Sunday, April 28, 2013
Will prospective teachers have to leave Laredo for degrees?
Laredo (LT) - For the last 40 years, Laredo's institutions of higher learning have been producing future teachers. That era might be coming to an end soon if TAMIU teacher candidates do not fare better on their state certification tests. According to today's Laredo Morning Times, TAMIU failed to have at least 75 percent of its teaching candidates pass the state tests and was place on probationary status in February of this year. Now, the Texas State Board of Education is requiring 80 per cent of students to pass in order for an institution to retain its teacher accreditation.
Since around 1970, Laredoans wishing to become teachers have been able to do so without leaving town. Before that time, it was typical for high school graduates from Laredo and the surrounding area to have to go to Kingsville (Texas A&I) or elsewhere to pursue their teaching certificates. That changed with the establishment of the education college of Texas A&I at Laredo which later became Laredo State University and eventually, the full-fledged 4 year Texas A&M International University here in Laredo.
Of course, this all looks very bad for Laredo's students. While exact figures are not given, it makes sense that perhaps those TAMIU graduates that DID pass the state exams might have not scored as high as graduates of other state teacher schools. The recent resignation of an LISD Principal accused of manipulating STAAR test scores speaks to the very notion that our local university might NOT exactly be producing truly highly-qualified teachers.