Liv Ames for EdSource
Students focus on their teacher's questions in a transitional kindergarten class at Figarden Elementary in Fresno.

Fueling concerns about a teacher shortage that many educators have been worrying about for years, the number of credentials issued to new teachers trained in California has decreased for the 10th consecutive year, according to the latest figures from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

In the 2013-14 school year, the commission issued 11,497 new credentials to teachers trained in California, down from 16,401 in 2009-10. Boosting these numbers were 3,313 teachers who had been trained as teachers in other states or countries and applied for and received credentials in California.

At the same time, the number of teachers given short-term and provisional permits, and so- called “intern” credentials, rose sharply, even though they still comprise a very small proportion of California’s total teaching force.

A total of 5,744  temporary permits, waivers and intern credentials were issued  in 2013-14, compared to the 282,495 teachers who were fully credentialed, according to commission figures, which were released last month in a report to the Legislature.

Even so, the increases were a troubling sign of “an inability of districts to find qualified staff,” said Linda Darling-Hammond, an education professor at Stanford University and the chair of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.  She said the shortages of credentialed teachers are most severe in math and special education.

Darling-Hammond said there are signs of hope that the teacher supply will grow in the near future, as districts work to reduce class sizes and raise salaries. But she said the latest figures were a clear sign that “we’re not out of the woods. “

“Things are improving,” she said. “But we have a long way to go.”

“Limited-assignment teaching permits,” allowing fully credentialed teachers to teach classes for which they lack state authorization, rose to 1,729 in 2013-14, representing a 51 percent increase over the previous year.

So-called “provisional internship permits” and “short-term staff permits” increased by 36.7 percent in 2013-14 over the previous year, to a total of 1,166, according to the commission report.

A provisional internship permit is used to fill an anticipated need for which the district has not been able to find a fully qualified candidate.  School districts can request short-term staff permits when they need to fill a teaching staff position immediately, for example if a teacher unexpectedly quits or becomes ill.

Other temporary credentials, known as intern credentials, are designed to provide alternative pathways into the teaching profession. They typically allow teachers to teach after about a few weeks of summer preparation as long as they enroll in a teacher preparation program during the school year, and work towards getting a preliminary credential. About 2,600 of those credentials were issued last year, an increase of 17.6 percent over the previous year.

Darling-Hammond and other education experts have repeatedly expressed concerns about the potential consequences of a teacher shortage that she said was due to several factors, including major layoffs during the recession, a culture of “teacher bashing” that she said has soured young people from seeking the career, and an increasing demand for teachers that has been met by a declining supply.

The shrinking numbers of teachers receiving credentials has been paralleled by a declining interest in teaching. Enrollments in teacher preparation programs have declined by 75 percent over the past decade – from 77,700 in 2001-02 to 19,933 in the 2012-13 school year, the last year for which figures are available,

Should these trends continue, Darling-Hammond said they could “absolutely” undermine the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, since the new reform heavily depends on well-prepared and qualified teachers.

“The Common Core is a huge change both in expectations of students’ performance and in the kinds of content kids will acquire,” she said. “It requires math teachers to understand mathematical thinking and problem-solving, so requires even better prepared math teachers.”

Although the number of provisional teaching permits increased in 2013-14 over the previous school year, they had been declining for several years prior to that, according to Josh Speaks, the legislative representative for the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Speaks characterized the numbers of provisional permits as “fairly small.” In fact, the total number of all three of the temporary or provisional permits issued last year came to 2,895, out of a total teaching force of nearly 300,000.

The impact of the increase in provisional permits varies from district to district, with the highest percentages mostly in rural counties such as Mono, Lassen and Tuolumne.

 

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  1. Empy 1 month ago1 month ago

    Dennis, did you try the UCLA program? I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’m beginning to regret my decision as well.
    “Policies that govern teaching requirements are to blame for teaching shortages. Trying to become a teacher is the only regret I have in my life.”

  2. Empy 1 month ago1 month ago

    Hi Della, what do you mean by a 3 year extension?

  3. Empy 1 month ago1 month ago

    Hi Becca, the PIP is only good for one use per lifetime. I would like to add that I like this article, however it doesn't mention that a major problem is the CSET exam itself and the fact that the exam is overpriced. The exam was not required 20 or 30 years ago and now it is something that people struggle with. If you don't pass, they give you some vague report that does not … Read More

    Hi Becca, the PIP is only good for one use per lifetime. I would like to add that I like this article, however it doesn’t mention that a major problem is the CSET exam itself and the fact that the exam is overpriced. The exam was not required 20 or 30 years ago and now it is something that people struggle with. If you don’t pass, they give you some vague report that does not tell you exactly what you did wrong. It is just riddled with a string of plus signs and letters. Quite frankly me and other educators believe that it is mostly a money scam. It makes no sense.

    I have emailed the CTC about the test because it does not measure teaching ability. The response I received was that the exam is not meant to measure teaching ability, only a certain area of academics. A good teacher is well rounded, has patience and empathizes with the students. The CSET is not an appropriate tool to assess this area of teaching. Only observations and coursework will show that. The problem with California is that the higher-ups don’t think before they put a program in place. I am sure that there was much opposition to this exam when it was implemented, that they were warned that there would be a teacher shortage, and that they were warned that the exam is too pricey. However they chose not to listen. I was informed that the exam is run by Pearson Vue.

  4. Delia Ortega 2 months ago2 months ago

    Since there is a shortage of teachers, why not make some exceptions for those affected by the 2009 Great Recession? The Commission on Teacher Credentialing says, by law, they don’t have the authority to grant additional extensions beyond the 3 year extension even for such a crisis as the recession.

  5. Becca nelson 4 months ago4 months ago

    In January of 2016 I was hired for 3rd grade with a Provisional Intern Permit (PIP) due to the fact that a class was oversized and they needed to create a new class. My PIP expires Feb. 2017. I have just recently been hired for kindergarten starting next week. I can work under the PIP but I am concerned that I may not pass my CSET exams in time. Is there another way that I … Read More

    In January of 2016 I was hired for 3rd grade with a Provisional Intern Permit (PIP) due to the fact that a class was oversized and they needed to create a new class. My PIP expires Feb. 2017. I have just recently been hired for kindergarten starting next week. I can work under the PIP but I am concerned that I may not pass my CSET exams in time. Is there another way that I can teach from February to the end of the school year if these test aren’t passed in time? Can my district apply for another PIP? Thank you.

  6. Dennis 4 months ago4 months ago

    I earned my preliminary credential in 2012. I have tried since then to get a teaching job, but have been unsuccessful. Since I cannot find a teaching job, I cannot clear my credential. This means next September I lose my credential forever. All of my hard work was for nothing. My advice to anyone thinking about pursuing a teaching career, DON'T DO IT! Find another career path. Now I have a ton … Read More

    I earned my preliminary credential in 2012. I have tried since then to get a teaching job, but have been unsuccessful. Since I cannot find a teaching job, I cannot clear my credential. This means next September I lose my credential forever. All of my hard work was for nothing. My advice to anyone thinking about pursuing a teaching career, DON’T DO IT!
    Find another career path.
    Now I have a ton of student loans that I have no way of paying back. Policies that govern teaching requirements are to blame for teaching shortages.
    Trying to become a teacher is the only regret I have in my life.

    Replies

    • Heather 2 months ago2 months ago

      Actually Dennis, you can clear your credential through UCLA extension. They have an induction program for teachers who aren’t working!

  7. Erin 5 months ago5 months ago

    My opinions are based on my own experiences. In 1999, I moved to California from a different state. I graduated with a B.S. in Education and held a teaching license in a different state. My education program was thorough, where it included classes and classroom experience in ECE, Special Education and ESL. For over two years, I trained to be a teacher and felt ready and confident upon graduating. When I initially applied for … Read More

    My opinions are based on my own experiences. In 1999, I moved to California from a different state. I graduated with a B.S. in Education and held a teaching license in a different state. My education program was thorough, where it included classes and classroom experience in ECE, Special Education and ESL. For over two years, I trained to be a teacher and felt ready and confident upon graduating. When I initially applied for a CA credential, the requirements were redundant, just worded differently. Even though I had an education degree, CA wanted me to also pass multiple subject exams and complete a fifth year (The fifth year is a one-year teacher program for people who graduate with any degree because four-year programs in education were not/are not offered here).

    Even though my education and experience transcended CA’s requirements, I still had to complete them in order to get my credential. Fortunately, I was able to obtain a Preliminary credential in the meantime. I was a very successful teacher where, typically, 90% of my students met and exceeded standards. I was tenured after two years vs. three. After four years of teaching and earning an M.A.T., I moved to out of state to where I was completely licensed in teaching and administration.

    Now, I have moved back to CA because I love it here, but again, the Commission is a nightmare. This time around, I had met all requirements to get my Clear Credential, but it was costly and a process (many hoops to jump through). The Commission says “it takes up to fifty days to process credentials,” but I did not get mine until after eighty days upon the Commission receiving my applications. Plus, they lost a document, and I had to resubmit, which took even longer.

    The following are examples of how I think California can change things to attract and keep teachers:

    1) Change Teacher Requirements and Offer Four-Year Education Degrees: Right now, there are so many requirements (CLAD, BTSA, etc). The requirements were originally intended to expedite credentials for people who did NOT have education degrees because CA has usually had shortages of teachers. Those same requirements should not apply to out-of-state professional teachers with education degrees. Education degrees encompass everything needed to be a teacher. States like Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, etc. offer four-year education degrees where teachers enter the classrooms prepared. If people have degrees in any subject and do a fifth year, are we getting qualified teachers? Would you want to go to a doctor who had seven years of liberal studies and an eighth year in medicine? Why should teacher preparation programs be any different? Four-year education degrees attract people who are genuinely interested in the profession and committed; continual requirements are not necessary. They are time-consuming and costly. Tests and the fifth year did not make me a better-qualified teacher.

    2) The Commission Needs More Staff and More Training: It takes too long to get credentialed in CA, and staff make error, increasing the time.

    3) Experience is Experience: When getting credentialed, CA needs to accept teaching experience towards credentials – no matter where the experience comes from. This is the only state I have been licensed that specifies where your teaching experience should come from, which makes a grey area for people who have worked in and out of California.

    4) Find Experienced Teachers and Get Them Back: CA needs to find ways to work with districts to get experienced teachers back into the classrooms. There are highly-qualified teachers and administrators who have taken time to be stay-at-home parents and cannot even get interviews. We keep hearing about teacher shortages or teachers not qualified being hired because of needs, but what we are not hearing is about how there are many qualified teachers/administrators out there who cannot even get interviews.

    5) Increase Teacher Salaries: It is a fact California is now the wealthiest state in the U.S. With all its wealth from taxes, teachers should be paid more. Teacher salaries cannot keep up with the continual growth and cost of living in California.

    6) Put Money in the Classrooms: Teachers are using their own money for supplies in the classrooms. That should never occur. More tax monies should be used in education, and teachers should never have to pay out-of-pocket for classroom supplies and materials.

    7) Reduce Class Sizes to 24: Anything larger is too much. At twenty-four students, teachers are able to have four groups of six for differentiated instruction. It is a viable and reasonable number.

    8) More Positive Coverage from Media: It seems there is constant negativity being published about teachers and teaching. Who wants a career that is bashed by society? We need to support our teachers and cover more positive stories.

    Replies

    • Joe A 3 months ago3 months ago

      WOW I am not the only one experiencing the large amounts of hoops to jump through as a teacher with many years of experience outside the state of CA. The WHOLE process is slow and daunting. The ideas you came up with to improve the licensing MAZE are great. Thank you for posting and sharing. I do hope we find a less painstaking way.

  8. Dennis 6 months ago6 months ago

    With all of the mixed messages the educational establishment in California makes available to the public, it is amazing that any students want to have careers in education. We change our minds and methods regularly and ignorantly. Consider all the contradictory theories from various educators on what constitutes "critical reasoning" and how it should be integrated/taught in our schools or perhaps we should reflect on the Whole Language debacle in California that … Read More

    With all of the mixed messages the educational establishment in California makes available to the public, it is amazing that any students want to have careers in education. We change our minds and methods regularly and ignorantly. Consider all the contradictory theories from various educators on what constitutes “critical reasoning” and how it should be integrated/taught in our schools or perhaps we should reflect on the Whole Language debacle in California that started in 1988 and has produced so many illiterate adults. Do we really learn from our mistakes? Guess not; after all didn’t our governor try to rehire Bill Honig
    a few years ago?

  9. Jessie 6 months ago6 months ago

    I earned a single-subject teaching credential in English with a supplemental credential in drama in 2008. Toward the end of my last term in the program, during which I was completing student teaching, a variety of speakers came to talk to us about what we were heading into. We were told that most of us would likely not find work. There were not many job openings, retiring teachers were not being replaced, and it was … Read More

    I earned a single-subject teaching credential in English with a supplemental credential in drama in 2008. Toward the end of my last term in the program, during which I was completing student teaching, a variety of speakers came to talk to us about what we were heading into. We were told that most of us would likely not find work. There were not many job openings, retiring teachers were not being replaced, and it was going to be tough.

    I had been working for a local school district for years, at that time, as a classroom aide and one-to-one aide in special education, a long-term substitute on waiver, and as a day-to-day substitute teacher. I thought, due to my existing relationship with the district, I would have a fair chance of finding a job if a position became available. When I didn’t secure a teaching position that first year, I took a part-time aide job, just to stay employed in the district and have access to benefits. Eventually, I landed a couple of long-term temporary teaching contracts, punctuated by return stints to the part-time aide position. I was never in any teaching job long enough to participate in a BTSA program and, in 2013, my preliminary credential expired. I was no longer eligible to apply for teaching positions. Before BTSA was instituted, you could clear your credential through a university program. With BTSA, you had to be employed in order to participate.

    It was exceedingly frustrating to have put in the time and the money to complete a credential program and have it be, essentially, worthless. Now, I have learned, it is possible to APPLY for a ONE-TIME three year extension of your preliminary credential. You pay $100, and they will consider your application on a case-by-case basis. I worry that, if granted an extension, I may still find an unfriendly market. If I don’t find work this time, all the time and money I put into earning a credential will have been for nothing.

    I have no idea if I will find a permanent position this time or not. But if I don’t, that will be the end of the story. I won’t have any more options, short of going back to school to earn a new credential. Once upon a time, you earned a lifetime credential which allowed you to teach all grades, K-12. Funny enough, the quality of education was much better back then than it is now.

    Replies

    • Aaron Thomas 6 months ago6 months ago

      Shame your story and thousands like yours are never mentioned. With very few exceptions there are still ample qualified applicants for any given teaching opening. There are big differences between credentials but these articles never drill down to find them. Maybe districts today don’t have the hundreds of applicants they had a few years ago but today’s situation would better be described as a smaller glut.

  10. Jose Ramirez 9 months ago9 months ago

    I am retiring from the USN in 4 years and I am interested in getting a teaching degree. From reading the majority of the posts, it sounds like a really scary thing to do. But I am willing to take it on and make change in some kids life. Even if it’s just one it would be enough. But I am unsure of where the need is the most? Would anyone be able to guide me in the right direction?

  11. Tom H 10 months ago10 months ago

    Long hours (way over 40, and lost summers to all the administrative responsibilities), often negligent or abusive administrators, poorly behaved but entitled youths whom educators have very little power to discipline (not speaking physically, of course), irate parents who won't support teachers but side with and even encourage unruly students, and on top of all that, a paltry salary? No thank you. NYC, one of the country's most expensive urban regions, starts teachers (MA/MED required--so … Read More

    Long hours (way over 40, and lost summers to all the administrative responsibilities), often negligent or abusive administrators, poorly behaved but entitled youths whom educators have very little power to discipline (not speaking physically, of course), irate parents who won’t support teachers but side with and even encourage unruly students, and on top of all that, a paltry salary? No thank you. NYC, one of the country’s most expensive urban regions, starts teachers (MA/MED required–so that’s two degrees many teachers have taken out loans to finance) at under $50K/yr. After taxes and fees–like mandatory union fees, what’s left is not even enough to afford a studio in the city. Adults in their 30s, 40s, and beyond are shacking up in worse conditions than those of their first year out of college, or traveling SO FAR out of state to live that given the other challenges, it’s just not worth it IF someone is smart, scholastically successful, and diligent. The same effort in a corporation or even in a joint entrepreneurial enterprise with other smart, driven graduates generates far, far greater financial security and life pleasure. And check out starting salaries in the middle of the USA. Low 30s… Some “profession.”

    We extol capitalism in so many other professions–medicine, law, business, banking/finance, even art, sports, and entertainment. Why do we expect smart pre-teachers not to act as capitalists themselves and maximize their own profits? If you don’t expect your doctors or your politicians or your lawyers to work for “the good of the people” as a mere public service, then don’t expect teachers to, either.

    And please, let’s dispense with the fatuous argument that teachers don’t deserve more because they don’t spend as many years in school/training as attorneys… We pay CEOs and sales people and athletes… not according to their scholastic prowess, but rather according to how much we value what they produce. Obviously, our culture doesn’t value (much) what teachers produce. And I applaud smart graduates for recognizing this and having enough self dignity not to subject themselves to de facto devaluation. So, USA, enjoy your mediocre teachers, since you don’t care enough to pay enough to court the brightest and most accomplished to teach your own children.

  12. Param 12 months ago12 months ago

    I am Australian teacher trying to get my credentials for California but they won’t issue me just because I don’t have SSN or ITIN.

    Replies

    • Nuwan 11 months ago11 months ago

      Hi Param,
      You should be able to get E3 work visa. There is a program that USA has with the Australian government where Australian citizens can come to USA for work. You should be able to get a SSN and work authorization. Talk to an immigration lawyer soon.
      Good Luck!

  13. Wendy 12 months ago12 months ago

    I believe that the education commission needs to make free classes available to mathematic educators and those educators to come. They need a better understanding for the preparation of testing involved. The CSET and NES testing needs to be achieved before teaching a classroom, as well as a proper education on how to implement the new common core. Just my personal opinion.

  14. Hayley 1 year ago1 year ago

    I have been working as a long term substitute at a school since the last trimester of last year. I was given vague promises of teaching a class at my desired grade level for this year, but the position was given to another long term sub who has no teacher training whatsoever. I was offered Kindergarten instead, with more promises to teach 4th grade next year. I was on the fence about taking the position … Read More

    I have been working as a long term substitute at a school since the last trimester of last year. I was given vague promises of teaching a class at my desired grade level for this year, but the position was given to another long term sub who has no teacher training whatsoever. I was offered Kindergarten instead, with more promises to teach 4th grade next year. I was on the fence about taking the position because I really do not enjoy Kindergarten, but they offered me a very nice salary and insisted that I would have a lot of support and time to finish TPA’s 3 & 4 – which are the only things I have left to do to attain my preliminary credential. One semester in and I am greatly regretting my decision to take this position. I spend 14 hours a day either teaching, tutoring, prepping, or driving. The school has co-principals and one of them is violent, hostile, undermining, and threatening. The atmosphere of the school is just plain strange. Of the 5 new teachers hired for this year, four are actively searching for a new job, including me. I have no time to work on my final two TPA’s and have been struggling with just keeping up with the weekly submissions of my math and ELA lesson plans. Kindergarten assessments are one on one, and I have 25 students and no aides, no parent volunteers, and no lunch period. I am required to tutor twice a week, and attend staff meetings once a week. I have lost my mojo, my desire to teach, my desire to help… And I have not even begun BTSA. The idea of spending an additional 2 years with this kind of scheduling and BTSA requirements on top of them is leaving me with a bitter taste in my mouth. I have some pretty deep soul searching ahead of me…

    Replies

    • jodi 1 year ago1 year ago

      Hi,
      I was wondering the area you teach? I am a teacher in Illinois and am looking to relocate to San Diego area. I am trying to get a feel for the districts and teaching in general in CA. I hope your situation gets better. Do not give up! It does get easier and you will most likely be changing schools, I imagine.

      Jodi

    • Donna 8 months ago8 months ago

      Something needs to change. I am a new teacher, also in Kinder. If I am not sleeping, I am working. This is mostly due to BTSA. IMO, BTSA should be illegal. What other job requires people to work their normal daily duties, and then go to 3 hour PD session, and spend countless hours on meaningless busy work and documentation? Aren't there employment laws that protects us for exploitation, too? As a new … Read More

      Something needs to change. I am a new teacher, also in Kinder. If I am not sleeping, I am working. This is mostly due to BTSA. IMO, BTSA should be illegal. What other job requires people to work their normal daily duties, and then go to 3 hour PD session, and spend countless hours on meaningless busy work and documentation? Aren’t there employment laws that protects us for exploitation, too? As a new teacher finishing up my 1st year I would be starting to enjoy my job if it wasn’t for BTSA. I have two kids and I need to be able to attend their sporting activities, and other events. I guess I am just supposed to be MIA for 2 more years. Ridiculous! I seriously want to protest. Boy, is the road to hell sure paved on good intentions. NOT to mention all copious amounts of money that funds BTSA that could be going to update classrooms and provide NEEDED materials and equipment for students. It has to stop.

  15. Bonnie Yelverton 1 year ago1 year ago

    I'm always amazed when I read about these shortages, and compare that with my own personal micro-situation. I unfortunately came out of retirement (as a technical writer) in 2009 to take an expensive MA at a private school of education - passing all the math and all the science CSETs on the first try, and getting close to a 4.0 average for the MA. I also managed to clear the credential through a distance … Read More

    I’m always amazed when I read about these shortages, and compare that with my own personal micro-situation. I unfortunately came out of retirement (as a technical writer) in 2009 to take an expensive MA at a private school of education – passing all the math and all the science CSETs on the first try, and getting close to a 4.0 average for the MA. I also managed to clear the credential through a distance learning program through UCLA Extension, also with a near 4.0 average, and have participated in paid and unpaid courses and workshops and much more since then, to learn more and more about my subjects, Common Core, NGSS, etc.

    However, the only jobs I have been able to get were at underprivileged schools quite far from my home. I have had up to 2 hour commutes coming home if I stayed around school much after 3 to prepare something, attend a meeting or tutor a student. But mostly I’ve been looking for jobs. So far this spring, according to EdJoin, I have applied for 19 jobs, been interviewed 7 times, and have no job yet for next year. Most often they have said that because they had so few applicants they were reflying the job. I am highly qualified, a little expensive, because of 2 MAs, but they count me as first-year teacher each time (even though I taught ESL in High Schools in Denmark for 15 years) so I’m not THAT expensive. (And I don’t need health benefits, either, with Medicare and my husband’s pension benefits.)

    This past school year I landed a job just before Winter Break, but the District required that I have a combined first and final evaluation by the principal in the beginning of February, when I hadn’t had time to get the students on my side after 2 months of a sub – I did later. Evidently the District recommended that she do what she could to make sure I was a Non-reelect, but to try to make sure I stuck it out to the end of the school year with vague promises. People who knew better recommended that I quit, which I did at spring break after I was assured that there could be proper instruction the rest of the year.

    Tell me there’s no agism going on! It is now 6 years after I started my credential, looking for my first job, and taking out loans and receiving grants I now assume will be converted to loans (which I can pay off with my Social Security.) I know another mature second career physics teacher who’s also just been let off, even though his students have been on fantastic field trips and won some great awards. He had been let off his previous position so they could hire a young teacher right out of college – who left after a year.

    Those of us like Paul, who have enormous debt and have had a lot of enthusiasm, don’t get a chance because we haven’t had a job since we completed our credential – because there were no jobs! If there is a shortage of teachers, why don’t the schools hire Paul and Brian and me to give them a breather until someone can entice more prospective teachers?
    —–
    Along the same lines, when I have had a job, I’ve found it very hard to work with the teachers who have their tenured positions, because they are very happy teaching the way they always have, and don’t want some old whippersnapper like me trying to suggest ways to implement the Next Generation Science Standards.
    (Sorry if I sound a little bitter, a little frustrated, a little depressed!)

  16. Jacl 2 years ago2 years ago

    Paul, I am the one who suggested relaxing the post retirement earnings limits - however, it would be for teachers returning to service and qualified in high needs areas - specifically special education. There is a huge shortage (and this is nothing new) in special ed - and this trend does not appear to be loosening up. So, on policy issue is do we continue to allow some of the most educationally needy … Read More

    Paul, I am the one who suggested relaxing the post retirement earnings limits – however, it would be for teachers returning to service and qualified in high needs areas – specifically special education. There is a huge shortage (and this is nothing new) in special ed – and this trend does not appear to be loosening up. So, on policy issue is do we continue to allow some of the most educationally needy student go without well qualified specialists to avoid “generous double dipping”, or do we provide the best services to children. Currently, Language, Speech and Hearing specialists are impossible to recruit and retain, with districts turning to private contractors to secure services for kids. This is much more costly to districts than an employee (even a returning retiree) would cost.

    And a separate salary schedule could be negotiated for teachers in this category to allow districts more flexibility. Safeguards can also be negotiated to protect the interests of unions to avoid this practice becoming permanent.

  17. TheMorrigan 2 years ago2 years ago

    Two anecdotal reasons for the shortage that add to what has already been mentioned: 1) While it is true some teachers become teachers because they like working with children, most teachers become teachers because they were influenced to do so. Basically, some inspiring teacher along the way said something or did something to these prospective teachers to influence them into becoming a teacher. They made teaching seem like a profession that they would like to … Read More

    Two anecdotal reasons for the shortage that add to what has already been mentioned:

    1) While it is true some teachers become teachers because they like working with children, most teachers become teachers because they were influenced to do so. Basically, some inspiring teacher along the way said something or did something to these prospective teachers to influence them into becoming a teacher. They made teaching seem like a profession that they would like to join.

    Well, what happens when those inspiring teachers start discouraging their students from becoming a teacher? Why wouldn’t those prospective teachers listen carefully to the teachers who they admire and trust? While I only have anecdotal proof of this, I suspect that is probably another reason why we see a decline in the number of credentials.

    2) The media hasn’t actually been supportive of teachers for some time now. For whatever reason, teachers seem to get hammered. Every week, the OCR and the LA Times feature some article or opinion piece that casts teachers in a negative spotlight.

    A friend of mine in law enforcement told me the other day that teachers should be able to breathe a little bit of fresh air because the spotlight is now on them. I laughed, knowing full well that he was exaggerating. However, after thinking about the comment a little further, there’s probably a little bit of truth there, too.

  18. Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

    For those in leadership in teacher credentialing and in teacher education, as with Memorial Day, perhaps this is a time for some reflection. The Battle of Somme in WWI, with its appalling British casualties of 420,000 dead, comes to mind. British troops followed established tactics and advanced in traditional formations in the battle. But the world had changed, and with British leadership ignoring those changes they marched their troops directly into the … Read More

    For those in leadership in teacher credentialing and in teacher education, as with Memorial Day, perhaps this is a time for some reflection.

    The Battle of Somme in WWI, with its appalling British casualties of 420,000 dead, comes to mind. British troops followed established tactics and advanced in traditional formations in the battle. But the world had changed, and with British leadership ignoring those changes they marched their troops directly into the teeth of the new German machine guns, where the troops were cut down.

    Those of you in teacher credentialing and education leadership are the generals summoning recruits. Over the last five years, you have witnessed the carnage that results when new recruits to the teaching profession march in the utopian formations you establish and encounter the machine gun fire of a California cyclical recession.

    The anxious call is out for a new round of recruits to the teaching profession to relieve a pending shortage. But you owe something to the fallen, including Paul who writes on these pages. You owe something to the memory of those who aspired to teach, who laboriously and at great cost in money and time acquired preliminary teaching credentials only to find no jobs and to have their credentials lapse and be lost in your system. Often lost forever.

    I have a law license. It is not and never has been a “preliminary” law license. I am either licensed or I am not. With my license, I am allowed to defend a $100,000,000 lawsuit, or defend a man charged with capital murder. To maintain my license once I have qualified for it with education and examination, I simply, every so many years, obtain so many hours of readily available and inexpensive or free continuing education available from a wide variety of sources. I do not need to remain employed to readily maintain my license. The same would be true if I held a medical license. As true professionals, we are expected and trusted to obtain and maintain our professional competence appropriately, and we are trusted not to undertake tasks that are not within our capabilities.

    Teachers apparently cannot be so trusted by your system. So after completing undergraduate degrees, teacher education, and student teaching, you only give them fragile preliminary credentials. If they are lucky enough to get and keep a job long enough, if they are not mowed down by the machine gun fire of California recession, they might complete required BTSA and whatever else you add to their plates, perhaps clear their credentials and get real credentials that are not so fragile. This utopian system might work in a perpetually stable economy; casualties such as Paul and his lapsing credentials show that it does not work with California realities.

    You owe something to the memories of 30,000 teachers laid off, and to prospective teachers who took out student loans to pay for credentials they never got to use and did not get to keep. You may not be able to control the machine gun fire of recession. But, you can minimize vulnerability of recruits by establishing the sort of licensing that every other essential profession uses where licensing is not so convoluted and fragile and will not be lost if there are periods of unemployment or underemployment. And you can be truthful with new recruits about what they will and may face as new teachers, in good times and bad. What will you do differently, as a result of what you have seen? Or will you just march the new recruits in the same way through the same pipeline with the same convoluted requirements and hope that the machine gun trigger is not pulled?

  19. Paul 2 years ago2 years ago

    Bravo to these writers for calculating the 75% drop in teacher training enrollment over 10 years! CTC reports give only 5 years' worth of history at a time, so more casual observers miss the severity of the trend. The Internship Credential carries many more requirements than the writers admit. See CTC Leaflet CL-402A, Alert 13-06 and the older "Intern Specific Preconditions, Standards and Laws" document to understand. California's internship pathway, legislated in 1967, offers a rigorous … Read More

    Bravo to these writers for calculating the 75% drop in teacher training enrollment over 10 years! CTC reports give only 5 years’ worth of history at a time, so more casual observers miss the severity of the trend.

    The Internship Credential carries many more requirements than the writers admit. See CTC Leaflet CL-402A, Alert 13-06 and the older “Intern Specific Preconditions, Standards and Laws” document to understand. California’s internship pathway, legislated in 1967, offers a rigorous way to prepare new teachers.

    Someone suggested relaxing the already generous STRS double-dipping restriction. Giving more work to retirees would exacerbate shortages by making the teaching profession even less accessible to newcomers. A teacher with 20 years’ experience earns double what her new colleagues earn, on the typical district salary scale. For every 1 retiree rehired, 2 newcomers would go jobless.

    I’d like to see statistics on California credential-holders no longer teaching, as well as credentials lapsed and not cleared or renewed.

    Andrew, Charlyn, sch and Blanche’s comments reflect my own experiences as a second-career teacher; I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m safely back in my old field, and the 7 credentials and authorizations I earned will lapse soon.

    When a profession is attacked from every quarter, it’s hardly surprising that people stop signing up.

    Replies

    • Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

      The inability of California to retain you in education, Paul, is a huge loss and an indictment of everything that is wrong. Some of the best newer teachers I know have been lost to education during the last five years. They were highly intelligent, motivated and competent, and other non-educational employers were eager to take them up when they were dumped on the job market by the California education system. Unlike … Read More

      The inability of California to retain you in education, Paul, is a huge loss and an indictment of everything that is wrong.

      Some of the best newer teachers I know have been lost to education during the last five years. They were highly intelligent, motivated and competent, and other non-educational employers were eager to take them up when they were dumped on the job market by the California education system. Unlike the educational system, their present employers value them greatly and are not about to let them get away. During their unemployment and alternate employment, thanks to a credentialing system that ignores California’s cyclical economic realities, they were unable to clear their credentials, which are now lapsed or lapsing. So the system is now in search of new prospects to pick up and perhaps spit out, without solving any of the root problems. The system assumes that “training” will make up for a lack of intelligence and critical thinking ability such as yours, qualities which are recognized and highly valued by just about every other employer.

      • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

        how exactly can schools attract critical thinkers?

        • Paul 2 years ago2 years ago

          By giving teachers decision-making authority. Individual teachers are fundamentally accountable (dismissal without cause for the first 2+ years) but have little discretion in the conduct of their work. Let me set the thermostat, determine the bathroom policy, and decide when cell phones should and shouldn't be used in my classroom. From there, it's a small step to giving me a say in interpreting and implementing the mandated curriculum. I remember interviews where ideas I had were shot … Read More

          By giving teachers decision-making authority. Individual teachers are fundamentally accountable (dismissal without cause for the first 2+ years) but have little discretion in the conduct of their work.

          Let me set the thermostat, determine the bathroom policy, and decide when cell phones should and shouldn’t be used in my classroom. From there, it’s a small step to giving me a say in interpreting and implementing the mandated curriculum.

          I remember interviews where ideas I had were shot down — in interviews, already! Why I would want to work in such schools?

          I wrote here about a seasoned principal who ran an unusually successful middle school. He told me, an experienced computer scientist, “We don’t teach programming here.” The computer teacher he was recruiting was going to continue teaching word processing, by golly!

          Fast forward a year and I’m at a workshop by an Ivy League Ph.D. who heads a national project to teach algebraic and geometric concepts to teenagers through video game programming. Fast forward a month and I’m doing just that in a private school summer session, serving boys and girls as young as Grade 5. Fast forward another 2 years, the CTC has admitted that its only computer-related credential is 20 years out of date, and 5 bills about computer science education are before the legislature. Fast forward to yesterday and I hear a girl less than 10 years old, at a liquidating RadioShack in San Francisco, exclaim, “I recognize that fron the Maker Faire!”, as her father agrees to buy the robotics kit that she wants.

          I could tell many other stories, like the abandonment of CPM algebra by an upstart superintendent, top-down, against the will of teachers, in the middle of the school year, just ahead of the implementation of the Common Core. (CPM was the only math textbook series that did not require substantive modification for the Common Core.)

          The only way to get hired, get hired for the next temporary job, and if we’re lucky, be elected to permanent status someday, is to shut up and follow orders. Critical thought is a liability for California public school teachers.

          • navigio 2 years ago2 years ago

            Thanks Paul. With the exception of the interview scenario, those seem more like retention than attraction mechanisms (though the former end up becoming the latter through general word of mouth knowledge about what the profession is like). It's also worth noting the source of these issues.. But I was more interested in how to attract them to the profession in general, ie what makes a student with better critical thinking skills choose education and/or teaching in … Read More

            Thanks Paul. With the exception of the interview scenario, those seem more like retention than attraction mechanisms (though the former end up becoming the latter through general word of mouth knowledge about what the profession is like).
            It’s also worth noting the source of these issues..
            But I was more interested in how to attract them to the profession in general, ie what makes a student with better critical thinking skills choose education and/or teaching in particular as a profession.
            This is a critical question for me as I’ve heard claimed that most of our current teachers lack these skills and thus could never teach them. If this is true, all the fiddling in the world with methods and standards and such are going to be in vain.
            I’ve also brought this up before, but it also raises the question of whether ‘critical thinking’ is a natural trait or a learned skill. In the former case, all the training in the world will be mostly for naught. Of course the whole basis for such a concern might imply learning these skills is possible. That also provides us with more ways of solving that problem, assuming it actually exists, of course. 🙂

            • Paul 2 years ago2 years ago

              To recruit critical thinkers we'd have to give teachers more authority and let them take risks without fear of summarily losing their jobs. We'd then have to communicate these changes. From the popular media, prospective teachers get a window into state and now national standards, multiple-choice tests, scripted curricula, evaluation of teachers based on student test scores, and electoral, political or judicial (depending on the state) efforts to make it easier to fire teachers. Candidates see … Read More

              To recruit critical thinkers we’d have to give teachers more authority and let them take risks without fear of summarily losing their jobs. We’d then have to communicate these changes.

              From the popular media, prospective teachers get a window into state and now national standards, multiple-choice tests, scripted curricula, evaluation of teachers based on student test scores, and electoral, political or judicial (depending on the state) efforts to make it easier to fire teachers. Candidates see that the system limits individual thought and experimentation.

              Before leaving their credential programs, candidates may encounter inflexibility. With the drastic decline in enrollment, the most senior professors have been retained. Traditionalists, farthest removed from the K-12 classroom, some are hung up on their authority. They salivate when Linda Darling-Hammond gives them up to 2 years/62 units to play with, and more than 9 units before they must let their charges practice in real classrooms.

              Formal logic was half my undergraduate major, so I believe that thinking can be taught. Explicitly-taught modes of thought are woven into my beloved CPM curriculum; what works in Grades 6-12 should work for aspiring professionals, too.

              Pessimists counter that school IS about conformance. Farber, if we look past the provocative title of his 1960s essay, argues that students are only as passive as their teachers. Schools (speaking of a school “system” might no longer make sense) would look quite different if personnel were truly encouraged to think critically.

            • Don 2 years ago2 years ago

              How can you make it through 4 years of college and then at least 2 more in a credential program without learning to think critically? I suspect that the large drop-off in credentials is the result of such critical thinking. After some general job market analysis and in-depth analysis of teaching in particular, who would conclude that the best option would be teaching? Not a true critical thinker.

        • Bre 1 year ago1 year ago

          Pay them as a professional. Extremely underpaid profession!

          • Tom H 10 months ago10 months ago

            Thank you for this comment. Exactly right.

      • Gary Ravani 2 years ago2 years ago

        Andrew: You are attempting to compare private sector employers with public sector employers. Private sector obviously has a great deal more flexibility in how it manages budget considerations. The public sector is chained to the whims of state officials, politicians, and the voters (I'm a taxpayer!!!!) That being said the layoff picture in the private sector has not been so rosy either. The recession, not a "cyclical" one but one created by misfeasance and malfeasance in the … Read More

        Andrew:

        You are attempting to compare private sector employers with public sector employers. Private sector obviously has a great deal more flexibility in how it manages budget considerations. The public sector is chained to the whims of state officials, politicians, and the voters (I’m a taxpayer!!!!)

        That being said the layoff picture in the private sector has not been so rosy either. The recession, not a “cyclical” one but one created by misfeasance and malfeasance in the financial sector, created tremendous unemployment and the companies that revere their employees so much have been laying off thousands to chase cheap labor for a decade or more.

        Bottom line, like in many other areas, the education “system” is being held accountable for effects over which it had little to no control.

        BTW, as to another reference re teachers’ professional development, the state of CA some years ago paid districts for 8 full release days for professional development. This was eliminated because of a lack of appreciation for professional development (by the legislature) and the usual budget issues related to CA’s abysmal funding levels. That being said, recall that the uniform salary schedule (that you often criticize) provides two ways for teacher to advance in compensation: 1) gain seniority (that you often criticize); and 2) earn more college credits. This is the equivalent of professional development, though an expensive one that all teachers face. Most districts also have a relatively small “bump” for the acquisition of an MA or PhD. Professional development can also be attained via conferences and courses provided by vendors that may or may not allow movement on the salary schedule. It often takes 7 to 10 years to move to the last column (highest paid) on the salary schedule.

  20. Andrew 2 years ago2 years ago

    Immigration to North Korea remains at an all time low! Could it be that the problem of such low numbers of aspiring immigrants to North Korea and low numbers of aspiring teachers in California credential programs share a common and simple cause? Could it be simply that history, including recent history, suggests that new arrivals in both are treated very badly at their destinations? A sordid and notorious history of bad treatment discouraging … Read More

    Immigration to North Korea remains at an all time low!

    Could it be that the problem of such low numbers of aspiring immigrants to North Korea and low numbers of aspiring teachers in California credential programs share a common and simple cause? Could it be simply that history, including recent history, suggests that new arrivals in both are treated very badly at their destinations?

    A sordid and notorious history of bad treatment discouraging new arrivals can be approached two different ways. One approach would be treating people consistently better at the respective destinations and establishing a history of such real and lasting change. The other approach is to ramp up the propaganda.

    The problem with the latter approach with regard to teaching, at least if you are a California student or parent, is that it is the most cognitively challenged and gullible prospects who are most susceptible to propaganda heavy recruitment. Adopting the propaganda approach leaves California with the challenge of finding prospects smart enough to become teachers who are dumb enough to become teachers, weighted heavily toward the last part.

    For-profit “universities” and quasi-for-profit “non-profit” private institutions will do what they can to assist with the propaganda aspect in order to rake in student loan supported tuition dollars for their credential programs. Real world teachers driving the freeways will have to suppress nausea as they pass diploma mill recruitment billboards advertising for profitable teacher prospects by depicting smiling young teachers surrounded by joyous and scrubbed but suitably diverse adoring students. A day in the life of an imaginary California teacher. Just sign this handy student loan application and don’t think too hard.

  21. Charlyn Parker 2 years ago2 years ago

    You want good teachers then pay them for the amount of training required and preparation needed just to show preparation. That will get them into the classroom. Discipline, social, and parent issues,✨ budget releases, lack of materials to develop creativity, etc will force them out. If they survive the first five years they may go on to learn the skills that are really needed to teach. Just because everyone went to school it doesn't mean … Read More

    You want good teachers then pay them for the amount of training required and preparation needed just to show preparation. That will get them into the classroom. Discipline, social, and parent issues,✨ budget releases, lack of materials to develop creativity, etc will force them out. If they survive the first five years they may go on to learn the skills that are really needed to teach. Just because everyone went to school it doesn’t mean it’s the same experience for all.

  22. sch 2 years ago2 years ago

    Must be a tough row to hoe, running or working in the education dept at Stanford, training teachers for $40-60K jobs when most of your grads are looking at grad school of some kind with $100k to start. To say nothing of the student loans, even with loan forgiveness for working in substandard schools. And then there are the mind boggling documentation requirements of teachers these days with education plans for every student, updated at … Read More

    Must be a tough row to hoe, running or working in the education dept at Stanford, training teachers for $40-60K
    jobs when most of your grads are looking at grad school of some kind with $100k to start. To say nothing of
    the student loans, even with loan forgiveness for working in substandard schools. And then there are the
    mind boggling documentation requirements of teachers these days with education plans for every student,
    updated at 6 week intervals and year end close outs on same in addition to the testing that has to be done,
    homework graded and social evaluations, etc ad nauseum. Lawyers and bureaucrats get paid to do that
    stuff, teachers not so much. There is a reason why education majors are mostly from the bottom 50 percentiles.

  23. Blanche 2 years ago2 years ago

    Why are so few entering the profession? In no particular order and not comprehensive: -it's an extremely high stress job -teachers are under constant criticism -continually changing expectations and standards -huge student loans that you can't get out from under -high cost of units for salary advancement -lack of security- Can you get a job? If so, can you keep it? Large number of non-reelects at year 2. -temporary contracts, who wants to invest that kind of energy and money to … Read More

    Why are so few entering the profession? In no particular order and not comprehensive:

    -it’s an extremely high stress job
    -teachers are under constant criticism
    -continually changing expectations and standards
    -huge student loans that you can’t get out from under
    -high cost of units for salary advancement
    -lack of security- Can you get a job? If so, can you keep it? Large number of non-reelects at year 2.
    -temporary contracts, who wants to invest that kind of energy and money to be a
    temporary, then back to the job search?

    For special education teachers:
    -huge caseloads & class sizes
    -California does not have class size limits for special day classes or ratios for number of students to teachers/Instructional Assistants.
    -emotionally draining work
    -no release or prep time to write IEP documents.

    Maybe more aspiring teachers would enter the field if they felt cherished rather than under-the-gun daily.

  24. Don 2 years ago2 years ago

    “Things are improving,” she (Darling-Hammond) said. How so? And not according to the latest figure in the title of this article. She speculates that more funding will result in lower class sizes and higher salaries. Class sizes have been large and teachers have had modest salaries long before the current shortage. And decreases in class size and salaries come at the expense of one another. What is her thinking? In any case, Incremental changes of these kinds … Read More

    “Things are improving,” she (Darling-Hammond) said.

    How so? And not according to the latest figure in the title of this article. She speculates that more funding will result in lower class sizes and higher salaries. Class sizes have been large and teachers have had modest salaries long before the current shortage. And decreases in class size and salaries come at the expense of one another. What is her thinking?

    In any case, Incremental changes of these kinds will not fundamentally change the decisions of potential credential candidates. The steady stream of bad news will. And with fallout from Common Core and testing that stream is about to get a lot wider.

  25. Jack 2 years ago2 years ago

    This shortage of qualified teachers in the areas of special ed and math is hardly a new situation. What the Commission has failed to do is successfully advocate for legislation which might alleviate this deficiency. For instance, there are many qualified special education and math teachers among CALSTRS retirees who would consider providing post retirement service. However, the post retirement earnings limitations (a little over $40.000) do not make returning to work after retirement appealing … Read More

    This shortage of qualified teachers in the areas of special ed and math is hardly a new situation. What the Commission has failed to do is successfully advocate for legislation which might alleviate this deficiency. For instance, there are many qualified special education and math teachers among CALSTRS retirees who would consider providing post retirement service. However, the post retirement earnings limitations (a little over $40.000) do not make returning to work after retirement appealing to these retirees. Increased limits in post retirement earnings for those providing service in high need arears might very well entice very talented teachers to return to service. This would require legislative action, clearly, but worth exploration it seems. The Commission could be very helpful in advocating for such a change to assure that schools are staffed with highly qualified staff.

  26. Paul Muench 2 years ago2 years ago

    Would student directed learning even be an option in public schools? Do any California districts have experience with student directed learning on a large scale?