Eric.ed.gov – A Teacher for Every Classroom: New Teachers in the Baltimore City Public Schools, 1999-2004

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This study, commissioned by The Abell Foundation, analyzes new teachers hired by the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS) over the past several years. In particular, the study compares different categories of new teachers: those with full professional certification, teachers in alternative certification programs (Teach for America, the BCPSS Teaching Residency Program, and Project SITE SUPPORT), and conditionally (formerly provisionally) certified teachers who were not participating in alternative programs. This preliminary study lays the foundation for future research in which this relationship can be examined. This study sought to address whether alternatively certified teachers provided the school system with: (1) More subject area expertise at secondary level (measured by college major or minor) than available from other new teachers; (2) Higher PRAXIS scores (PRAXIS 1, PRAXIS 2a (content area) and PRAXIS 2b (pedagogy); (3) Higher rates of retention; and (4) Lower rates of non-renewal. This study documents some of the contributions made by alternative certification programs to the BCPSS teacher recruitment efforts. During the first two years after their hiring date, teachers in alternative certification programs were notably more likely to remain with the system than either certified teachers or conditionally certified teachers not involved in programs. While most of the Teach for America (TFA) teachers tended to leave by the end of Year 3, teachers in other alternative certification programs, such as PSS, remained with the system at higher rates than regularly certified teachers through years 4 and 5. Three-year retention rates for TFA were as high as three-year retention rates for certified teachers in BCPSS. While many teachers in the alternative certification programs did leave the system after gaining a master’s degree and certification, they made a contribution during their stay. Teachers in alternative certification programs helped to fill openings in high need areas, and brought particular content knowledge in science, mathematics and Spanish that was difficult for the system to find elsewhere. In a system where there are not always enough math teachers for all high school students, even a short-term teacher with content area knowledge was helpful. The Teach for America program, in particular, brought teachers with excellent academic credentials to the system. Project SITE SUPPORT and the Baltimore Teaching Residency program brought a more diverse group of teachers to the system. For the time being, the alternative certification programs appear to be essential for helping to staff all the district’s classrooms. The appendix provides “Comparative Teacher Retention Rates.”

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Troels Gannerup Christensen

Jeg er ansat som adjunkt hos Læreruddannelsen i Jelling, hvor jeg underviser i matematik, specialiseringsmodulet teknologiforståelse, praktik m.m. Jeg har tidligere været ansat som pædagogisk konsulent i matematik og tysk hos UCL ved Center for Undervisningsmidler (CFU) i Vejle og lærer i udskolingen (7.-9. klasse) på Lyshøjskolen i Kolding. Jeg er ejer af og driver bl.a. hjemmesiderne www.lærklokken.dk og www.iundervisning.dk, ggbkursus.dk og er tidligere fagredaktør på matematik på emu.dk. Jeg går ind for, at læring skal være let tilgængelig og i størst mulig omfang gratis at benytte.

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