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Investing in Texas Educators: The Key to Student Success

By: Julia Estelle Cotton   |   February 29, 2024

The second annual UNT Symposium on "Expanding North Texas Teacher Pathways: Creating an Inclusive, Equipped, and Sustainable Workforce" brought together a diverse array of voices committed to advancing education in Texas. 


Dr. Garza emphasized the importance of collaboration among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to address the complexities of the teaching profession.  

 "Teachers are the most important factor in our classrooms to make sure that our students are succeeding and seeing through to thriving lives," said Dr. Garza.  

Commissioner Morath pointed out the need for enhanced teacher preparation and support statewide. He shed light on the challenges faced by first-year teachers, saying, "Teaching is a vocation that requires passion... but it is not an easy job.". 

Morath addressed the surge in new teacher hires across Texas and stressed an obligation to equip educators with the necessary skills and support. Drawing parallels to the medical profession's transformation following a scathing report on the inadequacies in medical practice, he advocated for a thorough reevaluation of teacher training programs to better equip educators for their roles.  

“We will never reduce the achievement gap and raise overall achievement unless we commit ourselves to having the best-trained people responsible for molding the minds of the 5.5 million students in Texas public schools,” said Morath. 

The UNT Symposium centered on the critical importance of empowering educators and enriching student experiences for educational excellence and the betterment of Texas education. 

Educate Texas upholds that the most crucial factor influencing student success in schools is the quality of teaching. Having a well-organized system for recruiting, preparing, developing, and retaining the best educators is essential for building a strong foundation for education, promoting social mobility, and preparing future generations to thrive in an ever-changing world. 

Dr. Garza emphasized the importance of forward-thinking strategies for the future of education.  

"We have to continue to be innovative,” said Dr. Garza. “We have to continue to be thoughtful. We have to be bold. We have to have honest conversations." 

Educate Texas is an initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas serving as the trusted change agent in education, providing solutions through programs and practices, instilling change through policy, and convening the right partnerships and networks for action.

Julia Cotton is the Content Marketing Associate at Educate Texas with a background spanning media, marketing, and community engagement. Julia has excelled in roles such as Community Partner Relationship Specialist at the North Texas Food Bank and Programming Coordinator/Digital Content Strategist and Producer at WFAA-TV. She also served as a Storytelling Instructor for Dallas Comedy House, Amphibian Stage, and Stomping Ground Theatre. Proud to advance Educate Texas' mission, Julia brings her creative mindset and dedication to community impact to the forefront, hoping to make a meaningful difference in educational outcomes for all.