50th Anniversary issue of The Texas Standard

Newsletter of the Colored Teachers State Association of Texas

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In 1935, the Colored Teachers State Association of Texas celebrated its 50th anniversary by devoting an issue of its newsletter to reviewing their “fifty years of progress.” On the cover they featured L.C. Anderson, the organization’s founder and first president. Anderson was the principal of Prairie View Normal College (now Prairie View A&M University) for 17 years. He then served 34 years as principal of E.H. Anderson High School in Austin.

Prairie View A&M was created in 1876 as the first state supported institution of higher learning for African Americans in Texas. The school’s original curriculum was the training of teachers. Two years earlier, the governor of Texas had said the greatest problem facing public education in the state was the need for “a sufficient number of educated and trained teachers.” Teacher training programs like the one at Prairie View were created to address the problem, leading to new professional employment opportunities for minorities and women.

Teachers soon formed support organizations to set teaching standards, provide training, and to improve children’s learning experience. Since public education was legally segregated until 1954, so were teacher’s organizations. African American teachers formed the Colored Teachers Association of Texas in 1885. The association advocated for quality education for students and better working conditions for teachers.

The association began publishing its professional newsletter in 1922 with the motto, “The Best in Education for Every Negro Child—The Best in Working Conditions for Every Negro Teacher.” A typical issue included articles on teaching philosophies and specific issues related to African American schools in Texas.

One of the association’s biggest fights was to equalize teacher pay. In the 1920s, Black teachers earned $91.60 a month while white teachers earned $121.03. Working town by town, the association began winning equal pay for Black teachers in the 1940s, realizing their final goal in 1961 when a standard starting salary was set for all teachers.

The Colored Teachers Association of Texas merged with its white counterpart, the Texas State Teachers Association, in 1966. Today the association works on behalf of all public school teachers and students.
 

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50th Anniversary issue of The Texas Standard Artifact from Prairie View, TX
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