Imagine a Texas where the words “I am a public schoolteacher” immediately enlist an inner “wow” reaction, where “educator” becomes the most honored and highly sought-out professional title. We can do it. Let’s abolish our 160 Educator Preparation Programs and replace them with 10 prestigious programs across the state; admit only the top 2 percent of our high school graduates as measured by the ACT/SAT—entirely merit-based; and give them a full-ride scholarship. These high-quality students will ensure that these prestigious schools provide our state with the finest possible teaching professionals. Just imagine.

McLeroy is the chairman of the Texas State Board of Education.

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