An earlier post described research showing that experienced teachers are leaving the profession in droves. In 1988, the modal number of years of teacher experience was 15 (meaning there were more teachers with 15 years experience than any other cohort). By 2008, the modal years of teacher experience was ONE. There were more first-year teachers than any other group. This can’t be good for children or for the quality of education as every study I have ever seen says that first year teachers are the weakest of all because they are brand-new and just learning the ropes (sorry, TFA). There are anecdotal reports that enrollment in teacher education programs is plummeting. Here is more:
This was in my local paper on September 11, 2012: “The number of teaching credentials issued from 2004-2010 dropped by 40%, while the number of college students in teacher training programs plunged by 50% This comes from the Task Force Report on Teacher on Education Excellence (State of CA) which also stated, “The state has focused too heavily on holding teachers accountable for standardized test scores without properly equipping instructors and schools. This dangerous combination has driven many accomplished educators out of the profession.” Does this surprise anyone? I personally know of first and second year teachers who have bailed because of pressure applied by their site principals. Instead of supporting them, they have been overbearing in their expectations causing potentially wonderful teachers to second guess their choice of careers and leave. Not just move to another school, but leave the profession they worked so hard to join. We are losing a generation of students to the almighty test score. Do we want to continue to lose great teachers as well? Our children ARE our future. Invest in their future by investing in their teachers who are highly trained professionals.