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Pathways to Teaching: Does it Impact Teacher Retention?
Unformatted Document Text:  Pathways to Teaching: Does it Impact Teacher Retention? Many states are dealing with a crisis in education – teacher retention. For example, North Carolina requires 10,000 new teachers each year to teach in its public schools. Institutions of higher education in North Carolina are graduating only 3500 new teachers to enter the field each year, the remaining teaching vacancies are being filled by alternative route teachers and teachers recruited from other states (North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2005). Thus, in many states, a large number of teachers are entering the teaching profession without the preparation of a traditional four-year teacher education program. These data are well known and well published. The question that has evolved is: Are there any school system retaining any of these teachers and if so, how were the new teachers prepared and what did the school system do to keep their new hires? The four-year teacher preparation programs include pedagogy courses, practicum experiences, and culminate in a closely supervised internship. There are not short-cuts in this route and the pre-service teachers are expected to demonstrate growth and quality at each stage in this teacher preparation program. The same cannot be said for the alternative routes to entering the teaching profession. The gate for quality control for alternative routes into the teaching profession appears to be minimal, if any, and these teachers are typically ill-prepared (Darling-Hammond & Youngs, 2002). It has been stated that alternative routes for teachers entering the classroom have “failed to prepare individuals to succeed or to stay, thus adding to the revolving door of ill-prepared individuals who cycle through the classrooms” (Darling-Hammond & Sykes, 2003). In the Massachusetts MINT program, which is an alternative route, approximately fifty percent of its teachers have left the teaching profession within three years (Fowler, 2002). Also, in the Teach for America program, an approximately eighty percent leave the profession after two years (Raymond, Fletcher, & Luque, 2001). Does the pathway of entering the teaching profession provide any insight into higher teacher retention? A team of researchers in North Carolina conducted a study to identify school systems that retained new teachers at a rate of 66.7% or more per school year. Analyzing 10 years of data (1995-2004) they identified those systems that retained new teachers for a second year and then kept them continuously for a fifth year. The new hires

Authors: Bullock, Ann Adams., Warren, Louis., Burke, Melva. and Hawk, Parmalee.
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Pathways to Teaching: Does it Impact Teacher Retention?
Many states are dealing with a crisis in education – teacher
retention. For example, North Carolina requires 10,000 new teachers
each year to teach in its public schools. Institutions of higher
education in North Carolina are graduating only 3500 new teachers to
enter the field each year, the remaining teaching vacancies are being
filled by alternative route teachers and teachers recruited from other
states (North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2005). Thus,
in many states, a large number of teachers are entering the teaching
profession without the preparation of a traditional four-year teacher
education program. These data are well known and well published.
The question that has evolved is: Are there any school system
retaining any of these teachers and if so, how were the new teachers
prepared and what did the school system do to keep their new hires?
The four-year teacher preparation programs include pedagogy
courses, practicum experiences, and culminate in a closely
supervised internship. There are not short-cuts in this route and the
pre-service teachers are expected to demonstrate growth and quality
at each stage in this teacher preparation program. The same cannot
be said for the alternative routes to entering the teaching profession.
The gate for quality control for alternative routes into the teaching
profession appears to be minimal, if any, and these teachers are
typically ill-prepared (Darling-Hammond & Youngs, 2002). It has
been stated that alternative routes for teachers entering the
classroom have “failed to prepare individuals to succeed or to stay,
thus adding to the revolving door of ill-prepared individuals who cycle
through the classrooms” (Darling-Hammond & Sykes, 2003). In the
Massachusetts MINT program, which is an alternative route,
approximately fifty percent of its teachers have left the teaching
profession within three years (Fowler, 2002). Also, in the Teach for
America program, an approximately eighty percent leave the
profession after two years (Raymond, Fletcher, & Luque, 2001).
Does the pathway of entering the teaching profession provide any
insight into higher teacher retention?
A team of researchers in North Carolina conducted a study to
identify school systems that retained new teachers at a rate of 66.7%
or more per school year. Analyzing 10 years of data (1995-2004)
they identified those systems that retained new teachers for a second
year and then kept them continuously for a fifth year. The new hires


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