Friday, January 04, 2019

The transformation of the U.S. teaching workforce

More teachers have been hired but few stay for long -- meaning that experienced teachers are far fewer than they were in the past.  Nobody knows how to get them to stay because the one thing that would work -- orderly classrooms -- is not available under permissive Leftist disciplinary policies

One of the largest workforces in America is undergoing major changes. Richard Ingersoll at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education says the latest edition of his groundbreaking work on the nation’s teachers points to serious implications for the nation’s schools and taxpayers, and should serve as a wake-up call to better understand the problems teachers face in schools.

The new report shows America’s schools are hiring more teachers than ever, a “ballooning” in the number employed, yet are struggling to keep them in the classroom. More teachers today are female, young, and have little experience. Despite a significant increase in the hiring of minority teachers, it is those teachers who are leaving the profession the fastest. And the diversity of the teacher workforce still doesn’t reflect the student population.

The updated analysis is based on recently released national data collected over 30 years by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. Ingersoll’s original report on the workforce was released five years ago.

“We have found that the trends we earlier identified are continuing, which in itself is striking,” he says.

The implications are important, especially the sharp increase in the total number of teachers, which Ingersoll says was surprising to him. In the most recent year of data available, 2015-16, there were 4 million public and private elementary and secondary school teachers, up steeply by more than 400,000 since 2011-12.

“I don’t see how it is sustainable,” he says, noting that teacher salaries are the largest part of a school system budget. “I don’t know how the number of teachers can continue to increase dramatically faster than the number of students.”

Between 1987-88 and 2015-16, the number of teachers in public, private, and charter schools grew by more than three times the rate of student enrollment increases. The growth is tied, in large part, to reforms that the public has demanded: smaller elementary school class sizes, more math and science teachers, more special education teachers, more enrichment teachers in elementary schools, more reading teachers, and more English as a Second Language and bilingual teachers—the last two categories the fastest growing of all.

Another surprising discovery in the update was the dramatic surge in minority teacher hires in public schools, both in number and percentage, from 305,000 in 1987-88 to 760,000 in 2015-16, or from 13 percent to 20 percent of the workforce. Growth in the number of minority teachers was three times greater than growth in the number of white teachers.

“There has been something of an unheralded victory here. There has been a huge increase in the numbers of minority teachers, suggesting that minority teacher recruitment initiatives have worked,” Ingersoll says. “That’s an important finding.”

The growth is even more remarkable because at the same time, the minority teachers are more likely than white teachers to leave the profession, with above-average turnover. This makes sense, Ingersoll says, because minority teachers are two to three times more likely than white teachers to work in schools serving high-poverty, high-minority, and urban communities, which can have some of the most challenging working conditions, and where teacher turnover is the highest.

Although the number of minority teachers is up, there still is not parity in the classroom, he emphasizes.

“The percentage of students who are minority [50 percent] is far greater than percentage of teachers who are minority [20 percent],” Ingersoll says.

School leaders are challenged to find ways to keep teachers in the classroom. One in 10 teachers quits after a year, and between 40 and 50 percent of new teachers leave teaching within five years. The problem is especially acute in low-income rural and urban schools, which tend to receive fewer resources than schools in the suburbs. About half of all turnover takes place in a quarter of those schools.

“We conclude teacher recruitment initiatives are worthwhile and it seems to have worked, but we need to work on improving teacher retention,” he says. It’s the working conditions in challenged schools, especially the lack of teacher autonomy and “voice” that is pushing these new recruits out the door, says Ingersoll.

“They’ve managed to get all these bright new teachers into these hard-to-staff places, but those places leak teachers like a sieve: it’s self-defeating,” he says. “School systems have done an admirable job with teacher recruitment and hiring, but then they’re losing many of them in a few short years. The key question now is: What can we do to improve retention?”

Teachers also have less experience today—typically just one to three years—compared with 15 years of experience in 1987-88. And there are fewer men, with women making up more than three-quarters of the public school teaching workforce. In a growing number of elementary schools, there is not one male teacher.

All of these topics beg for further research, Ingersoll says. “There are all these fascinating questions, and people want to know the answers,” he says.

“I’m a former schoolteacher. I study these problems, but I also care about these issues,” Ingersoll continues. “I’d like to see the situation helped. And the data certainly provide some answers in how to improve the retention of teachers, minority teachers in particular. Most simply put, it is a matter of improving the job conditions in schools.”


British taxpayers STILL fund 'lessons in hate' at Palestinian schools where children stage mock executions

British taxpayers are still funding ‘lessons in hate’ at Palestinian schools more than a year after ministers were told they could be inciting violence against Israel.

It emerged last year that the Department for International Development has helped pay the salaries of officials who drew up a new curriculum that teaches children the virtues of becoming a jihadi.

Plays put on at schools and summer camps have even included pupils staging mock executions. One in Hebron featured a child draped in Palestinian colours ‘shooting’ another dressed as an Israeli soldier.

Textbooks teach five-year-olds the words for ‘martyr’ and ‘attack’, while teenagers are told that those who sacrifice themselves will be rewarded with ‘72 virgin brides in paradise’.

But despite promises earlier this year that the curriculum would be reviewed, the books are still being used by the ministry of education on the West Bank, activists revealed.

Joan Ryan MP, chairman of the Labour Friends of Israel, said aid to the Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank, should be suspended until the books are removed.

‘It is absolutely appalling that the Palestinian Authority is using British taxpayers’ money to teach these lessons in hate,’ she said. ‘I simply cannot understand why ministers have spent over a year dragging their feet, coming up with excuses for the Palestinian Authority, and allowing this to continue. ‘They need to get a grip and suspend the money we pay to the ministry of education until we have a cast iron guarantee this vile content has been removed once and for all.’

Britain is giving the Palestinian Authority £70million in the current financial year and some of this is being used to help pay the salaries of 33,000 teachers and education officials in the West Bank.

In the spring, Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt admitted that these officials were ‘involved in the implementation process’ for the revised curriculum.

The school books, which were introduced in September 2017, teach ten-year-olds that ‘drinking the cup of bitterness with glory is much sweeter than a pleasant long life accompanied by humiliation’.

Terrorists – including Dalal Mughrabi, who led the 1978 ‘Coastal Road Massacre’ in which 38 Israelis including 13 children were murdered on a bus – are described as ‘heroes’. The books also contain violent poems which extol the virtues of ‘sacrificing blood’.

Miss Ryan first raised the issue of the textbooks with Mr Burt in September 2017.

In March, Theresa May promised a review of the curriculum, pledging that it would only ‘take several months’.

Mr Burt later said he would establish a review which would not report until September 2019. This review has still not been commissioned.

Last month he said the Palestinian Authority has ‘taken action to help address concerns raised’, including ‘piloting new textbooks’.

But research by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education shows that there have been no major changes in the school year that began this September.

The Department for International Development said: ‘We have always been clear that we expect textbooks used by the Palestinian Authority to be academically rigorous and they must not incite racial hatred or violence under any circumstances. We will continue to raise our concerns about incitement.’


Leftist Government in Western Australia:  Year Three students will be given 'ethnic clothes' to try on and boys will be encouraged to 'explore gender' by wearing girls' dresses under new school program

Boys and girls in year three will be encouraged to explore different gender roles in class and wear ethnic clothing as part of a controversial new program.

The fresh syllabus, which has the backing of the McGowan Government in Western Australia, will be introduced to a handful of Perth schools from term one in February.

Students will be provided with a range of dress ups and toys and will also learn about different kinds of ethnic dress such as burkas, traditionally worn by women of Islamic faith.

The primary aim of the course, previously introduced to over a dozen Victorian schools in 2018, is to break down gender stereotypes.

Up to 10 schools in Western Australia will take part in the $1million Respect Relationships program.

Peter Abetz, from the Australian Christian Lobby, expressed his concerns on 9News Perth. 'It will indoctrinate children with the idea that they than choose to be a boy or a girl,' he said.

'Why do boys need to get dressed up in girls clothing? Let's get real about education.'

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is also a vocal critic. Speaking on breakfast radio with veteran broadcaster Alan Jones in Sydney, Mr Morrison said he didn't 'want the values of others being imposed on my children' before adding 'it shouldn't happen at a public or private school.'

Simone McGurk, the Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, happily supports the program. 'By introducing respectful relationships in schools, we can continue to implement cultural changes in attitudes towards family and domestic violence,' she said. 'Early interventions can be critical.'

A spokesperson from the Western Australia Department of Education wouldn't confirm or deny whether 'dressing up' will be part of the 2019 gender education program, stating the 'curriculum is still being developed.'


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