40% of new teachers took alternative path

Forty percent of public school teachers hired since 2005 came through alternative preparation programs, according to a survey by the National Center for Education Information. That’s up from 22 percent of new teachers hired between 2000 and 2004, notes Ed Week‘s Teaching Now.

In addition, the survey found that alternative-route teachers are more in favor of using reforms such as performance pay, elimination of tenure, tying student achievement to teacher evaluations, and market-driven pay to strengthen the teaching profession than are their traditionally prepared counterparts.

However, nearly all teachers, regardless of certification route, support removing incompetent teachers without concern for seniority.

All teachers surveyed were “slightly more satisfied with general working conditions” and “more satisfied with the status of teachers” than those surveyed in earlier years, going back to 1986, reports Profile of Teachers in the U.S. 2011.

Baby boomers are retiring: Less than a third of teachers are 50 or older and 22 percent are younger than 30.

Eighty-four percent of public school teachers are female, up slightly, and 84 percent are white, down from 91 percent in 1986.

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  1. That 10% through traditional grad programs is the huge change. And I’m pretty sure that huge change came about because of the new test requirements that began in 2002. I wonder how many of the alternate path credentials skipped the CSET/Praxis?

  2. Oops, forgot this link, which points out the decline back in 2004. The major decline came, in California, at the CSUs and the diplomas mills (National). That suggests the decline comes from the lower half of the ability scale–a good thing. But not if they’re coming in through alternate paths.

  3. Interesting that so many new young teachers think eliminating tenure is a good thing, given that tenure is merely the guarantee that a teacher can’t be fired without the administration meeting agreed-upon due process requirements, rather than being fired for properly assigning a bad grade to a school board member’s child.

  4. It should be noted that it has always been possible to remove “incompetent teachers without concern for seniority.” Tenure merely guarantees a teacher due process before being removed. Seniority, in fact, has never been a factor in decisions to remove a teacher–a tenured teacher with 20 years of service has no more protection than a tenured teacher with 3 years of service.

  5. If tenure were nothing more than due process, there would be no problem with it. However, it’s warped into an *un*due process that *does* protect teachers who shouldn’t be teaching. Even if administrators dot every i and cross every t, it still takes forever to get rid of someone.

  6. So let’s use more precise language: the issue is “removal processes,” not “tenure.”

  7. Mike, I have worked in a system that grants tenure (after two years and a day) and I have worked for employers in an “at will” employment system. I prefer “at will”. As Milton Friedman once said, the best protection a good worker has is a competitive market for his services.

  8. I’ve worked in both systems too, and I would far rather have due process protection, whether granted by collective bargaining agreement without tenure or with tenure. Given the quality of some administrators I’ve seen, I think trusting to the good judgement of your superiors is a stupid and self-destructive idea. And in case you haven’t noticed, there is no competitive market right now, and there won’t be for a long time.