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Teacher trends

Question:
What are the current trends in the teaching profession?

Response:
A projected 3.5 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) elementary and secondary school teachers were engaged in classroom instruction in fall 2013. This number is about 1 percent higher than in fall 2003. The 2013 projected number of FTE teachers includes 3.1 million public school teachers and 0.4 million private school teachers.

Demographic Characteristics

  • In 2011–12, some 76 percent of public school teachers were female, 44 percent were under age 40, and 56 percent had a master’s or higher degree. Compared with public school teachers, a lower percentage of private school teachers had a master’s or higher degree (43 percent).

Pupil/Teacher Ratio

  • During the 1970s and early 1980s, public school enrollment decreased, while the number of teachers generally increased. For public schools, the number of pupils per teacher—that is, the pupil/teacher ratio —declined from 22.3 in 1970 to 17.9 in 1985. After enrollment started increasing in 1985, the public school pupil/teacher ratio continued to decline, reaching 17.2 in 1989. After a period of relative stability during the late 1980s through the mid-1990s, the ratio declined from 17.3 in 1995 to 15.4 in 2009. The public school pupil/teacher ratio increased to 16.0 in 2011. By comparison, the pupil/teacher ratio for private schools was 12.5 in 2011. The average class size in 2011–12 was 21.2 pupils for public elementary schools and 26.8 pupils for public secondary schools.

  • Both public school enrollment and the number of public school teachers were about 2 percent higher in 2013 than they were in 2003. In fall 2003, the number of public school pupils per teacher was 15.9, compared with a projected number of 16.0 public school pupils per teacher in fall 2013.

Salary

  • The average salary for public school teachers in 2012–13 was $56,383 in current dollars (i.e., dollars that are not adjusted for inflation). In constant (i.e., inflation-adjusted) dollars, the average salary decreased 1 percent between 1990–91 and 2012–13.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2015). Digest of Education Statistics, 2013 (NCES 2015-011), Introduction and Chapter 2 .

Mobility

  • Of the 3,380,300 full-time and part-time public school teachers who were teaching during the 2007–08 school year, 84.5 percent remained at the same school (“stayers”), 7.6 percent moved to a different school (“movers”), and 8.0 percent left the profession (“leavers”) during the following year. Among the 487,300 private school teachers who were teaching during the 2007–08 school year, 79.2 percent were stayers, 4.9 percent were movers, and 15.9 percent were leavers.
  • About 26.2 percent of public school teacher movers changed schools in 2008–09 because of personal life factors, compared to 16.0 percent of private school teacher movers. About 5.3 percent of public school teacher leavers left teaching in 2008–09 because their contract was not renewed, compared to 13.0 percent of private school teacher leavers.
  • Among teachers who left teaching in 2008–09, about 8.9 percent of public school teachers, compared to 17.4 percent of private school teachers, were working in an occupation outside the field of education, including military service.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2010). Teacher Attrition and Mobility: Results from the 2008–09 Teacher Follow-up Survey (NCES 2010-353).

Related Tables and Figures:  (Listed by Release Date)

Other Resources:  (Listed by Release Date)


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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education