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Survey: Alternative Teacher Certification on the Rise

Four out of 10 new public school teachers hired since 2005 came through alternative teacher-preparation programs, according to a survey just released by the National Center for Education Information. That's up from 22 percent of new teachers hired between 2000 and 2004.

In addition, the survey found that alternative-route teachers are more in favor of using reforms such as performance pay, elimination of tenure, tying student achievement to teacher evaluations, and market-driven pay to strengthen the teaching profession than are their traditionally prepared counterparts.

However, nearly all teachers, regardless of certification route, support removing incompetent teachers without concern for seniority. And all teachers "are slightly more satisfied with general working conditions and are more satisfied with the status of teachers in the community than were teachers surveyed in 2005, 1996, 1990, and in 1986," according to "Profile of Teachers in the U.S. 2011." This result stands in contrast to the sentiments expressed by those teachers attending the Save Our Schools rally in Washington this weekend.

The survey also found that the teaching force is becoming younger, less experienced, and increasingly female.

The proportion of teachers younger than 30 doubled between the 2005 and 2011 surveys, from 11 percent to 22 percent. And the proportion of teachers 50 and older dropped from 42 percent in 2005 to 31 percent in 2011. "Clearly, the older teachers are retiring and being replaced once again by teachers in their 20s and 30s," states the report.

In 2005, 18 percent of public school teachers surveyed had five or fewer years of experience. That proportion went up to 26 percent in 2011. The proportion of teachers with 25 years experience or more went down from 27 percent in 2005 to 17 percent in 2011.

And 84 percent of public school teachers are female, up slightly from 2005.

The public K-12 teaching force is still overwhelmingly white at 84 percent, according to the survey—though that is down from 91 percent in 1986.

Alternative-route certification programs bring in both more male teachers and more minorities than traditional preparation programs, according to the report.

As you can imagine, there are plenty more details included in the 86-page report, which you can find here.

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