AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. Leslie Huling, a leading authority on the teacher retention crisis in Texas, will make a keynote presentation at the second annual University of Texas at Austin College of Education Teacher Induction and Education Support (TIES) Novice Teacher Conference.
The conference takes place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 15, at the Joe C. Thompson Conference Center. All 500 recent graduates of the College of Education — most of whom have entered the teaching profession — have been invited back to campus for the conference.
Huling, the associate dean of the College of Education at Southwest Texas State University and director of the LBJ Institute for the Improvement of Teaching and Learning, has become a recognized expert on how teachers begin their careers. She has served on three national teacher commissions.
"Part of the conference’s theme, which both educators and parents know automatically, is that teacher effectiveness improves with teaching experience," Huling said. "Unfortunately, some children face a situation where they have too many novice teachers, year after year — especially those children in school districts serving disadvantaged students, which typically employ the most novice teachers."
In 1995, the Texas Education Agency reported that 19 percent of novice Texas teachers leave after their first year of teaching, 12 percent after the second year and 50 percent after the fifth year, which parallels national statistics.
"Each teacher who leaves the profession during the induction years likely costs taxpayers in excess of $50,000," said Huling, "This doesn’t even begin to cover the secondary financial costs involved with obtaining a college degree, not to mention an extra year of teacher preparation courses for certification."
The number of first-year or novice teachers, even if individuals are entering the profession as a second career, is expected to grow continually until the year 2007. At that time, student enrollment is estimated to peak nationally at 54.6 million, a total comparable to the first post-World War II baby boom. Large numbers of veteran teachers also are expected to retire in this same period.
The University of Texas at Austin College of Education recently implemented a comprehensive induction teacher support program.
Other speakers include four recent winners of the university’s Texas Excellence Award for Outstanding Teachers. They are Hugh Franks, social studies department chair at Midland High School; Janice McNeil, social studies teacher at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD; Barbara Pratt, art facilitator, Frisco and McKinney ISDs; and Judy Howard, a 30-year elementary physical education teacher from Austin.