Support UTeach Dallas

John Mestyanek, alum, teaching at Dallas ISD’s Roosevelt HS

Taking on Public Schools’ Growing Need

An innovative teacher training program at The University of Texas at Dallas, UTeach Dallas encourages some of the most promising math and science majors to pursue careers in teaching. In 2007, The University of Texas at Dallas was awarded up to $2.4 million to improve teacher education in mathematics and science. At the time, UTeach Dallas was one of 12 programs from across the country to receive funding from the National Math & Science Initiative (NMSI) to implement programs modeled after UTeach, a highly successful and widely acclaimed math andscience teacher preparation program at The University of Texas at Austin.

UTeach Dallas maintains an average enrollment of 350-400 annually. With numerous graduates now thriving in the teaching field today, the program strives to maintain the ambitious goal of graduating 40 new, highly qualified math, science and computer science teachers each year.

The Need: Falling Dangerously Behind in Math and Science

American students are falling behind in the essential subjects of math and science, putting our position in the global economy at risk. Yet, recruiting and retaining competent and passionate teachers in these subject areas remains one of education’s most intractable dilemmas.

Like the rest of the nation, Texas and the DFW metroplex face a critical shortage of highly qualified math and science teachers. This shortage is getting worse and threatens America’s economic competitiveness.

Here are just a few examples among many.

  • U.S. students recently finished 15th in reading, 19th in math, and 14th in science in the ranking of 31 countries by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.
  • More than 40 percent of Texas secondary students are taught by teachers who didn’t even major in the subjects they teach.
  • Fewer than one in four Texas high school graduates is ready for college-level science.
  • Only 5 percent of U.S. college graduates major in science or engineering, compared with 42 percent in China.

About a third of high school math students and two-thirds of those enrolled in physical science have teachers who did not major in the subject in college or are not certified to teach it. There is an essential need for investment in teacher preparation and professional development programs as a way to improve student achievement and produce a better-prepared workforce.

If you can solve the education problem, you don’t have to do anything else. If you don’t solve it, nothing else is going to matter all that much.”

—Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Board Chairman

The lack of certified science and math teachers is a growing concern for schools around the nation, especially in low-income areas. Competent and engaged teachers are needed to inspire students to pursue a career in math and science. If Americans continue to remain disengaged in this challenge, the United States’ role as a leader in technology development and scientific research will continue to diminish.

We stand in real danger of falling behind in innovative capacity. Most of the good-paying jobs that will be created in this country in the future will require a whole lot more math and science literacy than in the past.”

—Tom Luce, former CEO NMSI


UTeach Dallas alums teaching at Berkner HS, Richardson ISD 2018

The Solution: A Proven Track Record of Training Great Teachers

Any city, state or country with a workforce so comparatively weak in math and science faces a steep decline. That is why UTeach Dallas is so vital to the region’s future.

  • The program cultivates students’ interest in teaching by pairing them with master math or science teachers at UT Dallas and giving them experience in north Texas public schools as early as their freshman year.
  • Science and math majors observe veteran educators, and then write and deliver original, engaging lessons beginning their first semester in the program.
  • The compact degree plan allows students to work toward teacher certification as they complete their science or math degree.

With continued support, UTeach Dallas will produce 40 highly qualified and innovative math, science, and computer science teachers annually for local schools. But to succeed, these aspiring teachers need help from people who believe every Texas youngster deserves a first-rate teacher.