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Teacher qualifications

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

Response:

The percentage of public school teachers who held a postbaccalaureate degree (i.e., a master's, education specialist, or doctor's degree)1 was higher in 201516 (57 percent) than in 19992000 (47 percent). This pattern was observed at both the elementary and secondary levels. Some 55 percent of elementary school teachers and 59 percent of secondary school teachers held a postbaccalaureate degree in 201516, whereas 45 and 50 percent, respectively, held a postbaccalaureate degree in 19992000. In both school years, a lower percentage of elementary school teachers than secondary school teachers held a postbaccalaureate degree.

In 201516, some 90 percent of public school teachers held a regular or standard state teaching certificate or advanced professional certificate, 4 percent held a provisional or temporary certificate, 3 percent held a probationary certificate, 1 percent held no certification, and 1 percent held a waiver/emergency certificate. A higher percentage of teachers in 201516 than in 19992000 held a regular certificate (90 vs. 87 percent). In both school years, a higher percentage of elementary than secondary school teachers held a regular certificate (88 vs. 85 percent in 19992000; 91 vs. 90 percent in 201516).

In 201516, about 10 percent of public school teachers had less than 3 years of teaching experience, 28 percent had 3 to 9 years of experience, 39 percent had 10 to 20 years of experience, and 22 percent had more than 20 years of experience. Lower percentages of teachers in 201516 than in 19992000 had less than 3 years of experience (10 vs. 11 percent) and over 20 years of experience (22 vs. 32 percent). However, the percentage who had 10 to 20 years of experience was higher in 201516 than in 19992000 (39 vs. 29 percent). There was no measurable difference between 19992000 and 201516 in the percentage of teachers with 3 to 9 years of experience.


Percentage distribution of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by years of teaching experience: School years 19992000 and 201516

NOTE: Data are based on a head count of full-time and part-time teachers rather than on the number of full-time-equivalent teachers. Detail may not sum to totals due to rounding.


1 Education specialist degrees or certificates are generally awarded for 1 year's work beyond the master's level, including a certificate of advanced graduate studies. Doctor's degrees include Ph.D., Ed.D., and comparable degrees at the doctoral level, as well as first-professional degrees, such as M.D., D.D.S., and J.D. degrees.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). The Condition of Education 2018 (NCES 2018-144), Characteristics of Public School Teachers.

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