Current Trends in Teacher Experience and Placement
Private schools and schools with high minority enrollments are more likely to employ teachers with 3 or fewer years of teaching experience than are public schools and schools with low minority enrollments.
This indicator examines the distribution of beginning teachers (i.e., those with 3 or fewer years of experience) by various teacher characteristics and across different types of schools. Looking at the characteristics of beginning teachers provides some indication of the demographic profile of the nation's future teacher population. Examining their distribution across schools provides a measure of inequalities in student learning opportunities because, as indicated by research, teachers in the early years of their teaching careers are typically less effective than more experienced teachers (Murnane and Phillips 1981). This research suggests that there is discernible improvement in teacher effectiveness (as measured by student achievement scores) each year for a teacher's first few years of teaching; however, there is little evidence of significant improvement after about 5 years of teaching.
Among full-time teachers, approximately 16 percent of public school teachers were beginning teachers in 1999–2000, compared with 23 percent of private school teachers. Beginning teachers were evenly distributed by sex. There was no detectable difference in the proportions of male and female teachers who were beginning teachers in public and private schools. Beginning teachers were not, however, evenly distributed by race/ethnicity. Compared with White teachers, a greater proportion of Black and Hispanic teachers in public and private schools were beginning teachers, as were a greater proportion of Asian/Pacific Islander teachers in public schools (see table 29-1).
Beginning teachers were also not evenly distributed across all schools. Public and private schools with the highest percentages of minority students and those with the highest percentages of limited-English proficient (LEP) students were more likely to employ beginning teachers than schools with the lowest percentages of minority students and those with the lowest percentages of LEP students. Furthermore, public schools with the highest percentages of low-income students (those eligible for free or reduced-price lunch) were more likely to employ beginning teachers than were schools with the lowest percentages of such students.
Table 29-1: Percentage distributions of full-time public and private school teachers according to years of teaching experience, by selected teacher characteristics: 1999–2000
Reprinted with the permission of the National Center for Education Statistics.
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