Friday, May 20, 2016

Snapshot of the Teaching Profession: What's Changed in a Decade?

Snapshot of the Teaching Profession: What's Changed in a Decade?:

Snapshot of the Teaching Profession: What’s Changed Over a Decade?

snapshot of the teaching profession
There’s no doubt that the past decade or so has been hugely challenging for educators and for the public schools where they teach.  From the failure of No Child Left Behind to the devastating budget cuts following the Great Recession to the vilification of the teaching profession stirred up by the education reform movement, it’s clear why public education advocates hope the next ten years is more promising.
And yet, for many aspects of the teaching profession, the more things have changed, the more they have stayed the same, at least according to new federal data contained in the 2014 Digest of Education Statistics, released in May by the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES). A wide variety of subjects are covered, including funding, student enrollment, attitudes on education, demographic profiles, international comparisons. There’s also quite a bit of information on public school teachers – who they are, where they work, what they teach, and what they earn – and the trends that have shifted (or not) over the past decade or so. Here are just a few takeaways from the data:
1. If you are a classroom teacher, you are still probably a White female. In 2011-2012, there were approximately 3.2 million public school teachers in the United States, a marginal increase from just over 3 million in 2000 and slightly less than the 3.4 million in 2008 just before the country was slammed by the Great Recession.
The gender and racial disparities in the profession persist. In 2000, 84 percent of teachers were white, dipping slightly to 83 percent in 2012. During that time period, the percentage of Hispanic teachers increased the most to around 7 percent. The year 2014 marked the first time White students did not represent a majority in the nation’s public schools, calling more attention to the wide representation gap between educators and their students.
The teaching is still an overwhelmingly female profession. In 2012, 76 percent were women, a slight increase over 74 percent in 2000.
teacher student racial gap
2. The profession is both grey and green…for now.  In the 2012-13 school year, 12 percent of teachers had only 1-3 years full-time teaching experience, an uptick from 9 percent the previous year. Over this one-year period, however, those educators with more than 20 years under their belt also increased by 4 percent to 21 percent. Between 2008 and 2013, the number of teachers age 60 and over declined marginally as many in that age group are retiring, a process that Prof. Richard Ingersoll of the University of Pennsylvania says signals the end of what he calls the “greying of the profession.”
Teachers today are also more likely to have earned an advanced degree. In 2012, 56 percent hold at least a masters degree, compared to 47 percent in 2000.
3. U.S. teachers spend a lot of time in the classroom. The NCES data also looks at Snapshot of the Teaching Profession: What's Changed in a Decade?