The Federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) places, among other things, an emphasis on ensuring that all of the nation's children have the benefit of a highly qualified teacher. NCLB places an increased emphasis on a teacher's knowledge of the subject matter they are responsible for teaching and requires prospective teachers to demonstrate subject matter competency prior to teaching.
Numerous studies have been conducted that reflect a shortage of certified teachers in the state of Texas by means of the NCLB. One cause of that shortage is the high turnover rate for beginning teachers. TxBESS aims to cut down on teacher attrition and increase retention by ensuring that beginning teachers have a strong support system at their respective schools.
“This study confirms that Texas schools still face an uphill battle in assuring that every classroom is led by a fully prepared teacher. The current economic downturn spurred an increased interest in teaching, but clearly the supply is not meeting the demand,” Commissioner of Education Jim Nelson said of The Teacher Demand Study 2001-2002, cosponsored by the Texas Education Agency and The Texas A&M University System’s Institute for School-University Partnerships.
Recent passage of Temporary Teacher Certificate (TTC) addresses the issue of putting teachers in the classroom; however, mentoring programs supplement the rule by providing assistance for the beginning teachers so that they remain in the classroom. Shall school districts be unable to develop their own Preparation, Mentoring, and Support Plan (PMSP), the State Board for Educator Certification, in reference to the TTC rule, recommends that those districts participate in TxBESS, a research-based set of standards that articulates the work of beginning teachers and is aligned with other state initiatives, including the TExES PPR 8-12 and the PDAS
(SBEC 2004, http://www.sbec.state.tx.us/SBECOnline/certinfo/tempcert/sdguidlines.asp.)