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Teacher qualifications

Question:
Do you have any information on the qualifications of high school teachers in their teaching assignments?

Response:
Current federal education legislation requires school districts to measure and report on teacher qualifications, both to ensure that students are being taught by highly qualified teachers and to ensure that teachers are distributed equitably across schools, regardless of student demographics. Teachers are certified by the state in which they teach.

The 2007–08 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS)

The survey asked high school teachers whether they were certified in the subject that they taught most often (referred to as their main assignment), as well as what their major was in college. Twelve percent of teachers whose main assignment was secondary mathematics had neither a major nor a certification in the subject. This percentage was higher than the percentage of English teachers or science teachers that had neither qualification (8 and 4 percent, respectively). For schools with at least half White enrollment, 8 percent of mathematics teachers had neither qualification, which was lower than the overall rate and the rate for schools with at least half Black enrollment (25 percent). Other differences between racial/ethnic groups could not be distinguished, in part due to large standard errors.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2010). Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups (NCES 2010-015).

Percentage of public high school-level teachers who reported a major and a certification in their main assignment, by selected main assignments: 2007–08
Selected main assignment Total Major in main assignment No major in assignment
Total Certified Not certified Total Certified Not certified
Mathematics 100.0 71.6 59.8 11.8 28.4 16.2 12.2
English 100.0 81.9 66.6 15.4 18.1 9.7 8.4
Science 100.0 83.6 70.5 13.1 16.4 11.9 4.5

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2010). Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups, Table 9.1 (NCES 2010-015).

The 2011–12 Schools and Staffing Survey: First Look

In 2011-12, on average, both public and private school teachers had about 14 years of experience. On average, teachers in traditional public schools had more teaching experience (14 years) than teachers in public charter schools (9 years).

The percentage of public school teachers with a master’s degree as their highest degree was larger in traditional public schools (48 percent) than in public charter schools (37 percent) and private schools (36 percent).

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2013). Characteristics of Public and Private Elementary and Secondary School Teachers in the United States: Results From the 2011–12 Schools and Staffing Survey (NCES 2013-314).

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