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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. II SUMMARY
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. This page in the original is blank.
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. Summary of Conference Proceedings ERLING E. BOE AND DOROTHY M. GILFORD INTRODUCTION Since instruction is delivered primarily by teachers, the size, composition, and distribution of the teaching force are vital to the effectiveness of U.S. public education.1 In turn, public education is widely regarded as central to the nation's social and economic well-being and to its international competitiveness. Consequently, the adequacy of the supply of teachers (in terms of numbers, composition, and distribution) in relation to the demand for them has been a matter of continuing concern among educators and policy makers responsible for ensuring the effectiveness of public schools. During the current phase of educational reform commencing in the early 1980s, the teaching force has been widely characterized, on the whole, as inadequate to meet current national requirements. In contrast with earlier decades, we no longer define the inadequacy of the teaching force in terms of either its size or the general level of its members' formal credentials. Instead, we are concerned with the ability of the teaching force to deliver high-quality classroom instruction as ultimately measured by student learning outcomes. Numerous recent reports by blue ribbon commissions have concluded that education as a whole, and teachers in particular, are not producing public school students with the level of knowledge, skill, and discipline required in today's complex and competitive economic climate. Note: Since this chapter summarizes the entire proceedings, some of the summary text is excerpted from material contained in subsequent chapters without specific citation. These contributions of conference participants to the summary are acknowledged collectively.
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. As a result of this broad and critical conclusion about the condition of U.S. public education, numerous policy responses have been, and continue to be, made. Among the policy responses is the recent specification of national education goals by President Bush and state governors, coupled with procedures to monitor progress toward these performance targets. As a major initiative for achieving these goals, the federal administration launched its America 2000 program, a massive effort to develop and test new and better ways to organize and operate schools and to measure student outcomes. Similarly, a number of policy initiatives are under way to upgrade the quality of the nation's teaching force. Among many that could be cited are policies that create alternative entry routes for new teachers, provide federal support for teacher preparation in several fields, and establish a national system for certifying teachers at a high level of teaching competence. Given the current size (about 2.5 million) and complexity of the nation's teaching force in public education, the development of effective, manageable, and affordable policies to improve the overall quality and distribution of this work force is a formidable task. This task surely would benefit from reliable, detailed information about teacher supply, demand, and quality (TSDQ). In response to the need for such information, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) asked the National Research Council (NRC) to convene a Conference on Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. The proceedings published here are based on this conference, which was convened by the NRC's Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) and Division of Education. Training, and Employment (DETE) in 1991. The overarching purpose of the conference was to contribute to the development and retention of a teaching force of the highest possible quality for U.S. elementary and secondary schools through three activities: Identification of the major issues that policy makers can expect to face in the decade to come in developing and retaining a teaching force of the highest possible quality, and of their information needs in doing so; Review of the adequacy of leading TSDQ projection models in relation to these information needs and delineation of specific directions in which such models should be developed further to meet these needs more completely; and Review of the adequacy of state, regional, and national data bases relevant to TSDQ with respect to the basic data required to generate the information needed by policy makers and delineation of specific directions in which data bases should be developed further to meet these data requirements more completely. Given this focus on policy issues, projection models, and data bases, con-
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. ference presentations naturally do not provide a comprehensive review of current knowledge about teacher supply, demand, quality, and shortage. Such reviews are available in the literature. The conference was designed to generate a variety of ideas about the topics addressed rather than to reach a consensus expressed as formal recommendations. These proceedings contain background papers prepared for the conference, invited discussions of these papers, and summaries of open discussion of the ideas presented. Accordingly, the proceedings represent the individual views of conference participants and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CNSTAT, DETE, or NCES. The conference was designed to stimulate discussions and suggestions (a) concerning information needed by policy makers and others in addressing current and emerging TSDQ issues, and (b) for further development of models and data bases needed to generate this information. From the perspective of NCES, the conference was also intended to provide information about the utility and role of its existing data bases and programs in analyzing TSDQ issues and to provide suggestions for enhancing its contributions to this topic. The conference brought together a broad spectrum of individuals with interests in TSDQ from the perspectives of policy making, modeling, data base development, practice, and research. Sessions were organized around the papers prepared on teacher quality issues, projection models, and data bases, along with prepared discussions of these papers followed by open discussion among conference participants. The conference agenda and the list of conference participants appear in Appendix A. This volume is organized for the most part in accordance with the agenda: each of the three main topics is followed by a summary of the open discussion among participants, entitled "general discussion." Finally, summary descriptions of national data bases containing information relevant to TSDQ are presented in Appendix B, and the specific TSDQ data elements (i.e., variables) recorded in these data bases are organized and presented in tabular form in Appendix C. This summary chapter provides a synopsis of the entire conference including TSDQ information needs and suggestions for action made by participants during open discussions of each major topic. Following an overview of teacher supply, demand, and shortage, the remainder of this chapter provides sections on (a) a major policy issue: teacher quality; (b) TSDQ projection models; and (c) teacher data bases at the state, regional, and national levels. Particular information needs and suggestions for action associated with each of these topics are included in these sections. The summary concludes with several general suggestions for action. The information needs and suggestions for action reported here are not formal recommendations adopted by vote of conference participants and
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. therefore are not referred to as recommendations. Instead, such needs and suggestions emerged during the course of numerous open discussions by participants occurring during the course of the conference. The editors of this volume organized them in the form reported in this summary. OVERVIEW OF TEACHER SUPPLY, DEMAND, AND SHORTAGE Teacher Demand The national demand for public school teachers is defined operationally, and in the aggregate, as the total number of teaching positions funded by local education agencies (LEAs), i.e., the number that LEAs are able and willing to employ at a given time. Total demand thus defined is the end result of a number of considerations leading to the establishment of teaching positions. The main factors determining teacher demand in any particular year are the number of students enrolled in public schools, policies pertaining to curriculum and teacher-pupil ratios, prior commitments to employed teachers, LEA funding capacity, and the prices that must be paid for various types and qualities of teachers. Aggregate demand, however, is of little use in understanding the dynamics of demand for the teaching force or in designing policies to ensure an adequate supply of teachers. For these purposes, total demand must be specified in greater detail, i.e., disaggregated by teaching assignment and geographic distribution of the teaching positions. More specifically, computations of disaggregated teacher demand should be stratified by subject matter, grade level, preparation for serving the special needs of students (especially handicapped students and those with limited English proficiency, region of the country, and urbanicity of schools within which teaching positions have been established. In addition, demand should be specified by the attributes of teachers desired, especially teacher qualifications (their training, degree level, licensure, and experience) and race/ethnicity. When specified at this level of detail, teacher demand can be compared with information about teacher supply to examine supply-demand relationships. Teacher Supply The national supply of public school teachers in any year is defined, in the aggregate, as the number of eligible individuals available from all sources who are willing to supply their services under prevailing conditions. The supply includes qualified individuals who (a) currently hold teaching positions, (b) seek to enter the profession by applying for open positions, and
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. (c) would apply for positions if suitable openings existed. The main factors determining who is available to teach are considered to be the availability of teaching positions relative to the availability of positions in other occupations, teacher wages relative to wages in competing occupations, and working conditions in teaching relative to conditions in other occupations. Unfortunately, no sources of data are capable of providing adequate information about the total supply of teachers thus defined (Gilford and Tenenbaum, 1990). What is known with reasonable precision is the annual number of teachers hired from among those available through several sources of supply. That is, the number of individuals continuing in public school teaching from one year to the next is known, as is the number of individuals entering public school teaching annually. The former group is often called continuing teachers, and the latter group is often called entering teachers or new hires. Collectively, continuing and entering teachers constitute the cohort of individuals employed as teachers (in short, the teaching force2), a group representing an unknown proportion of the potential total supply of teachers. Aggregate information about the size of the teaching force is of only modest value for understanding teacher supply. In practice, it is virtually the same as aggregate demand. To be useful in understanding the teaching force, information is needed about various sources of supply of individuals hired as teachers, as well as about the composition and distribution of the teaching force. Information at this level of detail could then be related to comparable information about teacher demand in efforts to understand the degree to which teacher demand is being met by qualified individuals, as well as the sources of teachers that might be manipulated by policy in order to provide a more adequate supply. In practice, the term supply (as in teacher supply and demand) is typically used imprecisely. Instead of referring to total potential supply, the expression teacher supply is used loosely to refer to the composition of the actual teaching force, to potential sources of entering teachers such as recent graduates of teacher preparation programs, and to teacher supply shortages that occasionally occur in some subject matter fields at various geographic locations. The total potential supply of hireable individuals almost always equals or exceeds the number of available teaching positions. Therefore, in the aggregate, the size of the teaching force is usually determined by the demand for teachers as defined by the number of funded teaching positions, not by supply constraints. Sources of Supply As previously mentioned, the teaching force is composed of two large groups—employed teachers continuing from year to year and entering teachers
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. in any year. Both are broad categories drawn from more specific sources. Continuing teachers typically have the option of remaining in the same position from one year to the next. Nonetheless, many practicing teachers choose to apply for teaching positions in other schools, in other subject matter fields, or both. Furthermore, some employed teachers may be reassigned to different teaching assignments within a school or reassigned to a different school within the same LEA. Thus, the flows of practicing teachers within the public education system constitute a major source of teachers hired into, or reassigned to, open teaching positions. Their transfer within the system creates openings in positions they vacate, assuming such positions continue to be funded by the LEA. Due to attrition of teachers from the profession and gradual expansion of the total number of teaching positions, a large number of additional individuals are also hired by the public education system each year (Rollefson, 1992). Such entering teachers are drawn from four sources: A reserve pool of qualified teachers composed of: experienced former teachers and graduates of teacher preparation programs from prior years (sometimes called delayed entrants); Recent graduates of teacher preparation programs (some of whom are also experienced teachers); College graduates who have not completed a teacher preparation program and who have not previously taught (sometimes referred to as entrants via alternate routes); and Teachers employed in private schools who migrate to teaching positions in public schools. In view of this complexity in the sources of employed teachers, detailed information about flows of teachers into and within the profession is vital to understanding the relative importance of these sources of teacher supply. Teaching Force Composition The composition of the teaching force is a multifaceted concept that includes teacher qualifications (especially in relation to specific teaching assignments); subject matter specialty; grade level; preparation for serving special needs of students (especially handicapped students and those with limited English proficiency); and teacher characteristics such a race/ethnicity, gender, and age. Existing teacher data bases can provide good information about these and other attributes of the teaching force. This information makes it possible to determine how well the supply of teachers yields a teaching force that corresponds to the demand for teachers with desired characteristics, for various subject matters, grade levels, etc. It would also
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. be very desirable to have similar information about the composition of applicant pools for open teaching positions and, in fact, about the total potential supply of teachers. Teaching Force Distribution The teaching force is distributed among public schools that vary by type, grade level, and location. A major concern is that teachers are maldistributed among schools in terms of qualifications, experience, race/ethnicity, and other dimensions of the teaching force. For example, high schools in large urban areas usually attract a teaching force that is less experienced, younger, and less well prepared to teach high school subjects than teachers hired at nearby suburban schools. Therefore, information about the distribution of the teaching force needs to be presented in terms of teacher variables (such as qualifications) to understand fully how well the supply of teachers meets the demand for teachers at schools of various types, levels, and locations. Such analyses of the teaching force are possible with existing teacher data bases. Little is known, however, about the characteristics of applicants (from which entering teachers are selected) as a function of school location. Unless information about applicants is known, it is not possible to determine whether the supply of teachers available to various schools is adequate, or whether difficulty in hiring qualified teachers is due to hiring practices or other factors. This distribution problem stems from teachers' behavioral response to school location, one of the many variables affecting the supply of teachers available to a school. Supply obviously can vary from school to school since supply is a relationship between the number of qualified individuals who would be willing to teach and such incentives as the salary, working conditions offered, the location of the school, and other alternative career opportunities. Teacher Shortage Issues Policy makers responsible for ensuring the effectiveness of public education are necessarily concerned that the supply of qualified teachers is sufficient for all schools. Consequently, the topic of actual and potential teacher shortages is being addressed continually. Only occasionally is there concern about teacher surpluses, although that, too, can be a significant policy issue (especially for state governments) if the capacity for preparing teachers in certain fields is well in excess of demand. Quantity: A Nonproblem In recent decades, there has been little or no shortage of individuals
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. available to fill open teaching positions; in 1987–88, only one percent of U.S. teaching positions in the public sector were unfilled (NCES, 1991a). The supply of teachers—in gross numbers—has generally been well in excess of demand. During the early 1980s, however, it appeared that general teacher shortages could develop in the late 1980s and 1990s.3 The following trends seemed to appear in several variables that affect teacher supply and demand in a direction that would increase demand and reduce supply: High teacher attrition from the profession partly due to low salaries and poor working conditions, Increasing teacher retirement rates due to an aging teacher force, Rising public school enrollments due to the echo of the baby boom, Continuing decline in teacher-pupil ratios, Falling enrollments in teacher preparation programs, Decreasing interest among women in teaching due to more lucrative opportunities in other professions, and Constriction in the numbers of entering teachers because of more stringent entry standards including entry-level teacher tests and early performance assessments. Most of these trends did not develop, nor did teacher shortages materialize. Both attrition and retirement rates were lower than expected, a behavioral response on the part of teachers, which for some teachers was probably due to the desire for a high quality of life combined with financial conditions that required a family to have two incomes. Consider the actual trend for each of the projected trends. High Teacher Attrition. In the early 1980s, attrition rates for public school teachers were estimated to be 8 percent based on an old study (Metz and Fleischman, 1974). More recent data show that the annual teacher attrition from 1987–88 to 1988–89 was 5.6 percent in the nation as a whole (Bobbitt et al., 1991). This lower attrition rate is one of the main reasons why the projected teacher shortages have not materialized. There are several reasons for the lower attrition rate. First, the proportion of young teachers was considerably smaller in the late 1980s than in the early 1970s, and middle-aged teachers have a lower attrition rate than young teachers. Second, women are leaving teaching at all-time low rates, and when they do leave they more often return and take shorter breaks from teaching (Grissmer and Kirby, 1991). This shift has little to do with salary or working conditions, but rather is due to the increasing importance of women's salaries as part of family income over the last 20 years. Third, new teachers are more often drawn from the 30–45 age group (Murnane and Olsen, 1989; Kirby et al., 1991; Murnane and Schwinden, 1989), and individuals who enter at a later age have lower attrition than those entering at younger ages. Fourth,
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. teacher salary levels began to rise in the early 1980s, and much recent work has shown that attrition rates decline as salary increases (Murnane and Olsen, 1989, 1990; Murnane et al., 1989; Grissmer and Kirby, 1991). Increasing Teacher Retirement Rates. Because the average age of the teaching force has been gradually increasing for a number of years, teacher retirement rates have been increasing and are expected to continue to increase during the next 15 years. Since the average age of teachers is approximately 42, half of all teachers are within 13 years of retirement eligibility. However, most teachers do not retire at age 55; instead, retirement in the 62–65 age range is becoming more common. This slower rate of retirement means that new teacher demand is increasing more slowly than previously thought, and it is more likely that large numbers of teachers will retire during the 2000–2010 period than during the 1990s. Rising Enrollments and Falling Teacher-Pupil Ratios. Expected higher public school student enrollments nationally have materialized and probably have been higher than originally predicted due to immigration. Teacher-pupil ratios have continued to decline, especially for earlier grades and for mathematics and English courses in high schools. However, further declines in teacher-pupil ratios appear unlikely, at least in the near future, since many states have severe budget problems. In some cases, increases in teacher-pupil ratios may occur. Falling Enrollments in Teacher Preparation Programs. Although falling enrollments in teacher preparation programs were projected, actual enrollments have been increasing fairly strongly in recent years. Assumptions made in the early 1980s did not take into account student reaction to the perceived increased job opportunities in teaching. Perhaps even more important is recent research showing that new graduates from teacher preparation programs usually fill one-half or less of teacher vacancies each year (Murnane et al., 1989; Kirby et al., 1991). Other sources (former experienced teachers, previously trained but inexperienced teachers, and migrating teachers from private schools) meet a large share of the annual demand for entering teachers. Therefore, new teacher education graduates, instead of being needed to fill most of the demand for entering teachers, are needed to fill only part of this demand. Decreasing Interest Among Women in Teaching. With increasing opportunities for women to enter medicine, law, business, and other professions during recent decades, forecasters anticipated a decline in the proportion of women in the teaching profession. Instead, the increasing proportion of women in the overall labor force and the increasing role they play in providing family income seems to have resulted in stronger interest by women in teaching, at least as measured by increases in the proportion of women in this profession. In Indiana, for example, women have become a larger percentage of the teaching force during the past 20 years (Kirby et
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. regard, it was also suggested that NCES work toward integrating their supply-demand model into a larger model that encompasses the entire economy, and that NCES explore the use of both cross-sectional and time-series approaches in their modeling. Suggestion 7: Guidebook for TSDQ Model Development. Given the fairly rudimentary state of TSDQ models in most states and the many technical issues involved in model development, it was suggested that NCES or some other organization prepare a guidebook for states. The guidebook should incorporate basic TSDQ modeling concepts, practical step-by-step guidance on how to develop a functional TSDQ projection model, and guidelines for assembling data from state records in a form suitable for making supply-demand projections. Suggestion 8: Theoretical Basis of TSDQ Modeling. Though discussion revealed that a considerable theoretical base (drawing on theories of human capital, career progression, and imperfect information in the labor market) exists for TSDQ modeling, it has not been systematically explicated. It was suggested that a statement of the theoretical underpinnings of TSDQ projection models would be useful for policy makers and others who are concerned about teacher supply-demand issues. Suggestion 9: Teacher Demand Projections. It was suggested that certain changes in NCES teacher demand projection modeling can yield more useful estimates. As a major example, the use of pooled time-series, cross-sectional data from states for the past 10 years would permit development of a more detailed model than the current use of 30-year national-aggregate time-series data and avoid the assumption of a stable relationship between educational and fiscal variables over a 30-year period. It was also suggested that a few states might experiment with the development of econometric projection modeling similar to that used in the 1988 and 1990 NCES projections. Suggestion 10: Teacher Retention/Attrition Projections. A number of suggestions were offered about improving projections of teacher retention/attrition. First, methods must be developed to project changes or trends in attrition rates, and then these projected rates should be used in computing projections of the size of the retained teaching force, instead of the present practice of assuming fixed attrition rates based on the rate observed in a prior year. Second, a teacher quality variable, e.g., teacher test scores, should be incorporated into teacher retention/attrition projections when feasible. Third, as more than one or two teacher characteristic variables are built into retention/attrition projection models the use of multivariate methods will be required to sort out the relationships of teacher variables with attrition rates and to estimate the effects on attrition of hypothetical or projected changes in particular teacher characteristics. Fourth, in modeling the supply of retained teachers, a clear distinction should be made between
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. voluntary attrition (a supply-side phenomenon that reflects the decisions of individual teachers) and involuntary attrition (a demand-side phenomenon that reflects decisions of employers). Fifth, it was suggested that modeling teacher flows at the school level should be attempted because of the many changes in assignment of retained teachers within schools and between schools. Finally, recent research on teacher retention/attrition has yielded a number of findings pertaining to attrition and reentry, such as attrition rate differences and differences in attrition patterns among categories of teachers, that have direct implications for the improvement of retention/attrition projection models and should be used to this end. Suggestion 11: Entering-Teacher Projections. Since data are not available on the quantity and quality of individuals in supply pools of potential entering teachers, methods for modeling projections of teacher supply and entry are underdeveloped. Both relevant data bases and methods to model teacher supply and entry are needed to achieve a complete TSDQ model and to make meaningful projections of imbalances of teacher demand and supply. To this end, some useful data could be collected from applicants for teaching positions. Data could also be collected about the job-seeking behavior and intentions of persons in selected groups of the population—an approach subject to the problems inherent in inferring labor market behavior from responses to hypothetical questions. Suggestion 12: Teacher Compensation and Working Conditions. Because variables pertaining to teacher compensation and working conditions are of particular relevance to teacher entry, retention, and attrition, it was suggested that such factors be incorporated in teacher supply-demand projection models. Suggested variables include teacher salary levels, teacher salaries relative to salaries in other occupations, and relative unemployment by occupation. In addition, various school and student variables can be used as indices of working conditions. Suggestion 13: Differentiated Staffing. In addition to teachers, teacher aides and specialists in instructional technology are involved in providing instruction to students. It was suggested that the effect of prospective or hypothetical changes in the numbers and instructional roles of these auxiliary personnel on teacher demand and supply be examined. TEACHER DATA BASES The need by education policy makers and others for factual and reliable information about the teaching force, including future estimates of supply-demand relationships generated by projection models, has led to the development of teacher data bases at the state, regional, and national levels. The data must be of reasonable quality, timeliness, and accessibility, however, to be useful for projection models and decision making.
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. Fortunately, there are now several data bases that will support rather sophisticated analyses of a number of important aspects of teacher supply and demand. At the national level, teacher surveys are particularly rich sources of data about many supply-demand variables. A brief description and assessment of teacher data bases is presented here. State Data Bases Much information about teachers practicing in a state is contained in state administrative records. Typically, relevant information is contained in different sets of records such as those pertaining to teacher certification (or licensure) and to retirement, each of which can be used separately for study of some aspect of teacher supply and demand. The use of state data for investigating teacher supply and demand is especially promising because of the wealth of detailed, longitudinal information typically residing in state records. In practice, however, these records vary considerably in the breadth of teacher supply-demand data maintained and in the degree to which teacher supply-demand variables are linked to individual teachers. Though various state records often can be linked to create integrated or comprehensive teacher data bases, states do not ordinarily maintain such integrated data bases incorporating longitudinal information by teacher. Instead, the data must be assembled at considerable effort and cost by researchers interested in studying teacher supply-demand phenomena at the state level. In fact, it is common for researchers to spend several years creating usable data bases from state administrative records before beginning to conduct analyses of teacher supply-demand issues. A number of variables relevant to teacher quality are contained in state records. For the most part, these are variables pertaining to teacher qualifications. Commonly (though not uniformly) found in state records is information about teachers' educational attainment, academic major, field of certification, type of certification, and years of teaching experience. A few states also record teachers' tested ability scores. The quality of state records raises several major concerns about the use of data from these sources for studying teacher supply-demand issues. One concern is about incomplete data. Problems include incomplete reporting of data by teachers and LEAs and periodic purging of state records. Another concern is the inaccuracy of recorded data. Inputs from teachers and LEAs may contain errors, and state data management procedures can be inadequate. A third concern is inadequate documentation of the recorded state data, an important consideration for researchers attempting data analyses. The comparability of data among states is a serious issue in making cross-state comparisons. For example, a major incompatibility of data among states arises from their different categories and requirements for teacher
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. certification. Finally, the timeliness of data is of concern. All data files used should be reasonably current if analyses based on them are to be of maximum value to policy makers and others. Nonetheless, the difficulties inherent in using state data for teacher supply-demand analyses can be managed, and experience has demonstrated that there are substantial benefits to be derived from research with teacher data bases. These sources of data, at their best, contain a remarkable degree of detailed, longitudinal information about teachers, students, and schools. In recent years, several research programs (e.g., Richard Murnane and associates from the Harvard Graduate School of Education; David Grissmer and associates from RAND; James Wilson and associates from the Massachusetts Institute for Social and Economic Research) have used state data successfully to investigate major supply-demand issues such as trends in teacher licensure, entering teachers, attrition, reentry, and retirement as a function of teacher characteristics such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, subject matter specialty, and tested ability. The long time-series on individual teachers available from state records is particularly valuable in studying the course of teacher career development over time and the changing trends in how such careers develop. Regional Data Base The only regional teacher supply-demand data base (the Northeast Regional Data Base) currently operational has been developed for New York and the New England states by the Massachusetts Institute for Social and Economic Research (MISER).5 In cooperation with these states, MISER has taken the lead in assembling useful data bases for seven states by extracting information available from multiple sources within each of the seven states in the Northeast region. However, MISER has not generated original teacher data through sample surveys or other means. With funding from federal, state, and private sources, MISER worked closely with the seven states of the Northeastern region to improve and to expand the collection and management of teacher data within each state and has begun to create linkages among the emerging state data bases for analytic purposes. The development of these data bases goes beyond what the cooperating states would have implemented on their own initiatives. Since the Northeast Regional Data Base is comprised of seven state data bases constituted from administrative records within each state, the virtues and limitations of state data bases described in the prior section likewise apply to this regional data base. Being a collection of data bases from all states of a region, however, it has the special advantage of permitting study of reciprocal cross-state migration of teachers within the region. In addition, cross-state comparisons of teacher data has gained the attention
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. of chief state school officers and has led to the emergence of policy changes such as regionalizing teacher credentialing. This regionalized teacher supply-demand data base is a new phenomenon, which has generated a great deal of favorable attention. In fact, the Southern Regional Education Board is developing a comparable data base using the MISER model. Although the development of the MISER data base has been limited by the availability and quality of information in state records and by the availability of funding to develop and sustain the MISER data set, it has already produced some useful findings and benefits for the region. MISER plans to continue testing the feasibility and utility of a regional data base for the Northeast. National Data Bases Several data bases useful for analyses of TSDQ issues now exist at the national level. With one or two exceptions, none of these are derived from data collected and reported by state or local education agencies. Instead, most national data relevant to TSDQ have been generated by sample surveys with questionnaires—the prime example being the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) and its longitudinal component the Teacher Followup Survey (TFS), conducted by NCES. SASS was administered during the 1987–88 and 1990–91 school years and is scheduled to be conducted every three years thereafter. SASS was designed to collect extensive information especially relevant to teacher supply, demand, and quality, as well as the status of schooling generally. For schools in the public sector, SASS includes separate questionnaires designed to obtain information from teachers, from principals of schools to which the teachers are assigned, from schools to which the teachers are assigned, and from LEAs sponsoring these schools. With this design, teacher, principal, school, and LEA data are linked. TFS is administered in years following each SASS to three groups of teachers included in the prior SASS sample: (a) teachers who continued teaching in the same school; (b) teachers who continued in the profession but transferred to a different school; and (c) teachers who left the teaching profession, thereby permitting detailed study of teacher mobility and attrition. More specifically, data generated by SASS and TFS serve the following five purposes: (a) to profile the nation's teaching force; (b) to improve estimates and projections of teacher supply and demand by teaching field, sector, level, and geographic location; (c) to allow analyses of teacher mobility and turnover; (d) to enhance assessment of teacher quality and qualifications; and (e) to provide more complete information on school policies and programs, administrator characteristics, and working conditions. Ac-
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. cordingly, SASS includes a great deal of information about representative samples of teachers from each state and from the nation as a whole. NCES has established several other national data bases that provide data relevant to teacher supply and demand topics. Among them are the Common Core of Data, High School and Beyond, the National Longitudinal Study, the National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS:88), Surveys of Recent College Graduates, and the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). Survey data from these sources and SASS typically include information about teacher qualifications. The Longitudinal Study of American Youth sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) provides an opportunity to study the relationship between teacher qualification variables and student academic achievement. This is also possible with NELS:88 and NAEP. A complementary component of NELS:88 was the NSF sponsored Teacher Transcript Study (Chaney, 1991), which obtained transcripts of the academic records of science and mathematics teachers within the NELS:88 study. The analysis for this study focused on teachers' backgrounds in terms of their own college-level preparation in science and mathematics as a prediction of their students' achievement. Several national data bases relevant to teacher supply and demand have been sponsored by organizations other than NCES. Two examples are the National Surveys of Science and Mathematics Education, sponsored by NSF, and the Status of the American Public School Teacher, sponsored by the National Education Association, both of which include extensive information about national samples of teachers. In addition, tested ability measures of prospective teachers and practicing teachers can be found in data bases of the Graduate Record Examination and the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Data Base Comparisons There are major differences between state and national data bases, as well as complementary strengths. In contrast with data from national sample surveys, state records contain a wealth of detailed data about populations of teachers, students, and schools. These records are maintained year by year, thereby permitting examination of trends over time and permitting cohort studies of teachers as their careers develop. In contrast, national surveys are usually based on samples of these populations, and limited sample sizes often do not permit detailed analyses of many variables and their cross-tabulations. Unfortunately, state data bases are beset by a number of limitations. One is that teachers from any particular state, or from a combination of a few states, do not constitute a representative sample of the national teaching force. Furthermore, variations among states in definitions of variables and in policies pertaining to teachers limit the generalizability of state-level
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. findings. Another limitation of state data bases is their inability to distinguish between teachers that leave the teaching profession or simply migrate to out-of-state schools. Without this information, attrition studies lack precision and may yield misleading interpretations. For the most part, the strengths of national data bases relevant to TSDQ are the limitations of state data bases, while the limitations of national data bases are the strengths of those at the state level. At their best, national data bases, such as SASS, include a great deal of information about probability samples of teachers for each state and for the nation as a whole, thereby providing (a) a national perspective of the teaching force, (b) opportunity for state-by-state comparisons, and (c) a basis for analysis of teacher migration among all states. In addition, the surveys on which they are based define variables uniformly across all units sampled and use a standardized procedure, thereby permitting interpretations of data that are generalizable nationally. National data bases, however, are as yet very limited in the extent to which they can support time-series analyses for nationally representative samples of teachers. In addition, practical limitations on the length of survey questionnaires do not permit the level of detailed information gathering that is often possible with administrative records from which state data bases are derived. Finally, resources available for national surveys limit sample sizes, thereby restricting many important analyses. Since the best currently available state and national data bases are complementary in their respective patterns of strengths and limitations, there is great advantage not only in having both types available, but also in being able to link data bases at these two levels. From the perspective of NCES, there is considerable potential for linking SASS with state data bases, and it is important to work toward achieving this dual strategy. Data Bases: Suggestions for Action Major advances in the development of data bases relevant to TSDQ projections and research have been made in recent years at the national, regional, and state levels. Nonetheless during the course of open discussions occurring throughout the conference, participants suggested many further steps that could be taken to strengthen and expand such data bases. These suggestions are reported as such below. Suggestion 14: State Record Management. Since state administrative records are the information source for state data bases relevant to TSDQ, it is important that these records be maintained so as to be suitable for TSDQ projections and research. Three related suggestions were made about management of these records: (a) that states design and maintain pertinent state records in ways that support TSDQ research as well as administrative
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. functions; (b) that the experience of recent researchers with state data bases be used to improve state record management; and (c) that guidelines for state data management be developed to assist states in responding to this need. Suggestion 15: Funding State Data Base Development. Since most states do not have sufficient resources to produce high-quality data bases of the type described in Suggestion 11, it was suggested that NCES, or some other federal agency, provide states with capacity-building grants for this purpose. Suggestion 16: Teacher Demand Data. NCES should develop a more elaborate behavioral model for teacher demand projections that includes economic and fiscal variables, especially at the state and local levels. Suggestion 17: Longitudinal Supplements to SASS. Although SASS has a longitudinal supplement for teachers in the TFS, it was suggested that NCES give high priority to sustaining this component over time, that TFS content on teacher attitudes toward teaching and teaching styles be increased, and that ideally observations of direct classroom teaching be made in addition to using survey questionnaires. Suggestion 18: Unused National Data Bases. There are a number of national data bases (e.g., the Longitudinal Study of American Youth, the Scholastic Aptitude Test, and the Graduate Record Examination) relevant to analyses of teacher quality that have not been used for this purpose. A suggestion was made that these data be used to study the quality of teacher supply starting in high school at the beginning of the pipeline. Suggestion 19: Linking SASS and State Data Bases. Inasmuch as data bases derived from state administrative records and from national sample surveys with questionnaires are both extremely valuable for teacher supply-demand analyses but in distinctive and complementary ways, it was suggested that steps be taken to link SASS data with state data to enhance the range and depth of possible analyses. Suggestion 20: Linking SASS with Work Force Data Bases. The teaching force is a component of the larger national labor force in which eligible teachers compete for jobs in a wide variety of occupations. Similarly, a very large, but unknown, number of educated adults can compete for jobs in the teaching profession and enter through widely available alternative routes, even though they have not undertaken teacher training. Consequently, it was suggested SASS be linked to larger work force data bases so that the transfer of workers among occupations (including teaching) can be analyzed, thereby providing a broader understanding of factors involved in teacher supply and shortage. Suggestion 21: International Education Data. It was suggested that data from the United States included in international assessments of education should be used more extensively, especially data relating teacher characteristics to student outcomes.
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. GENERAL SUGGESTIONS FOR ACTION In addition to the suggestions for action related to teacher quality, projection models, and data bases as described above, conference participants made the following suggestions pertaining to broader aspects of teacher supply-demand projections and research: Suggestion 22: On-Line Classroom Computers. It is now technically possible to connect NCES with a national sample of teachers electronically through on-line classroom microcomputers. It was suggested that NCES explore the possibility and utility of having a standing national sample of teachers who routinely transmit data on classroom events to a central repository so that teacher behavior and student learning can be observed as it happens. Suggestion 23: TSDQ Research Consortium. The value of SASS and other national data bases for analyzing teacher supply and demand issues is much greater than can be exploited by NCES and contract analysts. Accordingly, it was suggested that NCES create and fund a consortium of independent TSDQ researchers in order to capitalize more fully on the potential of these data bases. Suggestion 24: Annual TSDQ Conference. As a means to stimulate the development and analysis of state data bases relevant to TSDQ, it was suggested that an annual TSDQ conference be held for key state representatives and TSDQ model developers and researchers. Suggestion 25: Information Useful in Decision Making. Since the major purpose of generating information about TSDQ is to provide a factual basis for policy and administrative decisions in this area, TSDQ data base managers, model developers, and researchers need to understand better (a) the nature of current and emerging policy issues and (b) the attributes of information of practical value to education policy makers and others. NCES could convene focus groups on these topics periodically. A better understanding of information utilization is important as guidance for the production of technically sound but useful TSDQ data and analyses that minimize the risk of misinterpretation by consumers. REFERENCES American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education 1987 Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention: A Public Policy Issue. Washington, D.C.: author. Bobbitt, Sharon A., Elizabeth Faupel, and Shelley Burns 1991 Characteristics of Stayers, Movers, and Leavers: Results from the Teacher Followup Survey, 1988–89. June. NCES 91–128. Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics. Chaney, Bradford 1991 Teachers' Academic Preparation and its Connection to Teaching Methods and
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. Student Outcomes in Science and Mathematics: NSF/NELS:88 Teacher Transcript Study. December. Prepared for the National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C. Feistritzer, Emily 1990 Alternative Teacher Certification: A State-by-State Analysis. Washington, D.C.: National Center for Educational Information. Freeman, Richard B. 1971 The Market for College-Trained Manpower. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Gilford, Dorothy M., and Ellen Tenenbaum, eds. 1990 Precollege Science and Mathematics Teachers: Monitoring Supply, Demand, and Quality. Panel on Statistics on Supply and Demand for Precollege Science and Mathematics Teachers, Committee on National Statistics. Washington, D.C.:National Academy Press. Grissmer, David W., and Sheila Nataraj Kirby 1991 Patterns of Attrition Among Indiana Teachers, 1965–1987. Santa Monica, California: The RAND Corporation. Hammer, Charles H., and Elizabeth Gerald 1990 Selected Characteristics of Public and Private School Teachers: 1987–88. July. NCES 90-087. Washington. D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics. Hanushek, Eric 1986 The economics of schooling: Production and efficiency in public schools. Journal of Economic Literature 26:1141-1177. Kirby, S.N., D.W. Grissmer, and L. Hudson 1991 Entering and Reentering Teachers in Indiana: Source of Supply. R-4049-LE. October. The RAND Corporation. Lanier, Judith 1986 Research on teacher education. Pp. 527–569 in M.C. Wittrock, ed., Handbook of Research on Teacher Education, 3rd edition. New York: Macmillan. Manski, Charles F. 1987 Academic ability, earnings, and the decision to become a teacher: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972. In David A. Wise, ed., Public Sector Payrolls. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Metz, A. Stafford, and H.L. Fleischman 1974 Teacher Turnover in Public Schools, Fall 1968 to Fall 1969. DHEW Publication No. (OE) 74-1115. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Murnane, Richard J., and Randall J. Olsen 1989 The effects of salaries and opportunity costs on duration in teaching: Evidence from Michigan. The Review of Economics and Statistics 71:347-352. 1990 The effects of salaries and opportunity costs on length of stay in teaching. Journal of Human Resources 25(Winter): 106-124. Murnane, Richard J., and Michael Schwinden 1989 Race, gender, and opportunity: Supply and demand for new teachers in North Carolina, 1975–1985. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 11 (2)(Summer):93-108. Murnane, Richard J., Judith D. Singer, and John B. Willett 1989 The influences of salaries and ''opportunity costs'' on teachers' career choices: Evidence from North Carolina. Harvard Educational Review 59(3)(August):325-46.
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Teacher Supply, Demand, and Quality: Policy Issues, Models, and Data Bases. National Center for Education Statistics 1991a Digest of Education Statistics 1990. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education. 1991b E.D. TABS: Aspects of Teacher Supply and Demand in Public School Districts and Private Schools: 1987–88. August. Charles H. Hammer, and Elizabeth Gerald. NCES 91-133. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement. Oakes, Jeannie 1990 Multiplying Inequalities: The Effects of Race, Social Class, and Tracking on Opportunities to Learn Mathematics and Science. July. R-3928-NSF. With Tor Ormseth, Robert Bell, and Patricia Camp. Santa Monica, California: RAND. Rollefson, Mary R. 1992 Sources of Newly Hired Teachers in the U.S.: Results of the 1987–88 Schools and Staffing Survey. Paper presented at the NCES Annual Data Conference, Washington, D.C. July. National Center for Education Statistics, Washington, D.C. Schmidt, Peter 1992 Shortage of trained bilingual teachers is focus of both concern and attention. Education Week February 12:14. NOTES 1. While the same assertion can be made about private education, these conference proceedings focus on public education at the elementary and secondary levels. 2. As used here, the expression teaching force always means the active, employed teaching force at any given time, as distinguished from all qualified teachers whether or not employed. 3. Much of the material presented in the remainder of this section has been adapted from an unpublished manuscript by David W. Grissmer of RAND and is used here with his permission. However, the editors of these proceedings are responsible for the content as presented. 4. The one exception to the relevance of tested ability is that some research evidence has demonstrated a positive, though not large, association between the general verbal ability of teachers and teaching success. However, even the significance of this evidence is contested by different reviewers. 5. Interest in forming regional data bases for teacher supply-demand analyses has recently appeared in the Southern region and in the North Central region.
Representative terms from entire chapter: