Teaching Profession

Big Changes Found in Teachers’ Paths to N.Y.C. Schools

By Vaishali Honawar — January 03, 2006 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The number of teachers entering New York City schools through alternative routes to licensure has risen dramatically, even as the number holding temporary certificates has dropped, a study released last week says.

The study was prepared by the Teacher Pathways Project, a partnership between researchers at the State University of New York at Albany and Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., that assesses what routes teachers take into teaching and the impact of those paths on student achievement.

New York City adopted alternative routes to teaching, in addition to university-based degree programs, after a state policy ended temporary certification in 2003, leading to a sharp rise in the demand for teachers.

“One of our findings that is very striking is how the composition of the workforce and interim teachers has changed over the last four to five years,” said Hamilton Lankford, a professor of economics at SUNY-Albany and a co-author of the study.

The research paper looks at programs like the New York City Teaching Fellows program, launched in 2001, and Teach for America, which recruits recent graduates of selective colleges and universities to teach in high-poverty schools. The teaching-fellows program targets midcareer professionals and recent college graduates. Participants receive transitional licenses that are good for three years, and they are expected to enroll in teacher education programs at partner colleges to fulfill certification requirements.

Since the teaching-fellows program began, the number of first-time teachers with temporary licenses has dropped from 4,017 to 607 in 2004, the study found, or a decrease of nearly 85 percent. Over the same period, the number of first-time teaching fellows increased more than sixfold, from 383 to 2,441, and the number of Teach for America teachers tripled, from 118 to 360.

The number of first-time teachers who came via traditional, university-based teaching programs dropped from 2,375 in 2001 to 2,192 three years later.

Student Achievement

In examining achievement, the study found that the students of alternative-route teachers performed as well as—and in some cases, better than—those of teachers with temporary certification. But students with alternative-route teachers made smaller initial gains in mathematics and English compared with their peers whose teachers came through the traditional route.

Researchers looked at scores on statewide assessments in math and English in the 4th and 8th grades, as well as scores on tests in the same subjects given by the city’s Department of Education in the 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th grades.

“These differences are not large in magnitude, but are modest differences. They would matter if it was a horse race, but not here,” Mr. Lankford said.

The study also considered pathways to teaching such as individual evaluation, in which teachers fulfill the requirements of a traditional program but at different institutions and even through distance learning.

The analysis used, among other data, student test scores and demographic data, as well as data on teachers’ initial pathways into the profession. Researchers created links between students and teachers by tracking the courses taken by each student and the courses taught by each teacher.

Students of teachers in the teaching-fellows program with just one year experience performed at lower levels in 4th and 5th grade math than did students whose teachers graduated from university-based teaching programs. However, they caught up after two years.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Seamless Integrations for Engagement in the Classroom
Learn how to seamlessly integrate new technologies into your classroom to support student engagement. 
Content provided by GoGuardian
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Recruitment & Retention Webinar
Be the Change: Strategies to Make Year-Round Hiring Happen
Learn how to leverage actionable insights to diversify your recruiting efforts and successfully deploy a year-round recruiting plan.
Content provided by Frontline
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Critical Ways Leaders Can Build a Culture of Belonging and Achievement
Explore innovative practices for using technology to build an environment of belonging and achievement for all staff and students.
Content provided by DreamBox Learning

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession What the Research Says The Big Connection Between Teachers' Burnout and Their Principals
Less-demanding principals make for less-stressed teachers, a new study suggests.
3 min read
Image of two adults planning in a school classroom.
E+
Teaching Profession What Teachers of Color Say Will Actually Work to Diversify the Profession
In a new survey, teachers of color pick the most effective recruitment and retention strategies.
6 min read
Image of a teacher in front of a high school classroom.
Drazen Zigic/iStock/Getty
Teaching Profession Q&A Why Teachers Are Going on Strike This Fall—and What Could Come Next
A labor expert explains what's driving the recent teacher strikes.
7 min read
Teachers from Seattle Public Schools picket outside Roosevelt High School on what was supposed to be the first day of classes, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, in Seattle. The first day of classes at Seattle Public Schools was cancelled and teachers are on strike over issues that include pay, mental health support, and staffing ratios for special education and multilingual students.
Teachers from Seattle Public Schools picket outside Roosevelt High School on Sept. 7. Teachers went on strike over issues that include pay, mental health support, and staffing ratios for special education and multilingual students.
Jason Redmond/AP
Teaching Profession Q&A A Teacher Who 'Refused to Be Party to Censorship' Tells Her Story
The teacher was targeted for sharing links to online libraries with students amid district book challenges.
8 min read
Books packed up in a cardboard box.
Patrick Daxenbichler/iStock/Getty