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Future Teachers of America

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TSTA, TASSP Bring Together Future Educator Programs

For about three years, TSTA and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals (TASSP) have talked about combining their high school-level future educator programs into one organization with joint support.

We now have a plan that we believe will successfully merge TSTA’s Texas Future Teachers of America (TFTA) and TASSP’s Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE). NEA dropped the national Future Teachers of America (FTA) years ago. The only national group currently available for high school future educators is the Future Educators Association (FEA), which is sponsored by Phi Delta Kappa International.

When TASSP was a department of TSTA and the National Association of Secondary School Principals was a department of NEA, principals managed TFTA/FTA and the program thrived. Eventually, NEA and TSTA decided to end departments, which caused the principals’ exit. The principals then started TAFE, an affiliate of FEA.

Although TSTA continued to run a reasonably successful program, TFTA lacked a national connection. TAFE and TFTA rarely competed directly; in fact, we are not aware of any school with competing chapters, and there are only a couple of regions holding both TFTA and TAFE district meetings.

We believe that merging the two groups will provide an opportunity for more high school students to become involved.

Our plan will allow the current officers from both groups to serve through the remainder of this school year. They will jointly plan and conduct the TAFE annual meeting to be held in February 2010.

TSTA and TASSP agree that the merged program will benefit from a continued relationship with TSTA. TASSP will utilize TSTA staff resources for delivery of training to chapter advisors regarding leadership topics and issues, and TSTA will continue to support the program by offering staff and leaders to assist at the annual meeting. TSTA encourages its members to become sponsors of TAFE chapters.

TAFE will ask for a volunteer from the TFTA advisor group to sit on their advisory board as a non-voting but participating member for 2009-2010. The current members of that board have been elected by their peers to serve in an advisory capacity.

After the TSTA Leadership Summit in October 2009, we asked all TFTA chapter advisors to affiliate with TAFE. The TSTA Board of Directors passed a resolution authorizing and promoting the merger of the two programs at its December board meeting. TASSP will consider a similar resolution at its January board meeting. If the TASSP resolution passes, TASSP and TSTA will announce the merger in their publications.

At that point the merger will be complete: TAFE will be the only statewide program for middle and high school future educator chapters. TAFE will reach out to administrators in the schools with TFTA chapters, provide an explanation of the merger and ask for support for TFTA advisors and chapters.

We believe this is a positive step forward and are proud of this accomplishment.

Learn more about TAFE here. Alejandro Arguello, the contact person for any questions about TAFE and the affiliation process, can be reached at (512) 443-2100, ext. 230, or aarguello@tassp.org.