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admin | Category: Ed Treatment Exercise | 22.01.2016
Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors.
Fresh from the United States Air Force, Zachary Branson, 33, wanted a career with a structured day and hours that would allow him to be home in time to watch his kids in the evening.
It was brought on, he said, by the sense of being in the middle of an ideological war that surfaced in everything from state-level education policy on down to his course textbook, which had a distinct anti-standardized-testing bent.
Massive changes to the profession, coupled with budget woes, appear to be shaking the image of teaching as a stable, engaging career.
Enrollments in teacher-preparation programs (including alternative-route options) have fallen dramatically in some states in recent years, while holding steady in others. The federal data, from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, show an overall drop in education degree programs across all institutions. Separate state-by-state enrollment data collected under Title II of the Higher Education Act, meanwhile, suggest that the decline in teacher-preparation enrollments has accelerated in recent years, particularly since 2010.
As befits a labor market that tends to be regional, though, the declines don't appear to be uniform across the country; some states have maintained stable supplies of teacher-candidates.
Though the decline is probably due to a multitude of factors, the reason topping many analysts' list is the budget crunch that hit the nation in 2008.
If an uncertain economy is one likely explanation for the drop, analysts also point to other, less tangible causes: lots of press around changes to teachers' evaluations, more rigorous academic-content standards, and the perception in some quarters that teachers are being blamed for schools' problems.
But those increases are coupled with a salary-schedule overhaul under which some teachers are seeing increases of 15 percent or higher while others are barely getting raises. In all, enrollments in University of North Carolina teaching programs, the largest source of teachers for the state, have fallen by 17 percent from 2010-11 to 2012-13, said Alisa Chapman, the vice president for academic and university programs at UNC. Assessing how the enrollment declines are playing out on the ground can be tricky, given varied patterns across credentialing areas.
The enrollment downturns already appear to be contributing to some unsettling hiring patterns.


Districts may also begin looking to different pipelines for teachers, which can have consequences on overall educator quality. Also unclear is whether the downturn in enrollments is a short-term phenomenon or the harbinger of future shortages. The lag time means that states like California might face shortages for some time, even if enrollment begins to tick upwards. But just a month into his online teacher-preparation program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, he had something of a crisis of faith.
Nationwide, enrollments in university teacher-preparation programs have fallen by about 10 percent from 2004 to 2012, according to federal estimates from the U.S. The Golden State lost some 22,000 teacher-prep enrollments, or 53 percent, between 2008-09 and 2012-13, according to a report its credentialing body issued earlier this month. Under that collection, California, New York, and Texas, among the largest producers of teachers, have seen steep drops.
Last year, lawmakers there eliminated teacher tenure, only to have a state court restore it in May. Meanwhile, the elimination of a pay premium of 10 percent for earning a master's degree is likely to suppress enrollments in master's programs. Branson, the North Carolina teacher-candidate, said he's tried to stay away from the policy debates in the state. Colleges typically produce far more elementary teachers than there are jobs, but not enough math, science, and special education teachers to meet demand. Those are subjects in which officials say education schools already weren't producing enough teachers to help meet state goals for increasing jobs in those sectors. Texas districts like Dallas and Houston have been recruiting heavily—from North Carolina. The Title II data show that, as enrollments in North Carolina's traditional university-based programs have declined, more teachers have entered through alternative routes.


Chapman said, given state data suggesting that, with the exception of those who come through Teach For America, high school teachers prepared in alternative programs perform somewhat less well than UNC graduates. Chapman believes the state is at the point where it needs to create recruitment incentives, such as by establishing a merit-based scholarship program based on getting teachers in the highest-need subjects. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge.
Sandy believes that the state's layoffs of some 30,000 teachers during the Great Recession sent a clear message to potential candidates that the profession was no longer a reliable one.
And after much public lamenting over the state's low average teacher salaries in comparison with those of other states, legislators finally boosted pay in August. A pep talk from a friend has him, for now, determined to continue with his preparation program. San Francisco, caught between a pool of fewer teachers and more competition for them from nearby districts, currently has more than two dozen teachers on emergency credentials, the San Francisco Chronicle recently reported. Sandy said that early indications are that the state issued more teaching credentials in 2013-14. Arzberger said she's already seen signs in downtown Denver promoting the University of Colorado, Denver's teacher-preparation offerings.
But it won't know for a few more months if those are for teaching jobs or other types of positions.



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