Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 1
Summary The activities of an increasingly technological society call for greater command of science and mathematics at the precollege level than at any time in the recent past. Yet evidence from numerous studies indicates that the majority of American students are not being equipped with the scientific and mathematical tools needed to participate in that technological society. International comparisons of secondary students' achievement show Americans generally ranking in the lowest half of the distribution among their counterparts in developed countries. There has also been increasing concern about shortages of qualified individuals who will teach science and mathematics at the elementary or secondary levels. Studies point to an increased demand for science and mathematics teachers and as well as an inadequate supply of highly qualified individuals to fill those positions. ~ what extent is there a shortage, in terms of both quantity and quality, of science and mathematics teachers? National data and research related to teacher supply and demand in science and mathematics are insufficient to substantiate statistical conclusions or to prescribe specific national policies. Concerns about shortages in these critical areas and about the quality of the available statistics led the National Science Foundation and the National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education to ask the National Research Council to evaluate the statistics on the supply and demand for science and mathematics teachers. In 1986 the National Research Council established the Panel on Statis- tics on Supply and Demand for Precollege Science and Mathematics Teach- ers to conduct such a study, in two phases. In the first phase the panel reviewed teacher supply and demand models in selected states and the national model used by the National Center for Education Statistics. The 1
OCR for page 2
2 PRECOLLEGE SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS TEACHERS tentative conclusion of the panel was that none of the available models or data were adequate to assess either shortage or quality. The principal diffi- culty, as seen by the panel, was on the supply side of the models, although there were also serious shortcomings in important aspects of the demand side. We recommended in the interim report (1987c:7) that research on teacher supply be conducted, foremost on the behavioral determinants of key groups of new entrants new graduates, former teachers, and persons hired on emergency certification. The forces underlying teacher migration were a second issue of behavioral research. Also in need of-study were the behavioral and environmental factors influencing attrition. The panel also identified information on teacher qualifications that could be collected for use in descriptive profiles and in supply and demand models. The first phase culminated in the 1987 interim report, Toward Understanding Teacher Supply and Demand: Priorities for Research and Development (National Research Council, 1987c). In its second phase of work the panel continued with a more detailed investigation of statistics and models of the supply and demand for science and mathematics teachers. Case studies were conducted in 39 school dis tricts to identify variables that might usefully be included in such statistics. The statistical basis for describing entry and exit patterns of science and mathematics teachers was examined. A conference of personnel directors of seven large school systems was held in May 1988 to discuss data available relating to the supply, demand, and qualifications of science and mathe- matics teachers. The panel also conducted a comprehensive review of state statistical data pertinent to teacher supply and demand models and the availability of such data to researchers. As indicated in the panel's final report, there is great diversity in labor market situations and in the actions taken by applicants and school systems to balance supply and demand. Some of these important interactions, while not easily portrayed statistically, are essential to understanding the nation's supply and demand situation as it affects science and mathematics at the precollege level. The recommendations in Chapter 6 of the report reflect the insights gleaned throughout the second phase of the panel's wore In this report, we go beyond the panel's interim report and try to provide a more specific assessment both of the available data and of data that could potentially be obtained that would enrich existing models. We also try to provide better insights into the relationship between quality and issues relating to supply and demand. In this report the panel has evaluated the statistics on supply, demand, and quality as they pertain to science and mathematics teachers. We conclude that available data on the supply aspects of teacher labor markets and on the quality-related adjustments that bring supply and demand into equilibrium remain inadequate, although we recognize that the National
OCR for page 3
SUMMARY 3 Center for Education Statistics has taken major steps toward an improved national data base. This summary presents the recommendations to have the highest pri- ority. Most of the recommendations pertaining to improved data are addressed to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Recom- mendations related to further research topics are addressed to the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the education research community at large. A recommendation for research facilitation is directed to the Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement,~and our final recommendation calls for NCES to convene a series of conferences on issues of teacher supply, demand, and quality. DATA RECOMMENDATIONS Meaningful descriptions of supply and demand for precollege science and mathematics teachers, their interactions, and the role of quality in bringing supply and demand into balance require comprehensive national data. The Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), first conducted in 1987-88 under the aegis of the National Center for Education Statistics, represents a groundbreaking effort to capture some of the most relevant data on a regular basis. If this survey is repeated periodically and disseminated quickly, it holds particular promise for providing statistics on a number of key aspects of supply, demand, and quality. As with all new surveys, the extent to which SASS will meet its goals cannot be known until the data have been received and analyzed.) The SASS data, used in conjunction with other NCES surveys and the panel's additional recommendations for data enhancement, should provide the basic data for monitoring the supply, demand, and qualifier of teachers and for preparing informative reports and analyses. However, current data collection efforts and our knowledge of the relation between incentives, quality, and supply are still inadequate to support meaningful behavioral models of teacher supply and demand. Thus, we recommend a sequential approach: · First, as efforts are made to improve the consistency, scope, and quantity of data, publish indicators from existing data that are considered relevant to teacher supply, demand, and quality. 11he release of the SASS data base has been delayed a few months in order to guarantee the confidentiality of the data. The recent Hawkins-Stafford Act (P.L~ 100-297) requires that the Na- tional Center for Education Statistics protect the privacy of individually identifiable information collected through surrey questionnaires. NCES has recently formed a Disclosure Review Board, consisting of senior NCES staff and outside experts, to establish procedures and then review data products in order to release the maximum amount of data while protecting the privacy of survey respondents. The first release of SASS tables is scheduled for spring 1990.
OCR for page 4
4 els. / PRECOt l EGE SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS TEACHERS Second, carry out the research needed to support behavioral mod Third, as data bases are improved and research findings on the relation between incentives and supply become available, devote resources to structural modeling that goes beyond simple extrapolative projection. lithe specific recommendations presented below address the need for resources for SASS; data related to teacher demand, supply and quality; and a group of desirable general data practices. The complete set of recommendations and their discussion appear in Chapter 6. Resources for Data In the near term it is essential to monitor the state of demand, supply, and quality of precollege science and mathematics teachers, and we advance four recommendations to that end. The NCES has recognized the need for a major effort to gain better information concerning teachers and has initiated SASS, which, if it lives up to its promise, has the potential to provide the best data on teachers this country has had. Analyses based on SASS can improve the nation's understanding of the supply, demand, and quality of precollege science and mathematics teachers. Priority Recommendation 1. We recommend that provision be made in the budget for the National Center for Education Statistics to conduct the Survey of Schools and Staging on a regular cycle and that the budget include finds for fo11ow-up surveys of teachers who leave teaching and for in-house and Canal analysis of the survey data. Demand Data Estimates of the demand for hiring teachers depend on at least three components: student enrollment, pupil-teacher ratios, and teacher attrition rates. (It should be noted that teacher attrition is largely a supply phe- nomenon, reflecting the decisions of individual teachers. In Chapters 3 and 4, we treat attrition as a supply variable, but for some purposes it is a natu- ral transformation to think of it as resulting in a demand for new teachers.) Although the task of projecting enrollment-driven demand for science and mathematics teachers is fairly straightforward, and most of the necessary data are available through the Bureau of the Census and NCES, the data on teacher attrition are deficient. At any organizational level, whether national, state, or district, attrition is generally defined as the number of teachers who taught in that organizational unit in one year but not in that unit in a similar position in the following year. The most recent NCES estimates of attrition rely on 1983 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
OCR for page 5
SUMMARY s and are not disaggregated by discipline. The data most needed now for better projecting teacher demand are attrition data, although needed im- provements in other demand-related data are also noted. Data on attrition for reasons other than retirement are of particular interest. Priority Recommendation ~ We recommend that NCES collect data on attrition rates classified by retirement or other cause, arm by discipline, as a first pnonty. Other data recommendations are for annual information on state-mandated course requirements and periodic data on changes in science and mathematics course offerings and enrollments. Supply Data The major shortcomings of current supply-demand models and reports of teacher supply and demand occur on the supply side. The primary components of supply are continuing teachers and new entrants. The supply of continuing teachers is estimated using attrition rates, which are much in need of improvement, as the preceding recom- mendation and the one below emphasize. Estimating the supply of new entrants is more difficult still, since most new entrants do not come directly from teacher training institutions. Although a few come from alternative certification programs, the major source of new entrants is the reserve pool, which consists of people with teaching experience who did not teach last year or individuals who were certified to teach at least a year ago but who have never taught. Data on these key sources are inadequate or nonexistent, though SASS is making significant inroads toward a national data base that will describe these components more clearly. Effective monitoring of supply must include information on the quality of the supply (described below). 1b construct behavioral models of supply, data will be needed that capture behavioral aspects of supply. Our highest- priori~ data recommendations for the near term call for better data on newly certified individuals and their incentives to teach, on the components of the reserve pool, and on retention and attrition patterns. Priority Recommendation 3 is therefore widely encompassing, including not only components of quality, but also data that capture behavioral aspects of supply. Priority Recommendation 3: We recommend that NCES collect the specified data (in order of priority under each of the three headings) on the following aspects of teacher supply. (a) New hires and incentives to teach: Comparative salary data to indicate competitiveness of teachers' salaries relative to those of alternative nonteaching positions. Data on reasons why teachers selected their current school/district.
OCR for page 6
6 PRECOLLEGE SCIENCE AND AL4THEMATICS TEACHERS . . Data on the number of last years cerafirants, by Ape of cer- tificate, who were hired (or received a firm job offer) by school districts and the proportion of those who applied for positions who were hired. fiend data from districts on the ratio of the number of applicants to vacancies in teaching by field, and on the number of job offers per vacancy. (b) The supply potential of the major components of the reserve pool: . Data following new college graduates over time, to determine the proportion that enter teaching by the number of years af- ter graduation, reasons for leaving teaching, time spent out of teaching, and reentry into teaching. Retrospective data that track new hires from the reserve pool backward, to study their career histories prior to entering or reentering teaching. Data on those certified in a given state who are not currently teaching in that state. Using data from state certification files, states can track certificants who still live in the state and characterize that segment of the reserve pool by age, subject, specials, years of past teaching experience, and interest in teaching. (c) Retention and addition rates: l . . Data from schools on the distribution of teachers by age, race/ethnicity, sex, and disciplinary area, as well as ataition levels within these categories. At;tntion should be classified by retirement or other cause. Information from former science and mathematics teachers on incentives to leave teaching. ) Quality Data The notion of an adequate supply of science and mathematics teach- ers must be understood in terms of the quality of that supply. In the short term it is in large part through adjustments in quality that supply and demand come into equilibrium. In responding to perceived shortages, school systems may opt over the long term to increase salaries or improve working conditions. In the short term, they may recruit more aggressively, increase class sizes, or cancel courses. Frequently, the adjustment mecha- nism operates through changes in the quality of individuals hired. Hence, there may be no observed quantity imbalance but instead a change in the quality characteristics of the teaching force. It is critical to obtain statis- tics that relate to quality, but very little information exists that helps to define or measure quality at present. We need to know more about how
OCR for page 7
SUMMARY 7 quality can be measured and how qualibr adjustments take place. The next recommendations encompass a wide variety of data needed toward that end. Priority Recommendation 4. To provide indicators of aspects of the quality of teachers and aspects of the school system that affect either teacher quality or teaching quality, we recommend that the data listed below (in order of priority under each of the two headings;) be collected and monitored over time. (a) Qualifications of teachers: · Certification data as an indication of a minimum or baseline . . level of qualifications. Individual transcript data on general intellectual ability and on courses taken in preparation for science or mathematics teachin~for elementary as well as secondary teachers-to provide the most complete data on teachers' formal qualifications. The panel recognizes the cost and burdens of transcript studies but considers that such studies for samples of teachers would be valuable at the national level and to individual states. Ifends in guidelines for prospective teachers in terms of content or course work recommended by science and mathematics pro- fessional associations and the extent to which guidelines have been adopted. (b) School system factors that affect quality: Hiring practices, including timing of offers, and constraints such as internal transfer rules. · Teacher assignment or misassignment, by subject, including inci- dence of out-of-peld leaching and use of temporary or emergency certification . · Data describing inservice education, laboratory materials, and collegial and administrative support for teachers in place. · School practices related to time use, class size, teaching load, level of autonomy, opportunities for collaboration and decision making, salary, and other monetary incentives. General Data Recommendations In addition to the specific data recommendations above, certain prac- tices should be followed to ensure the most meaningful data results and the widest use of the information. Priority Recommendation 5. We recommend adoption of certain general guidelines for any data collection efforts relevant to teacher supply, demand, or quality:
OCR for page 8
8 PRECOLLEGE SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS TEACHERS (a) Emphasize the repeated collection of data over time, In contrast to a one-time export, in order to permit measurement of changes in demand, supply, and quality over time. (b) Disseminate data into the public domain in a time) manner and in an east) accessible format. (c) Focus on subareas of subject matter (e.g., chemistry, physics or calculus, rather than mathematics/science in general), in order to permit specify identification and targeting of areas of shortage or surplus. RESEARCH ISSUES IDENTIFIED BY THE PANEL A number of important issues affecting supply, demand, and quality as they relate to science and mathematics teachers are not well understood and are beyond the scope of existing data and models. During the panel's discussions, a variety of such research topics was noted, and although they are not intended to be a comprehensive list, some of the most relevant issues are advanced for consideration by the National Science Foundation. Resources for Research The panel has concluded that the present research base is inadequate to support the development of behavioral models of teacher supply and demand. We therefore identify a number of issues requiring research in order to quantify the relationships needed for the development of effective behavioral models of demand, supply, and qualitr. Priority Recommendation 6. The panel recommends that the National Science Foundation shmulate research on behavioral models of teacher supply and demand and increase the amount of support for such research. Research on Demand Policy makers frequently ask questions that could be answered by well- specified models. These include 'what if" questions about the likely impacts of various education policy actions and changing labor market conditions on demand. ~ answer such questions, models are needed that reflect the forces that influence demand. Before such models can be developed, research is required on the behavioral factors that influence the demand for science and mathematics teachers. Although the panel's charge was to focus on supply and demand for public school teachers, changing preferences for private school enrollment, a topic about which little is known, can affect the demand for public school teachers.
OCR for page 9
SUMMARY Priority Recommendation 7. The panel reiterates and extends its recom- mendation from the interim report (National Research Council, 1987c:5-6) that research pertinent to the demand for precollege science and mathematics teachers be conducted-zn order of pnorit~on: (a) The behavioral determinants of student selection of science and math- ematics courses at the secondary school level, including the effects of changes in graduation requirements and of student preferences for subject areas. (b) The behavioral determinants of parental and student preferences for pnvate-an`1 public schooling. (c) The determinants of pupil-teacher ratios, including the adjustment lags in those ratios as enrollments change and/or the teaching force changes in demographic composition; changes in the school budget; changes in staffing pattems, typical class size, and teaching loads; increased graduation requirements; and changes in course offerings. (d) The impact on high school dropout rates of such factors as changes in graduation requirements, labor market conditions, and the de- mographic composition and family circumstances of the school-age population. (e) The relationship of changes in demand for courses to changes in pupil-teacher ratios and the resulting derived demand for fil11-tune- equivalent teachers of mathematics and science at the secondary school level. Research on Supply Research on the behavioral factors that influence the supply of well- qualified science and mathematics teachers is essential to improve the understanding of teacher labor markets and to make it possible to develop dynamic models with serious behavioral content to address important policy needs. Of prime concern is the lack of detailed knowledge of how incentives affect the supply of precollege science and mathematics teachers. Measur- ing the relation between supply and incentives such as salary or working conditions is important because policy makers can adjust such variables to change the supply of teachers. A related research issue concerns the supply potential of the reserve pool, which is the largest source of new entrants to teaching. Because the other source-new certificants-is decreasing in number, research to assess the supply potential of the reserve pool is of growing importance. Finally, examination of subsamples of districts experi- encing supply/demand problems, including in-depth inquiries, may provide information for policy use in ameliorating the problems and can also help
OCR for page 10
10 PRECOLLEGE SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS TEACHERS determine appropriate categories for disaggregation of data in publications. The recommendation below pertains to these issues. Form Recommendation 8. We recommend research on a variety of topics in order of priority that center on behavioral aspects of the supply of precollege science and mathematics teachers: (`a) Incentives that affect individual decisions to enter teaching, to leave teaching and move to a different occupation, or to retire. (`b) Supply potential of the reserve pool Studies of the reserve pool might include the effects of incentives, such as salary increases, on attracting individuals from the reserve pool and the effects of limited mobility of teachers in the reserve pool on the supply potential of the reserve pool. (c) School districts experiencing guppy/demand problems. Such school districts can be identified from SASS data and studied in depth, as can the supply and demand situation in different geographic or labor market regions, e.g., inner city, rural, and high-income suburban. Research on Quality The pivotal role of quality in bringing teacher supply and demand into balance has proved elusive and beyond researchers' present ability to measure. We have distinguished teacher quality referring to personal characteristics of the teacher such as education level, subject matter knowl- edge, sells in working with students, and degree of inservice training-from overall teaching quality. Teaching quality depends not only on teacher qual- ity, but also on characteristics of the school and district policies that are beyond the control of the individual teacher, such as types of textbooks selected for the school system and the amount of time allocated to each subject. In the course of panel discussion on these issues, we noted several studies related to teaching quality or teacher quality that could be pursued. Recommendation 9. We recommend the following studies related to teaching quality and teacher quality, in order of priority: (a) Study the effectiveness of a wide variety of practices that schools and school districts have employed to improve leaching qualify in science and mathematics. (b) Examine the inservice training practices for science and mathematics teachers that are provided by elementary and secondary schools, to identifi' programs that seem to be effective in enhancing teaching quality and to understand reasons why some programs appear to work while others do not.
OCR for page 11
SUMMARY 11 (c) Study teachers' transcript records, to determine the degree to which transcripts can be used as an accurate reflection of subject matter knowledge or of teacher quality. (d) Study the methodological cumcu~m of teacher training programs to assess the degree to which these programs vary in their emphasis on pedagogical theory compared with pedagogical practice. Research on Student Outcomes The ultimate usefulness of a better understanding of the supply, de- mand, and quality of teachers of science and mathematics lies in their effects on students' learning. It is thought that these factors are linked to outcomes, but that linkage needs to be explicit. Primary aspects of this research would attempt to relate measurable teacher characteristics, school environment variables, and home environment variables to student outcomes. Priority Recommendation 10. The panel recommends that further research be conducted on the relationship of measurable characteristics of teachers of mathematics and science and home and school environment factors to educational outcomes of students in these fields. This research should explore variation in outcomes as well as average outcomes. RESEARCH FACILITATION One way to facilitate research on issues of teacher supply, demand, and quality is to ensure that the data obtained from NCES, state agencies and other studies be disseminated promptly and in a usable form to the research community. Another way to stimulate research is by providing an ongoing program of graduate student support for research. A program comparable to the National Institutes of Health training grant program in biostatistics, which was successful in attracting a large number of young researchers to the field and in changing the level of sophistication in biostatistics, could be expected to have similar effects on education statistics. Priority Recommendation 11. We recommend that the Office of Educa- tional Research and Improvement within the Depar~nent of Education create a program of doctoral grade ate student support (training g~antsJ in education statistics. INFORMATION EXCHANGE AMONG DISTRICTS, STATES, AND THE NCES The 16,000 school districts in this country operate relatively indepen- dently and balance teacher supply and demand within districts by their own
OCR for page 12
12 PRECOLLEGE SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS TEACHERS actions. The staffing problems they encounter vary widely, and the actions taken by district superintendents and personnel directors to address these problems are both innovative and vaned. Applicants and school systems have effective means of coping with the uncertainty of budgets and con- tracts and adjusting to institutional barriers (e.g., use of the substitute pool to stockpile place-bound potential teachers, use of graduate students to teach part time, and cooperative arrangements with local industry). Much of the information about school district actions to address staffing problems will not be captured by SASS. Over the course of its study, the panel broadened its understanding of teacher supply and demand issues by direct contact with 39 public school districts across the country. They ranged from the largest metropolitan systems to the most isolated small school districts and represented a wide geographic range and a variety of labor market conditions. The case studies and the conference held by the panel with personnel directors of seven large school systems vividly demonstrated to us the diversity of practices and styles and the diversity of labor market situations that characterize the nation's school districts. The panel believes that NCES could profit from frequent interactions with school district personnel and could play a valuable role as a broker between data producers and data users in the states. A useful mechanism for such interaction would be conferences of district and/or state personnel. Priority Recommendation 12. The panel recommends that the National Center for Education Statistics (a) convene an annual conference of dismct personnel who are responsible for the decisions that affect teacher supply, de- mand, and quality to maintain an awareness of the current issues in teacher supply and demand; (b) hold periodic conferences of state personnel who pre- pare state and local supply and demand projections to facilitate improvement in these models; and (cJ hold occasional conferences to promote communi- caiion between state personnel who produce data relevant to teacher supply, demand, and quality and .d~strict personnel who would find these data useful in their recruitment activities and in development of dzsmct policies concerning teachers. IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS For immediate consideration, most of the high-priority data recom- mendations can be satisfied by additions to existing surveys, most notably SASS. The data elements should be added to the surveys as they are sched- uled. In addition, the NCES conferences call for prompt implementation. The first annual conference should be initiated in 1990, with subsequent conferences to be planned on a continuing basis. Other recommendations for prompt implementation are the proposed program of graduate student
OCR for page 13
SUMMARY 13 support for studies in education statistics by the Office of Educational Re- search and Improvement, and the timely dissemination of data collected by NCES. The next priorities in the time sequence for implementation are rec- ommendations that would require new data collection instruments, such as the call for individual transcript data. In addition, a few of the data recommendations are addressed to state agencies, namely those involving certification data. The panel does not have the information to determine when it would be feasible or desirable for the states to implement these recommendations. Finally, the research issues noted by the panel call for an expanded program of research on behavioral models of teacher supply, demand, and quality and for further stimulating this research by establishing a program for graduate student support in education statistics. The panel recognizes that this is a program of long-term research. Nonetheless, it should start immediately so that needed information and behavioral models of teacher supply and demand become available at the earliest possible date. When misconceived claims and questions about shortages are replaced with knowledge of how teacher labor markets actually function, policy makers will be able to design more sharply focused policies to ensure a strong science and mathematics teaching corps.
Representative terms from entire chapter: