The mission of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is to provide leadership, guidance and resources to help schools meet the educational needs of all students. Texas has 1,236 public school district and charters and more than 4.8 million students.
The TEA is the administrative unit for primary and secondary public education. Its operational costs are supported by both state and federal funds. TEA responsibilities include:
- managing the textbook adoption process
- overseeing development of the statewide curriculum
- administering the statewide assessment program
- administering a data collection system on public school students, staff, and finances
- rating school districts under the statewide accountability system
- operating research and information programs
- monitoring for compliance with federal guidelines
- serving as a fiscal agent for the distribution of state and federal funds.
The agency is headed by the Commissioner of Education, and is supported by a hierarchy of deputy commissioners, associate commissioners, division directors and agency staff. The State Board of Education (SBOE) guides and monitors activities and programs related to public education in Texas. The SBOE consists of 15 elected members representing different regions of the state. One member is appointed chair by the governor of the State (TEA. 2011).
The State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) oversees all aspects of the preparation, certification, and standards of conduct of public school educators. There are 11 members on the board who are appointed by the governor, and three non-voting members. TEA provides staff support to the SBEC board.
For a copy of SHSU's most recent TEA Accreditation Report, please visit the TEA Consumer Information Website.
The accreditation status of an educator preparation program (EPP) in Texas is determined at least annually, based on performance standards established in rule by the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). There are five levels of accreditation status listed from the highest to the lowest: (1) Accredited, (2) Accredited-Not Rated, (3) Accredited-Warned, (4) Accredited-Probation, (5) Not Accredited-Revoked Status.
The Educator Preparation Program at Sam Houston State University is rated by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) as Accredited, the highest accreditation status, indicating the EPP has met the Texas Education Code (TEC) accountability performance standards and has been approved by the SBEC to prepare, train, and recommend candidates for certification.
The continuing approval of an educator preparation program (EPP) to recommend candidates for educator certification, will be based upon the EPP's accreditation status and compliance with the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) rules regarding program admissions, operations, coursework, training, recommendation for certification, and the integrity of required data submissions (TEA, 2011).
An Annual Report is required of Educator Preparation Programs (EPP) in Texas. The data for an academic year are submitted in the Annual Report to the Texas Education Association (TEA) on September 15, following the end of the academic year. Annually, Sam Houston State University's (SHSU) EPP is required to submit data from four areas:
- GPA/Entrance Exam Data - data are submitted for each candidate admitted to the EPP program. The data include:
- Overall grade point average
- Grade point average in specific subject areas
- Scores required for program admission
- The admission score on the Texas Success Initiative (TSI)
- Status for Educator Preparation Program Candidates:
- Program Finishers
- All but Clinical
- Other Enrolled
- Field Observations - field observation of interns, those serving as a classroom teacher of record on a probationary certificate. The compliance measure is based on a percentage of candidates with at least three observations, out of all candidates.
- Demographic information, criteria-based, on the number of candidates in the EPP:
- Applications from all persons who applied to EPP.
- Admittance of all candidates formally or conditionally, to enter the EPP during the designated AY.
- Retention of candidates admitted to the EPP for the AY, but have not yet finished or left the program.
- Finishers of all program requirements during the reported AY.
The Texas State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) is responsible for establishing standards to govern the continuing accountability of all educator preparation programs (EPPs). Additionally, an accredited EPP may receive commendations for success in areas identified by the SBEC.
The purpose of the accountability system for educator preparation is to assure that each EPP is held accountable for the readiness for certification of candidates completing the programs. The SBEC has adopted rules to govern the accreditation of each EPP that prepares individuals for educator certification. Only candidates, recommended by an Educator Preparation Program that has been approved and accredited by the SBEC, may certify candidates for Texas educator certification fields (TEA, 2011).