The state should inform district hiring needs with key teacher supply and demand data. The bar for this goal was raised in 2017.
Teacher Production Data: Maryland's Teacher Staffing Report provides a model for other states. Data used to populate the report are collected annually, and the document is published biannually. It has been tracking staffing trends in the state for almost three decades. By collecting hiring data from districts and data on graduates from Maryland Approved Programs, Maryland has a rich set of data that can inform policy decisions. Included is data on graduates by program, ethnicity, and gender. New hire information is also broken down by these levels, and they track the percentage of new hires that come from teacher programs within Maryland versus from programs outside Maryland. This data is used to determine teacher shortage areas, as well as areas of surplus, from the past and, connected with teacher program data, allows the state to predict areas where there will be difficulties in the future.
Program Acceptance Numbers: Maryland does have a system in place for certifying teacher preparation programs as the Maryland Approval Program (MAP) and tracks the numbers of completers for each, however, nothing was found indicating that any requirements surrounding program acceptance numbers is included in the evaluation data.. The Maryland Program Approval and Assessment Branch conducts on-site reviews every five to seven years for fully approved programs and follow-up visits to programs on probation. State and national standards are applied in the evaluation process. It should be noted that less than half of all new teachers hired in Maryland come from MAP programs, according to the Teacher Staffing Report.
Provide clear guidance regarding program acceptance numbers.
Maryland should continue to collect data on teacher production by programs and also provide programs with guidelines surrounding the number of teacher candidates that should be accepted per subject area. By establishing clear parameters for its approved programs that govern how many teachers in each major certification area should be produced, Maryland will be on track to reduce the chronic surplus of teachers in some certification areas and increase the number of teachers in chronic shortage areas.
Maryland was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts that enhanced this analysis.
1B: Teacher Shortages and Surpluses
It is an inefficient use of resources for individual districts to build their own data systems for tracking teachers. States need to take the lead and provide districts with state-level data that can be used not only for the purpose of measuring teacher effectiveness, but also to gauge the supply and demand of teachers in the state. Furthermore, multiple years of data are necessary to identify staffing trends.
Many preparation programs graduate people who are certified to teach but do not get jobs in the classroom. Often times, this is because these teachers pursue certifications in areas that already have a surplus of teachers (e.g., elementary education), while districts struggle to find applicants to hire in other areas (e.g., special education, science). Given this misalignment between the teachers that teacher preparation programs produce and the hiring needs of school districts, the state should step in to establish a cohesive data reporting system. By creating reports that publicly delineate the number of teachers produced by each teacher preparation program (and therefore by certification area), the state will be better able to identify instances where the production of teachers does not match districts' needs.
Furthermore, the state should consider whether teacher preparation programs are supplying districts with the teachers they need when approving or re-approving programs. Teacher preparation programs exist primarily to prepare teachers for public school positions (approximately 88 percent of teachers work in public schools). If teacher preparation programs produce far more teachers than the state needs in some certification areas and far too few in others, the programs are failing to meeting their state's demand. Moreover, student teaching placements (which tend to be near candidates' teacher prep programs) are highly predictive of where candidates will get their first teaching jobs, therefore also allowing states the ability to predict which open positions are likely to be filled. Given that the preparation program's function is to supply the nearby area (and more generally, the state) with public school teachers, it is incumbent upon the state to make sure the program fulfills that responsibility— particularly through the collection and application of data on teacher production numbers and district demand— and to intervene when necessary by capping the number of teachers in certain certification areas that a program can produce.