Survey Responses From Washington State’s Principals and Beginning Teachers: A Chartbook

Edie Harding Barbara McLain January 2000

Survey Responses From Washington State’s Principals and Beginning Teachers: A Chartbook

Edie Harding Barbara McLain

January 2000

Washington State Institute for Public Policy 110 East Fifth Avenue, Suite 214 Post Office Box 40999 Olympia, Washington 98504-0999 Telephone: (360) 586-2677 FAX: (360) 586-2793 URL: http://www.wa.gov/wsipp Document Number 00-01-2901

WASHINGTON STATE INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY
Mission
The Washington Legislature created the Washington State Institute for Public Policy in 1983. A Board of Directors—representing the legislature, the governor, and public universities—governs the Institute, hires the director, and guides the development of all activities. The Institute’s mission is to carry out practical, non-partisan research—at legislative direction— on issues of importance to Washington State. The Institute conducts research activities using its own policy analysts and economists, specialists from universities, and consultants. Institute staff work closely with legislators, legislative and state agency staff, and experts in the field to ensure that studies answer relevant policy questions. Current assignments include projects in welfare reform, criminal justice, education, youth violence, and social services.

Board of Directors
Senator Karen Fraser Senator Jeanine Long Senator Valoria Loveland Senator James West Representative Ida Ballasiotes Representative Jeff Gombosky Representative Helen Sommers Representative Steve Van Luven Lyle Quasim, Department of Social and Health Services Marty Brown, Office of Financial Management David Dauwalder, Central Washington University Jane Jervis, The Evergreen State College Marsha Landolt, University of Washington Thomas L. "Les" Purce, Washington State University Ken Conte, House Office of Program Research Stan Pynch, Senate Committee Services

Staff
Roxanne Lieb, Director Steve Aos, Associate Director

CONTENTS
Introduction ...............................................................................................................................i Part I: Beginning Teachers A. B. C. Career Pathways to Teaching.......................................................................... 1 College Education Programs for Teachers...................................................... 5 Beginning Teacher Assistance Programs...................................................... 12 Mentors .......................................................................................................... 13 Training .......................................................................................................... 16 Other Assistance............................................................................................ 19 D. Current Teaching Assignment ....................................................................... 22

Part II: Principals A. B. C. D. Student Teaching........................................................................................... 28 College Teacher Education Programs ........................................................... 32 Type of Assistance for Beginning Teachers .................................................. 36 Additional Comments..................................................................................... 38

Appendix A: Additional Information on Survey and OSPI Data Sources ............................ 40

For more information on this topic, see the Institute’s report: Teacher Preparation and Development, August 1999.

INTRODUCTION
In 1998, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (Institute) undertook a study on the preparation and development of teachers in Washington State at the request of its Board of Directors. A report was published by the Institute in August 1999, Teacher Preparation and Development. The study included surveys of beginning teachers and principals. Due to space limitations, not all the data from the surveys and from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI) certification and employment data base were available in the report. This chartbook provides additional insights from the Institute’s study. This chartbook has two parts. Part I is divided into four sections and contains information from the Beginning Teacher survey and data from OSPI: A. B. C. D. Career Pathway to Teaching; College Education Programs for Teachers; Beginning Teacher Assistance Programs; and Current Teaching Assignment.

Part II is divided into three sections and contains information from the Principal survey and data from OSPI: A. B. C. D. Student Teaching; College Teacher Education Programs; Type of Assistance for Beginning Teachers; and Additional Comments.

For a full copy of our report on teacher preparation and development, call the Institute at (360) 586-2677 or download it from the Institute’s Web site: http://www.wa.gov/wsipp.

i

Part I Beginning Teachers

A. CAREER PATHWAYS TO TEACHING
The Institute survey asked beginning teachers what degree they completed to obtain their initial teaching certificate, their undergraduate GPA, and their major. The Institute also reviewed trends in OSPI’s certification data. • Traditionally, young people who sought to become teachers completed education courses as part of their undergraduate education. Over the last ten years, some new trends have emerged as more people return for their teaching certificate after they complete their bachelor’s degree. The Legislature authorized a Master in Teaching degree at universities and colleges in 1987 and required teachers to obtain a master’s degree. The requirement to obtain a master’s degree was rescinded in 1992; however, there is an incentive on the state salary schedule for teachers to obtain a master’s degree. Today 17 of the 22 teacher preparation programs offer a Master in Teaching or Master of Arts in Teaching program. The State Board of Education created a pilot internship program for alternative certification in 1991. The program is no longer in existence, and the regulations for the pilots expired in August 1999. (Although there is no alternative certificate route, school districts may hire an individual on an emergency or conditional teaching certificate.)

1

Almost Half of Beginning Teachers Obtained a Degree Beyond Their Baccalaureate for Initial Certification
2% Other Degree

29% Master's Degree 53% Undergraduate Degree

16% Post Baccalaureate Degree

WSIPP 1999 Beginning Teacher Survey

The Percentage of Teachers Obtaining a Master’s Degree for Initial Certification Has Increased Over the Last Ten Years
35%

30%

29% 26%

28%

25%

20%

18% 14%

18%

15%

10%

8% 4% 3.5%

5%

3%

0% 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997

WSIPP 1999 OSPI Certification Data 1988-97

2

Fifty Percent of Initial Certificates Were Granted to Instate-Trained Teachers Over the Last Ten Years
8,000 Out of State 7,000 In State

6,000 Number of Teachers

5,000

4,000

3,000

2,000

1,000

0 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 Year Teacher Received Initial Certificate
WSIPP 1999 Source: Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Certification Data Base. Note: 1998 year is through August only.

Over 50 Percent of Beginning Teachers Surveyed Reported a GPA of 3.5 or More for Their Undergraduate Degree
1% Less Than 2.4 GPA

8% 2.5 - 2.9 GPA

53% Over 3.5 GPA

38% 3.0 - 3.4 GPA

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Suvey

3

Over One-Third of the Beginning Teachers Surveyed Majored in Education
Education

36% 29% 21% 12% 8% 4% 3% 3%
0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40%

Other

Social Science

English

Science

Math

Foreign Language

Visual and Performing Arts

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

4

B. COLLEGE EDUCATION PROGRAMS FOR TEACHERS
The Institute survey asked beginning teachers how they rated their college education programs and their student teaching experiences. The certification data base was reviewed for information on endorsements. • In Washington, the 22 colleges of education that prepare beginning teachers are given the major responsibility of ensuring candidates are well qualified. The state provides some oversight, primarily in the area of setting program approval standards, approving programs, and providing technical assistance. Half the teacher preparation programs elect to receive a national review by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). In 1997, the State Board of Education revised the approval standards for teacher preparation programs to be phased in over a three-year period. The new standards are performance-based and require candidates to demonstrate a positive impact on student learning. The state’s standards for the knowledge and skills of beginning teachers include new or additional emphasis on the state’s learning goals and essential academic learning requirements (EALRs), content for endorsement area, ethics, group decision-making strategies, education technology, critical thinking and problem solving skills, and special education. In 1998, the State Board of Education also revised its endorsements to (1) align with the state education reform’s efforts, (2) reduce the number of endorsements, (3) require pedagogy (how students learn) training specific to the endorsement sought, and (4) increase the number of credit hours for certain endorsements. Washington does not require an academic major other than education, but every teacher candidate must have at least one endorsement. Education reform places new emphasis on teachers using assessment of student performance to improve their instructional strategies. A variety of assessment techniques (e.g., portfolios, videotaping, observation, etc.) can be used to measure student performance.

5

The Majority of Teachers Found Their Education Programs Met Their Expectations
Below Expectations At or Above Expectations
Use Technology Teach Subject Matter

-35% -19%

64% 81%

Use Effective Class Management

-27%
Teach Basic Skills

72% 74%
Parent Communication

-23% -34%
Variety of Assessment

65% -14%
Incorporate EALRs

85% 62%
Adapt Instruction for Diversity

-37% -35%
Critical Thinking

65% -23% 77%
-20% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

-60%

-40%

WSIPP 1999 Beginnning Teacher Survey

Over One-Third of Teachers Spent 20 or More Weeks in K-12 Classrooms Student Teaching or Observing During Their Teacher Education Program
Less Than 5 Weeks Less Than 5-9 Weeks

4% 5%

35% 20 or More Weeks

21% 10-14 Weeks

35% 15-19 Weeks

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

6

Teachers Ranked Cooperating Teachers Higher Than Their College Supervisor for Help While Student Teaching
42%
Excellent

71%

33%
Good

18%

16%
Fair

7%

9%
Poor

College Supervisor Cooperating Teacher

4%
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

Almost Three Quarters of Student Teachers’ Cooperating Teachers Ranked Their Cooperating Teachers Good to Excellent on Their Understanding of the EALRs and State Education Reform

Excellent

31%

Good

40%

Fair

21%

Poor

8%

0%
WSIPP 1999 Beginning Teacher Survey

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

35%

40%

45%

7

Three Quarters of Teachers Found the Curriculum in Teacher Education Programs Informative About EALRs
2% Don't Know

22% Not Informative

30% Very Informative

46% Somewhat Informative

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

Teacher Education Programs Use Observations As the Most Common Form of Assessment (Excluding Writing)
70%

62%
60%

Frequently/Usually Sometimes

56%

Rarely/Never

50%

43%
40%

34%
30%

32%

35% 30% 25% 29% 27%

20%

14%
10%

13%

0% Portfolios
WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

Videotapes

Observations

Interviews

8

Over Two Thirds of Beginning Teachers Support Tests for Teacher Candidates
90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Basic Skills
WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

76%

79% 68%

Yes No

32% 24% 21%

Subject Knowledge
Type of Test

Pedagogy

One Third of the Candidates Had to Demonstrate Positive Impact on Student Learning in Their Teacher Education Program

62% No

38% Yes

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

Note: The State Board of Education requirements on Positive Impact on Student Learning were not in effect when these teachers were in their pre-service programs.

9

Respondents Have Varying Views About How Well Colleges of Education Prepared Them In Five Areas
700

Does Well
600

Needs Improvement

500

400

300

200

100

0 Student Teaching Foundation Special Needs Classroom Management Subject Matter Preparation

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

Note: This question was open-ended and was categorized based on the largest number of responses. Responses tended to vary based on the teacher preparation program attended.

Over Half of Teachers Receive An Endorsement in Elementary Education
60%

56%

N = 58,761

50%

40%

30%

23%
20%

24% 17% 12% 8% 8% 8%

10%

6%

6%

0%

WSIPP 1999 Source: Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Certification Data Base.

10

Over the Last Ten Years More Than Half the Teachers Seeking Initial Certification Have Obtained Two or More Endorsements

11% 3 or More Endorsements

44% 1 Endorsement 45% 2 Endorsements

N = 58,761

WSIPP 1999 Source: Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Certfication Data Base.

11

C. BEGINNING TEACHER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
The Institute survey not only addressed teacher preparation, but also assistance provided during the first year of teaching. Questions were asked about mentors, training, and other types of assistance provided in beginning teacher assistance programs. • Parents and the public share high expectations for teachers regardless of whether the teacher is new or experienced. But even the best teacher preparation programs provide only a foundation of knowledge and skills that teachers will need to build upon throughout their careers. First-year teachers frequently mention problems dealing with basic issues such as discipline, motivating students, communicating with parents, accessing instructional resources, and planning and organizing class work. Washington has provided state funds for the Teacher Assistance Program (TAP) for first-year teachers since 1985. Local assistance programs are administered by school districts or Educational Service Districts (ESDs). Assistance programs include the assignment of an experienced mentor teacher, training for mentors and beginning teachers, and release time for participants to observe other classrooms.

12

Mentors
The Institute survey asked beginning teachers whether they were assigned a mentor, how often they met with or were observed by their mentor, and how valuable they found this type of assistance. • • One of the most consistent findings in studies of beginning teacher assistance programs is the importance of the mentor teacher. A competent, experienced colleague can provide practical advice about effective instructional strategies and can serve as a readily available resource on everything from finding materials to school curriculum. Yet what many beginning teachers appreciate most about a mentor is simply having “someone to talk to.” It is unclear how effective a mentor could be as coach or advisor without watching the beginning teacher in his or her classroom. Beginning teachers also often request the opportunity to watch experienced teachers and learn how they engage their students, pace the lessons, and solve problems. Observations are, however, difficult to arrange because they necessitate hiring a substitute teacher or arranging for another teacher to cover the classroom.

13

Two-Thirds of Beginning Teachers Were Assigned a Mentor Teacher for Their First Year of Teaching

67% Mentor Assigned

33% No Mentor Assigned

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

Almost Half of Beginning Teachers Met With Their Mentors Daily or Weekly
5% Never 18% Daily 16% Less Than Once a Month

27% Weekly

34% Once or Twice a Month

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

14

Two-Thirds of Beginning Teachers Were Never or Rarely Observed by Their Mentors

7+

11%

5-6

5%

3-4

13%

1-2

29%

Never

42%

0%
WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

35%

40%

45%

More Than Half the Beginning Teachers Never or Rarely Observed Other Teachers During Their First Year

7+

8%

5-6

7%

3-4

19%

1-2

37%

Never

28%

0%
WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

35%

40%

15

Training
The Institute survey asked beginning teachers how much training they attended, what topics were covered, and how valuable they found this type of assistance. • • Most school districts include training in their assistance programs for beginning teachers, offered either by the district or through the ESD. Training typically covers topics of interest to the beginning teacher, such as classroom management, report cards, and parent-teacher conferences. Most districts also use this opportunity to provide orientation on district policies and procedures for new employees. Beginning teachers also have training opportunities beyond those offered through an assistance program. The majority of those surveyed reported that training especially for beginning teachers represented less than a fourth of the total training they encountered in their first year as a teacher.

16

Beginning Teachers Reported a Wide Range in the Amount of Training They Attended Specifically for First-Year Teachers

19% 19 Hours or more

25% None

20% Between 10 and 18 hours

36% Up to 9 hours

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

Most Common Topic for Beginning Teacher Training: Orientation Most Common Topic Covered with Mentors: Emotional Support
Overall Orientation Emotional and Psychological Support

Classroom Management

Development of Novice Teacher Implementing Education Reform Teaching Diverse Students

Teachers Who Had Training on Issue Teachers Who Addressed Issue With Mentor

0%
WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

17

Beginning Teachers Said Mentors Made More of a Difference in Improving Their Teaching Than Training

43% Made Little Or No Difference

58% Made A Difference

65% Made Little Or No Difference

35% Made A Difference

Impact of Mentors
WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

Impact of Training

What Beginning Teachers Said Would Significantly Improve Their Teaching: More Mentoring, Extra Planning Time, Observations
60%

54%
50%

49%

47%

40%

37% 32% 32%

30%

20%

10%

0%
More Mentoring Extra Planning Time
WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

More Observations

Modified Workload

More Training

Discussion Groups

18

Other Assistance
The Institute asked beginning teachers about observations by their principals, how their assignment compared to other teachers, and whether there were standards associated with their beginning teacher assistance programs. The teachers were also asked about the impact mentoring, training, and other assistance had on their first year of teaching. • Observations: In Washington, principals are required to observe teachers at least twice during the school year for formal performance evaluation. However, many beginning teachers want their principals to play an active, informal role in providing feedback on their teaching and assistance in developing and improving their skills. The Institute asked both beginning teachers and principals how often principals provided assistance and monitored the progress of first-year teachers. Assignment: Some studies have found that beginning teachers are more likely to be placed in an assignment outside their area of expertise or assigned more difficult teaching situations (such as teaching multiple subjects or grade levels or not having a permanent classroom). Beginning teachers were asked how their assignment compared to the assignment of other teachers in their school. Standards: The TAP program for beginning teachers has not been changed to reflect standards and accountability associated with education reform. There are no statewide standards for what the program is intended to accomplish. However, it is possible that standards are set at the local level. The Institute asked school districts, principals, and beginning teachers whether standards or expectations had been set for their beginning teacher assistance programs. Impact: The two major objectives of beginning teacher assistance programs are retention (including increasing a beginning teacher’s confidence in their ability to handle the basic responsibilities of teaching) and improvement of teaching skills. The Institute asked beginning teachers for their perspective on what impact assistance programs had on their first year of teaching.

19

Frequency of Reported Principal Observations of Beginning Teachers (Formally or Informally)
45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Never 1-2 Times 3-4 Times Monthly Every Other Week Weekly
Principals: Frequency of observations of beginning teacher Beginning Teachers: Frequency of observations by principal

Responses by Teachers and Principals
WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher and Principals Surveys

Most Beginning Teachers Reported Their First Year Teaching Assignment Was No More Difficult Than Other Teaching Assignments in Their School

9% Less Difficult

42% More Difficult 49% Average

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

20

Participants Have Different Perceptions About Standards in Beginning Teacher Assistance Programs
100%
Did you set expectations for beginning teachers? Did the district or your principal set expectations?

90%

81%
80%
YES

73% 61% NO

70% 60%

YES
50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% School Districts
WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

Principals

Beginning Teachers

Beginning Teachers Report That Assistance Programs Help Them Get Through the First Year
Get through the first year

51%

Manage a classroom

46%

Increase subject area expertise

41%

Incorporate EALRs

35%

Teach diverse students

35%

Assess student learning

33%

Decide to stay in teaching

28%
10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%

0%
WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

Percent Who Said Programs Made a Difference

21

D. CURRENT TEACHING ASSIGNMENT
The Institute survey asked beginning teachers about their current teaching assignments (including out-of-endorsement teaching), the type of school where they are teaching, and reasons they might consider leaving teaching.

22

Three Quarters of Teachers Obtained Jobs Near (150 Miles or Less) Their College of Education Program

73% Obtained Job Near College of Education Program

27% Obtained Job 150 Miles or More Away From College of Education Program

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

The Percentage of Minority Teachers Has Increased at a Slower Rate Than the Percentage of Minority Students in Washington State
30% K-12 Student Minority Population K-12 Teacher Minority Population 25% 23% 19% 20% 21% 21% 23% 24%

20% 16% 15% 17% 18%

19%

10% 10% 7% 5% 5% 6% 6% 7% 8% 9% 9%

9%

10%

0% 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998

WSIPP 1999 Source: OSPI Student Enrollment Data and Teacher Employment Data 1988-98.

23

Forty Percent of Beginning Teachers’ Surveyed Are Working at the Elementary Level
35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0%

33%

12% 7% 9% 8% 8% 6% 2% 3% 2% 2% 8%

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

Teachers' Primary Area of Responsibility

Three Quarters of Beginning Teachers Are Not Teaching Outside Their Endorsement Area
80%

73%
70%

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

8%

7%

9% 4%

0% None
WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

Less than 10%

10-25%

26-40%

More than 40%

24

Three Quarters of the Schools In Which Teachers Work Are Involved in Education Reform
2% Not At All

15% Slightly

45% A Lot

38% Somewhat

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

Most New Teachers Said They Were Unlikely to Leave Teaching in Next Five Years

8% Very Likely

18% Somewhat Unlikely 52% Very Unlikely 22% Somewhat Unlikely

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

25

Forty-Three Percent of New Teachers Cited “Salary” As Top Reason They Might Leave Teaching Main Reason to Leave Teaching in the Next Five Years Salary level Family Limited opportunities for career growth or other career interests Lack of administrative support Student discipline problems High expectations for student performance Isolation from colleagues 43% 15% 14% 11% 10% 4% 3%

WSIPP 1999 Source: Beginning Teacher Survey

26

Part II Principals

A. STUDENT TEACHING
The Institute survey asked principals to assess the preparation beginning teachers received from the colleges of education, the extent of the partnerships between school districts and colleges of education, and the ability to recruit cooperating teachers. • • School districts provide an opportunity for student teachers to obtain the “hands on” experience that they most value in their teacher education programs. In the Institute’s case studies and surveys, both teachers and principals wanted to have longer student teaching experiences, preferably lasting an entire school year. Several Washington teacher preparation programs have started Professional Development Schools where teacher candidates participate in K-12 classrooms all year and also receive most of their college work on the school site. According to the beginning teachers’ survey, cooperating teachers rank very high in terms of their assistance to the student teacher. To be a cooperating teacher takes extra time, yet many teachers are willing to undertake this role in spite of the time demands.

28

Eight-Five Percent of Principals Surveyed Had Student Teachers in Their Buildings Over the Last Three Years

15% No

85% Yes

WSIPP 1999 Source: Principal Survey

Two Thirds of Principals Rated Their Student Teachers as Very Good or Excellent

6% Fair

11% Excellent

31% Good

52% Very Good

WSIPP 1999 Source: Principal Survey

29

Over Two-Thirds of Principals Did Not Find It Difficult to Recruit Cooperating Teachers

31% Yes 69% No

WSIPP 1999 Source: Principal Survey

Two-Thirds of Principals Provide Incentives (Primarily Stipends) to Cooperating Teachers

38% No

62% Yes

WSIPP 1999 Source: Principal Survey

30

Most Cooperating Teachers Did Not Receive Any Specific Training

17% Yes

83% No

WSIPP 1999 Source: Principal Survey

Principals Rate Knowledge Higher Than Skills for What Teachers Learned in Teacher Education Programs

Poor

Skills Knowledge

Fair

Good

Very Good

Excellent

0%
WSIPP 1999 Source: Principal Survey

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

35%

40%

45%

50%

31

B. COLLEGE TEACHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS
The Institute survey asked principals about their impressions of the colleges of education preparation of their beginning teachers, the extent of the partnerships between school districts and colleges of education, and the challenges of recruiting in subject areas.

32

Principals Reported That Faculty Had Some Follow-up With Former Students but Little Contact With Principals
60%
Yes No

52% 44% 36%

50%

Don't Know

42% 42%
40%

36% 37% 28%

30%

25% 20% 16%

24%

20%

10%

0%
Survey Graduates
WSIPP 1999 Source: Principal Survey

Visit Graduates

Provide Advice

Consult With You

Types of Follow-up

One Quarter of Principals Reported That Teacher Education Faculty Participate in Their Schools
4% A Lot

17% Don't Know

19% Some

60% Not At All

WSIPP 1999 Source: Principal Survey

Note: Many school districts are not close to a college of education, which obviously restricts the ability of college faculty to participate in their classrooms. Principals welcome the participation of college faculty in their schools.

33

Half the Principals Reported That Their Teachers Participate Some or A Lot in College Teacher Education Programs
5% A Lot

24% Don't Know

45% Some 26% Not At All

WSIPP 1999 Source: Principal Survey

Principals Were Highly Supportive of Teacher Tests for Initial Certification
92% 90% 88% 86% 84% 82% 80% 78% 76% 74% Basic skills
WSIPP 1999 Source: Principal Survey

91% 90%

81%

Subject area

Pedagogy

34

Elementary Principals Found Teachers Were Most Likely To Be Prepared in the “Basics”
45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20%

42%

34%

33%

22% 15%

15% 10% 5% 0%

14% 8% 5% 2%

WSIPP 1999 Source: Principal Survey

Secondary Principals Found It Difficult to Hire Qualified Teachers in Special Education, Math, and Science
70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

63%

36%

36%

3%

3%

3%

3%

1%

WSIPP 1999 Source: Principal Survey

35

C. TYPE OF ASSISTANCE FOR BEGINNING TEACHERS
The Institute survey asked principals their impressions of beginning teacher assistance programs in their school districts. Specifically, the principals provided a different perspective compared to the beginning teachers on whether these programs make a difference in improving beginning teachers’ knowledge and skills.

36

Majority of Principals Reported Assistance Programs Improved the Effectiveness of Beginning Teachers

Get through the first year

73%

Manage a classroom

63%

Incorporate EALRs

61%

Increase subject area expertise

56%

Teach diverse students

52%

Assess student learning

52%

0%
WSIPP 1999 Source: Principal Survey

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

37

D:

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

What Should Teacher Education Programs Do Differently in Preparing Beginning Teachers?
• The Institute survey asked principals what teacher education programs could do differently.

Three top issues for principals:
1. More focus on all kinds of assessment, but especially performance assessment. “The complexity of the educational process and the standards/performance based accountability requires entry level teachers to be more proficient in assessment and understanding how to get results in the area of student achievement.” “Emphasize assessment/instruction link. How assessment is an integral part of instruction.” 2. Greater classroom management skills. “Classroom awareness and management continues to be the main downfall of beginning teachers.” “Better prepare new teachers to deal with classroom disruption and better manage their classrooms.” 3. Longer student teaching experiences. One year would be best. “I believe the student teaching experience has a direct and strong impact upon a candidate’s future success. This experience needs to be longer with higher and increased expectations …” “I really believe the student teacher experience should last one full year from start to finish. We are setting up for failure even the most enthusiastic, bright, and energetic students by expecting them to magically acquire all the skills and knowledge in a few short months.”

38

Additional comments from principals:
• Roles and Responsibilities of Teachers

“We need good teachers—it is a tough job. They need to have excellent instructional skills, communication skills, positive classroom management, and be able to manage a variety of student needs.” “In general beginning teachers are not adequately prepared to: 1) teach EARLS, 2) use a variety of assessment techniques, 3) accommodate students with disabilities, and 4) use their subject matter as a vehicle for critical thinking, reading, writing, and communication.” • Stronger partnerships between teacher preparation programs and schools.

“I don’t feel college-level personnel in the education departments do nearly enough to involve professionals in the field in their education classrooms.” “There seems to have been a major disconnect between what colleges/universities promote and the needs of real classroom teachers.”

College programs are different.

“Different schools prepare their students at different levels. There are some poor programs, but there are exceptionally strong ones as well.” “There seems to be significant variance in the preparation of students from different programs, thus I wonder about the standards currently in effect.”

Support for Master in Teaching programs.

“Our very best teachers come out of the MIT program.” “I like the year long MIT program because of the extended time in the classrooms. However, this is not affordable for most.”

Support for First-Year Teachers

“New teachers have been successful during their first year at our school partly due to the amount of support given by other teachers at that particular grade level. They meet weekly, sometimes daily basis. Several new teachers have commented to me that their success was due to hard work and the willingness of the other experienced teachers help in any way.” “Beginning teachers need more support in their first years of teaching. They need paid time for support groups, extra district training and reduced work loads. They struggle no matter how well prepared they are.”
39

APPENDIX A: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON SURVEY AND OSPI DATA SOURCES
Beginning Teacher Survey. Beginning teachers were surveyed1 in February 1999. The purpose of the survey was to learn: ♦ How well beginning teachers are being prepared to help students succeed under the state’s new academic standards; and ♦ What beginning teachers value in their teacher education programs and beginning teacher assistance programs and what changes they would recommend. This survey was mailed to approximately 3,600 teachers who: ♦ Graduated from Washington teacher preparation programs; ♦ Received their initial teaching certificate between June 1996 and June 1998; and ♦ Currently work in Washington public schools. Principal Survey. All principals in Washington public schools were surveyed in February 1999. The purposes of the survey were to learn: ♦ How well principals thought their beginning teachers and student teachers were trained by the colleges of education; ♦ If principals have difficulty recruiting teaching staff; and ♦ What types of beginning teacher assistance programs their districts offered. This survey was mailed to approximately 1,800 principals. Fifty-four percent (1,942) of the teachers and 65 percent (1,187) of the principals responded to the surveys. Certification and School Building Employment Data. In addition to the beginning teachers survey, the Institute examined OSPI’s Certification and School Building Employment data base to analyze trends on 58,800 teachers who obtained an initial certificate for teaching from 1988-1998.

The Beginning Teacher and Principal surveys were conducted for the Institute by the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center at Washington State University. 40

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