growth throughout their careers. 

What is the Texas Teaching Commission?

Educate Texas, a public-private alliance with funding from supporters including the Gates Foundation, formed the Texas Teaching Commission in January 2012 and invited representatives from TCTA and other teacher/educator groups and businesses to participate.

The commission had an ambitious agenda to meet monthly for one year to examine and develop a comprehensive set of recommendations regarding components of the teacher pipeline, including teacher recruitment, professional development, compensation, evaluation and retention.

TCTA appreciated being included in the commission and entered into the endeavor in good faith and with the hope of reaching consensus. 

While TCTA's participation yielded many good recommendations in the commission’s final report, particularly in the areas of teacher retention, professional development and induction, the benefits of these recommendations were heavily outweighed by the recommendations involving compensation and evaluation that we considered disproportionately harmful to our members.

What’s next?

Educate Texas is distributing the full set of recommendations to lawmakers and major education stakeholders in the state. TCTA plans to continue to work with Educate Texas throughout the session on issues upon which we have consensus.