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Alternatively Certified Teachers More Likely to Leave Profession Than Standard University Grads, Study Finds

Alternatively Certified Teachers More Likely to Leave Profession Than Standard University Grads, Study Finds

A new report from researchers from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College and the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Riverside indicates that while there are advantages to the alternative certification of teachers, such teachers are likely to leave the profession at higher rates and thus contribute to teacher shortages that plague districts most in-need.

Christopher Redding and co-investigator Thomas M. Smith found after conducting an analysis of four waves of data from the nationally representative Schools and Staffing Survey (1999-2012) that "AC teachers have an attrition rate that is almost 8 percentage points higher than that of graduates of a standard four- to five-year university-based teaching curriculum—25 percent vs. 17 percent,” said Vanderbilt University in a statement.

While the alternative certification of teachers through programs like Teach for America and The New Teachers Projects is proven to bring more diversity into the profession, the tendency of these teachers to enter hard-to-staff schools only to ultimately leave is an "equity issue for economically disadvantaged schools,” said Redding.

When looking at why, exactly, alternatively certified teachers are more likely to leave, the researchers found that a lack of support on-the-job and training that did not involve student teaching were the two biggest factors.

"The AC teachers who received additional supports from the school (mentorship, teacher collaboration, professional development) were less likely to leave—but many schools simply didn’t have such resources to give,” said Vanderbilt University.

To download the full report, see here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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