Teaching Profession News in Brief

Reliance Grows for Alternative Certification

By Liana Loewus — August 09, 2011 1 min read

Four out of 10 new public school teachers hired since 2005 came through alternative teacher-preparation programs, a new survey shows. That’s up from 22 percent of new teachers hired between 2000 and 2004, according to the National Center for Education Information, the private Washington-based research group that conducted the survey.

In addition, the 86-page report on the findings, released last month, concludes that alternative-route teachers are more in favor of using measures such as performance pay, market-driven pay, elimination of tenure, and use of student-achievement results in teacher evaluations than are their traditionally prepared counterparts.

Nearly all teachers, however, regardless of certification route, support removing incompetent teachers without concern for seniority. Teachers also “are slightly more satisfied with general working conditions and are more satisfied with the status of teachers in the community than were teachers surveyed in 2005, 1996, 1990, and in 1986,” according to the report, “Profile of Teachers in the U.S. 2011.”

Younger Corps

The survey also found that the teaching force is becoming younger, less experienced, and increasingly female.

The proportion of teachers younger than age 30 doubled between the 2005 and 2011 surveys, from 11 percent to 22 percent. And the proportion of teachers 50 and older dropped from 42 percent to 31 percent.

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

Today, 84 percent of public school teachers are women, up slightly from 2005.

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

Alternative-route certification programs bring in both more male teachers and more minority teachers than traditional preparation programs, the report says.

A version of this article appeared in the August 10, 2011 edition of Education Week as Reliance Grows For Alternative Certification

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