Teacher Preparation Policy
The state should inform district hiring needs with key teacher supply and demand data and make teacher mobility data publicly available at the district level. This goal was reorganized in 2021.
Teacher Supply and Demand Data: North Carolina annually publishes the State of the Teaching Profession Report, which includes data on the number of teacher vacancies by subject area, as well as the number of teacher vacancies within hard-to-staff schools. These data are aggregated to provide statewide information and information specific to each district. However, North Carolina does not publish teacher production data and connect this data to district hiring needs.
Teacher Mobility Data: The State of the Teaching Profession Report includes the following: the Five Highest and Lowest Mobility Rates for LEAs; Attrition, Mobility, and Recoupment Rates for Low Performing; and State Attrition, Mobility, and Recoupment Rates for LEAs. Additionally, the state publishes one-year teacher turnover rates on its school report cards.
North Carolina General Statutes 115C-299.5 and 115C-12(22) 2018-2019 State of the Teaching Profession in North Carolina https://files.nc.gov/dpi/state-of-teaching-profession_20200310.pdf North Carolina School Report Cards https://ncreportcards.ondemand.sas.com/src
Publish data that connect program supply data to district-level demand data.
Teacher preparation programs graduate more candidates each year than actually earn certification, and only some of those certified are ultimately hired to teach in the state. It is certainly desirable to produce a large enough pool to provide districts a choice in hiring, but a substantial oversupply of teacher candidates in some teaching areas serves neither the profession nor the students well. North Carolina is on the right track publishing district-level hiring data. However, the state should strive to collect a rich set of data that can inform policy decisions, including graduates by certification, ethnicity, and gender. These data can then be used to determine, when connected with district hiring data, teacher shortage and surplus areas.
North Carolina did not respond to NCTQ's request to review this analysis for accuracy.
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.
Additional elements are needed to use data to assess teacher supply and demand. For example, states should include in their data systems means of tracking when teachers leave schools or districts, as well as when they re-enter new ones, and should make these data publicly available. These data can support the state's effort to build a cohesive picture of the state's teacher labor market and workforce needs.