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: Texas publishes a report of Teacher Production by Organization and Certification Program. This report provides the number of teachers by institution, certification program (alternative, post-baccalaureate, and standard program), and certification area. The state also provides the number of candidates hired by district who completed a specific program in the last three years. This data is by institution and district. However, no connection is made between these data and district-level hiring statistics, and consequently this report provides an incomplete analysis of teacher production in Texas.
Teacher Mobility Data: Texas publishes teacher turnover data at the district and state level in its Academic Performance Reports (TAPR). Texas also publishes the Employed Teacher Attrition New Hires 2011-2012 through 2018-2019 report. This report provides state-level attrition data as well as the number of new hires.The state also produces a report containing data on retention rates by type of preparation route (undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or alternative).
Teacher Production by Organization and Certification Program https://www.texaseducationinfo.org/Home/Topic/Teacher%20Certification?br=Educators Employment of Initially Certified Teachers 2014-15 through 2018-19 https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/Employment%20of%20Initially%20Certified%20Teachers%202014-15%20through%202018-19.pdf Texas Academic Performance Reports https://rptsvr1.tea.texas.gov/perfreport/tapr/2020/index.html Employed Teacher Attrition New Hires 2011-2012 through 2018-2019 https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/Employed%20Teacher%20Attrition%20and%20New%20Hires%202011-12%20through%202018-19.pdf
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. Texas is on the right track publishing data on teacher production. However, the state should strive to collect a rich set of data that can inform policy decisions, including district hiring data by certification, ethnicity and gender. These data can then be used to determine, when connected with teacher program data, teacher shortage and surplus areas.
With regard to teacher supply and demand data, Texas indicated that it provides an interactive map as well as a downloadable data set that contains the number of individuals working (2018-19 Academic Year) in the selected district who were initially certified by a particular EPP within the past 3 years. This is sortable by district and by EPP. As it relates to teacher mobility data, Texas indicated that it provides data regarding teacher turnover rates as well as teacher, principal, and assistant principal data at the campus, district, regional, and state level in the Texas Academic Performance Report.
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.