Teacher Shortages and Surpluses: Missouri

2017 General Teacher Preparation Policy

Goal

The state should inform district hiring needs with key teacher supply and demand data. The bar for this goal was raised in 2017.

Meets in part

Analysis of Missouri's policies

Teacher Production Data: Missouri publishes Annual Performance Reports for Educator Preparation Programs, which outline the number of program completers, the number of teachers prepared by endorsement area, and the number who received certification.  Missouri also publishes an annual Recruitment and Retention Report, which reviews the number of teachers, both current and new hires. New hires are also broken down among first-year teachers, transfers, and teachers from out of state. The report does not explicitly connect teacher supply and demand in its analysis, but it does note every year the regions and endorsements where there are critical shortages. 

However, no connection is made among these indicators, and consequently the report provides an incomplete analysis of teacher production in Missouri.

Program Acceptance Numbers: While Missouri does collect data on teacher production by programs, there is no indication that it then provides these programs with guidelines surrounding the number of teacher candidates that should be accepted per subject area.

Citation

Recommendations for Missouri

Explicitly connect supply and demand data to district hiring standards. 
Missouri is on the right track in reporting teacher production data. However, it should strengthen its data collection practices by explicitly connecting its data indicators to district hiring standards and using these data to inform policy decisions.

Provide clear guidance regarding program acceptance numbers.
Not only should Missouri collect data on teacher production by programs, it should 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, Missouri 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.

State response to our analysis

Missouri reiterated that it provides educator preparation programs with placement data showing where their certification candidates are hired, including their roles and assignments.

Updated: December 2017

How we graded

1B: Teacher Shortages and Surpluses

  • Data Reporting: The state should collect and publicly report data relating to the supply of teachers from each approved teacher preparation program that is relevant to local hiring needs.
  • Responsiveness to Teaching Needs: The state should establish clear parameters for its approved programs that govern the number of teachers trained in each major certification area to reduce the chronic surpluses in some certification areas and increase the number of certificates in areas of shortage.
Data Reporting
Three-quarters of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • Three-quarters credit: The state will earn the full three-quarters of a point if it publishes data that adequately connect teacher production data to district hiring data.
  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it publishes teacher production data but does not explicitly connect such data to district hiring data.
Responsiveness to Teaching Needs
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it has established clear parameters for teacher preparation programs that govern the number of teachers trained in each major certification area.

Research rationale

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.[1] Furthermore, multiple years of data are necessary to identify staffing trends.[2]

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).[3] 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).[4] 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.[5] 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.


[1] Cowan, J., Goldhaber, D., Hayes, K., & Theobald, R. (2016). Missing elements in the discussion of teacher shortages. Retrieved from http://www.caldercenter.org/missing-elements-discussion-teacher-shortages
[2] For information about the use of student-growth models to report on student-achievement gains at the school level, see: Schochet, P. Z., & Chiang, H. S. (2010). Error rates in measuring teacher and school performance based on student test score gains (NCEE 2010-4004). National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20104004/pdf/20104004.pdf; as well as: Thompson, T. G., & Barnes, R. E. (2007). Beyond NCLB: Fulfilling the promise to our nation's children. The Commission on No Child Left Behind, 13-14.
[3] Cowan, J., Goldhaber, D., Hayes, K., & Theobald, R. (2016). Missing elements in the discussion of teacher shortages. CALDER. Retrieved from http://www.caldercenter.org/missing-elements-discussion-teacher-shortages
[4] National Center for Education Statistics. (2015). Table 208.20: Public and private elementary and secondary teachers, enrollment, pupil/teacher ratios, and new teacher hires: Selected years, fall 1955 through fall 2025. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d15/tables/dt15_208.20.asp
[5] Krieg, J. M., Theobald, R., & Goldhaber, D. (2016). A foot in the door: Exploring the role of student teaching assignments in teachers' initial job placements. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 38(2), 364-388.