Enrollments in higher education teacher preparation programs have drooped by nearly 340,000.
What's new at NCTR?
Carrianne Scheib, NCTR’s Director of Data and Impact, and Christine Brennan Davis, our Chief Program Officer, have authored a chapter for the new book “The Teacher Residency Model: Core Components for High Impact on Student Achievement.” Their chapter, Scale and Sustainability of Residency Programs, highlights evidence-based practices that residencies have implemented to enhance financial sustainability. The chapter features Kern Urban Teacher Residency and Dallas Teacher Residency, two programs that have worked with their district partners to maximize revenues. The book, edited by professors at the University of New Mexico, contains contributions from 10 NCTR partner programs. The book is available from Lexington Books, an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.
New Visions for Public Schools recently piloted the first session of a facilitated peer support and learning network meant to retain Black educators in its residency and at New Visions schools. Twenty-two teachers and administrators attended, and had the opportunity to network, practice active listening skills, and engage in small group discussions on topics that included “Black Savior Syndrome;” work-life balance; “Imposter Syndrome;” and addressing colleague DEI gaps. Additional sessions will take place through May.
Declining Enrollment in Teacher Preparation Programs
Between 2009 and 2017, enrollments in higher education teacher preparation programs fell by nearly 340,000, a drop of more than a third at a time when college enrollments overall grew. A new report from the Center for American Progress looks into why enrollment is declining; whether certain groups of students are shying away more than others; and whether the decline is worse in certain subject areas, geographic areas, or types of programs.
While a handful of states have seen enrollments grow, nearly every state has experienced declining enrollment, with some states experiencing declines of more than 50 percent. Oklahoma–where a contentious teacher walk out occurred in 2018–saw an 80 percent drop.
Preparation programs for STEM and special education–subjects that have demonstrated chronic teacher shortages for years–also saw declines, but at smaller rates than the national average. The report found, notably, that there was a 30 percent increase in completers with English-language learner or bilingual education credentials.
The authors note that education markets are “hyper-local” and that only by examining “state-by-state and even institution-by-institution information” will policymakers and advocates learn how to stem the losses.
There is one sector of the teacher preparation field that is showing growth: “Alternative certification” programs grew by 40 percent between 2010 and 2018. Many of these programs, the report notes, have thin curricula and little data showing they produce quality graduates.
Overall, the report paints a bleak picture of teacher preparation in America that is made more complicated by state data collection and policy prescriptions that vary widely. The report’s author recommends that the federal government expand its data collection to include additional indicators of teacher supply and demand, and that states “publish thorough reports on their teacher supply and demand to better understand local teacher labor markets, determine whether they are meeting demand, and project future needs and shortages.” This data collection is necessary “to develop targeted solutions to improve teacher preparation and modernize and elevate the teaching profession.”
Please note that the articles and events in the NCTR E-Blast do not reflect the opinions of our organization, but rather represent information that we believe will be relevant to you and your programs.