Five Trends Shaping the Teaching Force
The U.S. elementary and secondary teaching force in recent decades has changed significantly and in important, sometimes surprising ways. It has become far larger, far less experienced, less diverse by gender, and more diverse by race/ethnicity. And it remains unstable. Yet researchers, policymakers, and the public appear not to have much marked these trends, even the most dramatic ones.
I will summarize five of the key trends we identified, along with some takeaways and questions for state boards of education and others involved in state education policymaking to consider.
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State policymakers looking to increase recruitment and retention should keep an eye on these long-term trends.
State statutes impede students' equitable access to profession-ready teachers.
Lowering teacher standards may fail to solve actual pipeline problems and can create new ones.
State leaders have a role in ensuring that educator preparation both models and reflects the science of learning and development.
State leaders commit to efforts to attract and keep teachers in the classroom.
State-level criteria for programs' design can yield better outcomes in preparing and retaining diverse teachers.
State boards can set the stage for learning environments that connect and engage all students.
Four practices to increase the pool of skilled early educators stand out as promising.