Ingersollp - Archived Information Turnover Among...

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Archived Information Turnover Among Mathematics and Science Teachers in the U.S. By Richard M. Ingersoll Graduate School of Education University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 19104 RMI@gse.upenn.edu 215-573-0700 Prepared for the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century , Chaired by John Glenn February, 2000
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Summary For some time educational policy analysts have been predicting that shortfalls of teachers resulting primarily from increases in student enrollment and teacher retirements will make it very difficult for schools to find qualified teachers and, in turn, will hurt school performance. Moreover, analysts have argued that shortages will be worse for particular fields, such as math and science, because of difficulties in recruiting qualified candidates. This paper summarizes what the best available nationally representative data reveal about the rates of, and reasons for, teacher turnover for both math/science and other teachers. The data show that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the problems schools have adequately staffing classrooms with qualified teachers are not primarily due to teacher shortfalls, stemming from either increases in student enrollment or increases in teacher retirement. Rather, the data show that school staffing difficulties are primarily a result of a yrevolving doory -- where large numbers of teachers depart teaching for other reasons, such as job dissatisfaction and in order to pursue better jobs or other careers. These findings have important implications for educational policy. Teacher recruitment programs - the dominant policy approach to addressing school staffing inadequacies - will not solve the staffing problems of schools, if they do not also address the problem of teacher retention. In short, the data indicate that recruiting more teachers will not solve teacher shortages if large numbers of such teachers then prematurely leave. 1
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Introduction Few educational problems have received more attention in recent times than the failure to ensure that elementary and secondary classrooms are all staffed with qualified teachers. In the mid 1980s a series of highly publicized reports began to focus national attention on the coming possibility of severe teacher shortages in elementary and secondary schools (e.g. National Commission on Excellence in Education 1983; National Academy of Sciences 1987). These reports predicted a dramatic increase in the demand for new teachers primarily resulting from two converging demographic trends -- increasing student enrollments and increasing teacher turnover due to a ygrayingy teaching force. Subsequent shortfalls of teachers would, in turn, force many school systems to resort to lowering standards to fill teaching openings, the net effect of which would inevitably be high numbers of underqualified teachers and lower school performance. These reports also stressed that shortages will affect some teaching fields more than others. Special education, math and science teachers, in particular, have usually been
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This note was uploaded on 02/21/2011 for the course AIBS 9982 taught by Professor Dr.ngchongchin during the Fall '10 term at Shandong University.

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Ingersollp - Archived Information Turnover Among...

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