There is a teacher shortage and it is getting much worse because the number of people enrolling in traditional teacher preparation programs dropped by over 340,000 between 2010 and 2016.  The Center for American Progress went deep into education school enrollment in a report entitled “What to Make of Declining Enrollment in Teacher Preparation Programs” and found out what we have been saying for quite some time – it is really bad and getting worse.

And it’s not just enrollment.  There were 28% fewer graduates from educator preparation program over that same time frame.  The only bright spot is alternative certification programs which showed a significant increase in enrollment in a few key states – like Texas.

Here are the problems as highlighted by the paper –

  • There are 1/3 fewer students enrolling in teacher preparation programs in 2018 than in 2010
  • If you take out alternative certification – the enrollment declined by 43%
  • There are 28% fewer students completing teacher preparation program sin 2018 than in 2010
  • 80% of educator enrollment identify as white
  • 77% of teachers are female
  • Declines in enrollment hit every race

Here is the bright spot

  • Alternative preparation programs that are not based in higher education experience a 42% increase in enrollment – which drove a slight uptick in the national enrollment in preparation programs
  • Of the 19,158 completers from alternative certification, 12,243 were from Texas. Of that, 6,022 were from Texas Teachers of Tomorrow. We account for 49% of the Texas total and 31% of the National total of teachers certified through alternative certification.
  • Men and African American enrollment increased in Texas
  • Most states saw an increase in enrollment of Latinx Teachers

The author then profiles two states – Texas and California.  She points out, correctly, that our enrollment has rapidly increased while our completion has not. This is because we have rolling enrollment that only expires after three years. Because we attract career changers into teaching the convenience of completing the program on their own time is critical in recruitment.

She is also the first to point out that there is a study that our teachers performed as well as traditionally trained teachers as it relates to student achievement.  She left out one of the more impressive stats – 72% of our teachers are still teaching after 5 years – an incredible retention rate.

She is also correct – many people enroll and do not complete. They find teaching is not right for them and never apply for a job.  This is a good thing.  The low cost to entry means we attract more people – but some realize this is not the career for them.

The negative she points out is there are some other studies and the union is not fond of alt cert.

So Texas has all these programs – mainly Texas Teachers – and we have rapidly increasing enrollment and very few teacher shortages. Then she highlights California which she seems to support which is doing the usual – scholarships, residency programs, STEM recruiting etc – but she doesn’t point out any impact from these programs. And when you look at the graph, California has had a 48% decline in enrollment in educator preparation programs.

We are very proud of the impact we have had.  We have placed over 7,000 teachers so far this year in 8 states.

And we are just getting started.


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