Howdy, Scrap! One thing which must be pointed out here is that Texas no longer allows degrees in secondary (high school) education. A prospective teacher must minor in education AND obtain a degree in the subject she intends to teach. English teachers major in English, science teachers in science, etc. This has led to a terrible shortage of math and science teachers: why get the difficult degree and take a job paying half what the degree is worth?
Williams is correct about teacher education: as a former engineer teaching AP calculus, I've observed that the teachers educated under the old system are not as knowledgeable about subject matter as the youngsters. Once the economy improves, the youngsters will leave for better-paid jobs.