The story of the Association of Texas Professional Educators: Texas’ largest educator association
1975: Unification brings division
In 1975, the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA), then the state’s largest organization of educators, united with the National Education Association, a national teacher union. This change troubled many TSTA members concerned at the prospect of being obliged to participate in union strikes, which have a negative impact on students, communities and the public’s trust in the profession. Others felt that a labor union model simply did not properly serve or represent the concerns of a professional community of educators.
Many disillusioned TSTA members left to join the Association of Texas Educators (ATE) and Texas Professional Educators (TPE), organizations established to provide an alternative to the unified TSTA/NEA association. Both groups shared similar philosophies and similar inclusive membership criteria, serving teachers, administrators and support personnel alike. Both ATE and TPE focused on needs and goals common to all educational professionals, rather than fostering the internal divisions inherent to the labor union model.
1980: Merging for success
ATE and TPE leaders began consolidation talks in 1977, only a year after they were first chartered. Three years later, on April 1, 1980, the groups merged to create a single larger, more influential professional association—the Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE).
Since that time, ATPE has grown from that modest, fledgling beginning to become Texas’ preeminent educators’ organization. ATPE has also grown to become the nation’s largest independent educators’ group, attracting a strong constituency with its inclusive and highly principled philosophy.
2001: A formal statement of values
In 2001, the ATPE Board of Directors formally adopted the 10 official tenets of ATPE, a document that summarized the association's philosophical foundation. Renewed and reaffirmed in 2011, the tenets included professionalism, member-owned/member-governed, right to work/oppose strikes, superior services to members, all-inclusive, leadership, collaborative, issues-oriented advocacy, independent association, and local control of public schools.
2014: Your Ally. Your Voice.TM
ATPE introduced a new logo and new tagline: Your Ally. Your Voice.TM
2019: Refined vision and mission
In spring 2019, the ATPE Board of Directors (BOD), in collaboration with staff members, crafted a new vision and mission statement for ATPE to better reflect the support the association provides to Texas educators.
Last updated in 2011, the modernized vision and mission statements show where ATPE is headed as an organization. Every action the association takes should and will be viewed through the lens of the new vision and mission statements.
The ATPE Vision
The Association of Texas Professional Educators (ATPE) supports the state’s largest community of educators who are dedicated to elevating public education in Texas.
The ATPE Mission
ATPE advocates for educators and delivers affordable, high-quality products and services that give members the peace of mind needed to inspire student success.