Professional Development

Teachers Getting Younger

By Liana Loewus — October 12, 2011 1 min read

The teaching force is becoming younger, less experienced, and increasingly female, according to a survey by the National Center for Education Information.

The proportion of public school teachers younger than 30 has doubled since 2005, the last time the organization conducted a national survey of teachers, from 11 percent to 22 percent. And the proportion of teachers 50 and older dropped from 42 percent in 2005 to 31 percent in 2011.

“Clearly, the older teachers are retiring and being replaced once again by teachers in their 20s and 30s,” states the report, “Profile of Teachers in the U.S. 2011.”

Teachers' Ages, 1986-2011

Source: National Center for Education Information, 2011

SB NN TeachersGettingYounger C1s

In 2005, 18 percent of public school teachers surveyed had five or fewer years of experience. That proportion went up to 26 percent in 2011. The proportion of teachers with 25 years experience or more went down from 27 percent in 2005 to 17 percent in 2011.

And 84 percent of public school teachers are female, up slightly from 2005.

The public K-12 teaching force is still overwhelmingly white at 84 percent, according to the survey—though that is down from 91 percent in 1986.

The 86-page report also noted that four out of 10 new public school teachers hired since 2005 came through alternative teacher-preparation programs. That’s up from 22 percent of new teachers hired between 2000 and 2004.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 13, 2011 edition of Teacher PD Sourcebook

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