Statistical Analysis Report:
America's Teachers: Profile of a Profession, 1993-94
(NCES 97-460) Ordering information
This report presents national data on teachers and teaching from the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) and other sources. Where data permit, it compares findings from the early- to mid-1990s with findings from the late 1980s.
Teachers and Their Workplace
- The proportion of minority teachers lags far behind that of minority students. For example, in 1993-94, black, non-Hispanic students made up 16 percent of public school student population, while black, non-Hispanic teachers made up 9 percent of the public teaching force (figure 2.4).
- In 1993-94, 42 percent of public school teachers had students with limited English proficiency (LEP) in their classes (table 2.9). However, for about three-quarters of these teachers, less than 10 percent of their students--only a couple of students in the typical class--were in this category.
- Teachers in private schools were considerably more likely than those in public schools to report that they received a great deal of support from parents for their work (42 percent compared with 12 percent) (table A2.27).
Teacher Education and Qualifications
- Among teachers whose main teaching assignments were in English, a foreign language, mathematics, science, or social studies, 36 percent of public school teachers and 43 percent of private school teachers had neither an undergraduate major nor minor in their main assignment fields (figure 3.2). Furthermore, among public school academic teachers in schools where more than 40 percent of the students received free or reduced-price lunches, 47 percent had neither a college major nor minor in their main assignment fields (table 3.2).
- Teachers in public schools with more than 40 percent low-income students were only slightly less likely than teachers in schools with relatively fewer low-income students to be fully certified in the main assignment field (89 percent compared with 92 to 93 percent) (figure 3.6).
- Public school teachers are more experienced than their private school counterparts: in public schools 35 percent of teachers had 20 or more years of experience in 1993-94, compared with 22 percent of teachers in private schools (figure 3.7).
Teachers at Work
- Among 20 industrialized nations, the average primary level teacher taught 829 hours in 1994 (table 4.6). In the United States, primary level teachers taught 958 hours per year, on average.
- Although between 57 percent and 88 percent of teachers perceived themselves as having a lot of control over six areas of classroom-level decision making, no more than 38 percent perceived themselves as having a lot of influence over school-level decisions (table 4.8 and figure 4.7).
- Teachers who had attended a professional development program related to a particular type of instructional practice were most likely than teachers who had not to engage in that practice. In 1994-95, for example, 91 percent of public school teachers who had attended a professional development session on cooperative learning in the previous two years used small group instruction, compared with 83 percent of public school teachers who had not attended such a session (table 5.1).
- In constant 1995 dollars, the average public school teacher's annual salary has recovered from the decline of the 1970s (figure 6.4). In 1993-94, full-time public school teachers' average base salary was $34,200 (table A6.4).
- Despite having literacy skills equal to those of most other professionals, teachers' average annual earnings and average weekly wages in 1991 were lower than those of accountants and auditors, private-sector executives and managers, physicians, education administrators, and registered nurses (table 6.4).
Teachers' Perceptions of Their Work Environments and Job Satisfaction
- In 1993-94, most teachers (70 to 86 percent) indicated that the principals of their schools communicated expectations for the school well, enforced school rules, and were supportive and encouraging, and that staff members in their schools were recognized for a job well done (figure 7.1). Less than one-half (46 percent) of teachers, however, reported that their principals frequently talked with them about their instructional practices.
- In public schools, teachers in larger districts, larger schools, and schools with higher proportions of low-income students were less likely than teachers in other schools to report that necessary materials were available (table 7.3).
- Based on a number of measures of teacher satisfaction, teachers were more satisfied with their work in 1993-94 than they had been in 1987-88. For example, whereas about one-third of 1987-88 teachers reported that they would certainly be willing to become teachers again, 40 percent of 1993-93 teachers reported so (figure 7.6).
Teacher Supply and Demand
- Virtually all of the teaching positions approved by public school districts were filled in 1993-94. On average, less than 1 percent of teaching positions were vacant or temporarily filled by substitute teachers because suitable candidates could not be found (figure 8.5).
- Although only 2 percent of public school districts offered cash bonuses to attract teachers to less desirable locations or teaching fields with shortages in 1993-94, even fewer (1 percent) had done so in 1987-88 (figure 8.6).
- About 7 percent of teachers left the profession between 1993-94 and 1994-95, about the same as the proportion that left between 1987-88 and 1988-89 (figure 8.8).
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For more information about the content of this report, contact Steven Broughman at Stephen.Broughman@ed.gov.