The California State University Institute for Education Reform is a
university-based policy center focusing on elementary and secondary school
issues. Located on the California State University, Sacramento campus, the
Institute is supported by the California State University Chancellor's Office.
Its goals is to link the university and state policy makers with important
developments and concerns within the K-12 education community.
Much of the research and writing for this report is the work of Cary
Berkeley who served as a research associate at the CSU Institute for Education
Reform. Ms. Berkeley holds a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and
currently works as a research associate at the Center for Research on the
Education of Students Placed At Risk (CRESPAR) at Johns Hopkins University.
Printed copies of this report (including complete tables) may be
obtained by contacting:
CSU Institute for
6000 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95819-6018
278-4600 FAX: (916) 278-5014
Hardly a day goes by without demands by some educational or political leader
for reform of our public school system. Public alarm over education has evoked
many calls for higher standards for students over the past two decades, but over
the same period, the employment of under-qualified, inexperienced teachers to
fill classrooms has continued and even increased.
While these individuals come to the classroom from a variety of experiences
and with differing degrees of knowledge, they uniformly represent a lowering of
standards to accommodate their incomplete qualifications. This erosion of
teacher standards, particularly in California's urban areas and in challenging
subject areas such as special education and math, must be stemmed if we hope to
improve pupil achievement, particularly among our disadvantaged student
This problem will be further exacerbated as the State of California embarks
upon an ambitious class size reduction program in the early elementary grades.
As many as twenty thousand new teachers will need to be hired. Where will these
teacher come from, and will they meet minimum state certification
The theme of this report is unequivocal: quality schools begin with quality
teachers. As long as emergency teachers occupy California classrooms, the
rhetoric of strengthening academic standards will remain hollow and
hypocritical. In issuing this report, our goal is not to criticize any state
agency or school district, but rather to stimulate a long overdue debate and
action on a pressing problem facing California's public education system.
Gary K. Hart
A Profile of California's Emergency Teachers
From their inception, emergency teaching permits were intended to respond to
precisely what the name implies: emergencies in our public schools, specifically
situations in which a shortage of available, fully-qualified teachers requires
hiring of less-qualified individuals to meet immediate teaching needs. However,
over the years, these "emergencies" have become routine, and their numbers are
In 1994-95, over 15,000 people with inadequate teaching credentials
were teaching in classrooms up and down the state, on emergency permits or
waivers of credential requirements. Most were hired in Southern California, 60%
in Los Angeles County alone. The statewide total has increased by more than 50%
in recent years, despite the introduction of internship alternatives for new
teachers (chart 1). However, a significant portion -- but not all -- of this
growth can be traced to a recent upsurge in emergency-credentialed special
education teachers, discussed in detail later in this report. Nevertheless, the
percentage increase in emergency teachers has outpaced the growth of the entire
teaching pool; the percentage of teachers who are on emergency permits or
waivers has increased by 50% just since 1989, and now stands at 6.7% of the
total teaching work force. Proportionately and absolutely, the ranks of
emergency teachers are growing.
If a district has been unable to attract fully-credentialed
teachers to meet teaching needs, it can under California statute declare an
emergency and hire under-qualified people: under-qualified either in pedagogy or
in the subject they are hired to teach. Some of those hired on an emergency
basis are, in fact, fully-credentialed teachers, but with no demonstrated
experience in the subject they are hired to teach. While hindered by their lack
of specific expertise in their subject area, these emergency permit holders at
least have a teaching background to draw on in managing their classrooms.
Many other emergency permit holders have bachelor's degrees in relevant
subjects, but have no credential or experience in teaching or working with
children. In many cases, these people are seeking to earn a teaching credential,
but have not yet done so due to either the need to work or the unavailability of
classes needed to earn their credential. The latter problem reflects both
capacity and scheduling issues within the college system's credentialing
programs -- too many are already full and/or tend to offer classes at times or
places that make them effectively unavailable to graduate students who need to
work while in school.
For still other emergency teachers, the state may elect to waive even the
basic emergency credential conditions, compromising already-compromised
standards yet again. In these cases, even the bare requirements for an emergency
teaching permit -- possession of a bachelor's degree and a passing score on the
CBEST, a basic skills test -- are circumvented in order to fill a slot in a
classroom. School districts employ emergency teachers disproportionately for
a few particular places and subjects. They are hired predominantly to teach
bilingual and special education students, and, among academic subjects, for math
and science instruction. In recent years, special education has seen the most
rapid growth in emergency teachers.
In terms of location and demographics, the majority of emergency teachers
work in urban districts, frequently in schools with high enrollments of at-risk
youth. Los Angeles Unified School District alone employed more than 40% of all
California's emergency teachers in 1994-95. A small percentage teach in
remote rural districts.
California's Emergency Teachers: A Profile
WHO are California's emergency teachers?
- credentialed teachers teaching out of their subject area
- uncredentialed individuals who meet the minimum emergency permit
requirements of a bachelor's degree and passage of CBEST
- uncredentialed individuals who have had some or all emergency
WHAT do they teach most frequently?
- bilingual education- special education- math and science
WHERE do they teach?
- disproportionately at urban schools with high at-risk student populations
- 60% of the statewide total are employed in Los Angeles County
WHY are they needed?
- burgeoning student enrollment / increased teacher demand
- inadequate teacher salaries
- difficult working conditions, including concern for personal safety
- unavailability and/or inconvenient scheduling of classes needed to finish
- shortages of teachers in key academic disciplines
Policy makers will have to consider key factors such as enrollment
growth, inadequate salaries, difficult working conditions, unavailability of
classes needed to earn teaching credentials, and shortages of teachers trained
in key academic disciplines as they work to reduce the frequency with which
California hires emergency teachers. And reduce it they must, because today, in
many schools with the highest concentrations of at-risk students, and in some of
the fields with the greatest bearing on California's economic future, we are too
frequently hiring under-prepared, under-qualified people to teach our children.
Emergency Permit Standards: How Low Can They Go?
A substantial number of California's new emergency permits in 1994-95
were granted to individuals who did in fact have teaching credentials, but in
subjects other than the ones they were asked to teach. While these people are
qualified to teach in a classroom, and demonstrate an admirable willingness to
try to adapt to fill immediate needs, they do not have the subject-specific
background the state rightfully requires of teachers. Though state law bans
misassigning of teachers per se, and requires regular checks to make sure, for
instance, that English teachers are not assigned to teach math, emergency
permits allow exactly this situation to occur. Once a district declares the
need, teachers can work in the subject matter of need, regardless of their
Another group of emergency permits -- approximately a third of the first-time
permits issued in 1994-95 -- were granted to individuals with basic
educational qualifications but without the required training and credential to
teach or work with children. Not only are standard state requirements waived for
them, but some emergency teachers are also hired only a few days before they
begin teaching, allowing little opportunity for them to become familiar with the
school and neighborhood environment. A recent state law did require that those
in their first year receive training, as well as be given ongoing assistance and
guidance by a veteran teacher. Meanwhile, their need for "assistance and
guidance" must compete with the veteran teachers' many duties in their own
More troubling is the fact that even the basic emergency permit requirements
can be and are waived, moving the lowest standard for classroom teachers lower
still. The Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) has determined that each or
all of the key emergency credential requirements -- a bachelor's degree, passage
of CBEST, and evidence of experience in teaching or in the subject taught -- can
be waived "to give individuals additional time to complete credential
requirements." These waivers are particularly common in special education.
Permit Duration: The Never-ending "Emergency"
In 1994-95, according to the best available data, around sixty percent of
California's emergency teachers were teaching not on new permits, but on
renewals of old permits. Emergency teaching permits are valid for no more than
one year each, but no limit exists on the number of times they can be renewed.
Too often, what was intended to be a temporary circumstance has developed into a
permanent state of emergency.
In theory, statutory and regulatory guidelines on renewal are designed to
promote emergency teachers' progress toward a standard credential in the subject
or area in which they teach. Usually this means that an emergency teacher must
have taken six units of course work toward a credential to renew his or her
permit, although other activities such as taking required tests or participating
in a district's "Plan to Develop Fully Qualified Educators" program may be
counted as well.
These renewal rules appear structured to keep emergency teachers moving
through the system toward full credentialing within a few years. Despite the
apparent logic of this process, however, district personnel suggest that some
people continue on emergency permits for extended periods. Data on the average
number of years of renewal of emergency permits is not currently available, but
should be developed and studied to determine whether the six-unit renewal
requirement is strong enough to keep emergency teachers on track toward full
Double Negative: Handing Challenging Subjects to
Defying the logic of reserving the most seasoned teachers for the most
challenging teaching assignments, California's school districts resort to
emergency teaching permits more often for special education, bilingual
education, and math and science instruction than any other situations or subject
areas. Recent increases in the total figures for emergency teachers reflect both
an ongoing problem attracting teachers for certain kinds of students and subject
matters, and new efforts to report the extent of the problem accurately.
The Special Case of Special Education
Two factors have exacerbated the emergency teacher situation with regard to
special education. One is that, until very recently, those people seeking a
special education credential were uniformly required first to earn a regular
teaching credential (multiple or single subject), and then to complete
additional coursework and clinical experiences before being granted a specialist
credential for special education. This double credential requirement probably
contributed significantly to the shortage of special education teachers. In an
effort to address this issue, the CTC recently eliminated the regular credential
as a prerequisite to the special education credential for several categories of
special education teaching credentials.
A larger issue over the past two years has been the implementation of a 1993
law (AB 2355) addressing credentialing standards. This statute reaffirmed
legislative intent that private school teachers hold full teaching credentials,
and added an enforcement mechanism to ensure credentials were checked. Many
private institutions handle special education students on behalf of the public
school system. Such institutions were required by AB 2355 to demonstrate that
their special education teachers had been trained according to state standards,
and at that time, many had not been. As a result, the number of emergency
permits requested for special education teachers exploded almost overnight.
Reflecting both the effects of AB 2355 and teacher demand conditions, in 1994
the statistics showed California hiring some 4700 more emergency teachers than
it had the year before. In similar fashion, during 1994 the Los Angeles Unified
School District alone added 3,800 emergency teachers just in special education,
which accounted for 62% of its emergency positions (chart 2).
From 1993 to 1994, the statewide number of emergency teachers in special
education more than doubled to over 6,700, and in 1994, special education
teachers held 44% of all California's emergency teaching permits and waivers.
Rather than signaling a wholly new emergency, this staggering jump reflected the
new prominence of an old, still unresolved, and steadily growing emergency
involving special education students in both public and private school systems.
Other Problem Areas
In other emergency permit categories, conditions in California's schools have
been fully documented for years (chart 3). Since 1987, 18% to 33% of all
emergency teaching permits granted have been for bilingual education positions.
The proportion of emergency teachers engaged in bilingual education has fallen
somewhat in the last three years, as the special education numbers jumped;
however, in absolute terms, the number of bilingual teachers on emergency
permits and waivers is still above its 1987-1994 mean (chart 4).
Among individual academic subjects, emergency permits are turning up the most
in mathematics and the sciences -- math and science teachers together made up
10% to 16% of all emergency teachers from 1987 to 1994. More strikingly, they
have been granted nearly half of all emergency permits and waivers given in
secondary subjects from 1990 to 1994.
The trend here is clear and disturbing. Bilingual and special education
teachers and math and science instructors account for the vast majority of
California's emergency permits and waivers in any given year. Of the over 15,000
under-prepared, inexperienced emergency teachers occupying California
classrooms, most are being assigned to the most challenging educational
situations the state faces.
Geography as Destiny: The Urban Predicament
California's ongoing "emergency" has cheated students, particularly those who
are most at risk of failure -- those in large urban school districts. Many of
these students are forced to function in chaotic environments both in and out of
school, and come from families without strong educational backgrounds. They are
challenging to teach, and are therefore exactly the students who need the
best-trained and most thoroughly prepared teachers. Yet they are often the ones
for whom only under-qualified, inexperienced teachers are found.
The reality is that emergency permits are concentrated primarily in urban
districts, particularly several districts in heavily urban areas of Southern
California. Los Angeles County, taken as a whole, uses the bulk of the state's
emergency teachers; in 1994-95 LA County accounted for 60% of the statewide
total of emergency teachers. The Los Angeles Unified School District alone
employed 41% of all California's emergency teachers in 1994-95. In 1991 the
worst emergency was in bilingual education, which then accounted for 72% of
LAUSD's emergency teachers; more recently, the larger problem has been the
district's special education emergency.
Although the LAUSD is the heavyweight, other districts in Los Angeles County
also contributed to this dubious distinction; the unified districts of Long
Beach, Pomona, Montebello, and Compton, along with Hawthorne Elementary, were
among the top ten employers of emergency teaching positions in 1994. Chart 5
illustrates the ballooning use of emergency teachers in the LA County
Urban school systems in other counties also share in this unfortunate trend.
Of the ten largest school districts in California by 1993-94 enrollment, half
were among the top eleven users of emergency permits and waivers in 1994,
including LAUSD, Long Beach Unified, San Bernardino City Unified, Oakland
Unified and Fresno Unified. Moreover, although the number of emergency teachers
in LAUSD is staggering, the percentage of the district's teaching force
operating on emergency permits is similar or higher in other districts. In 1994,
24% of LAUSD's teachers were on emergency permits, while Alvord Unified, in
Riverside County, had 26%, and Hawthorne Elementary of Los Angeles County
reported 49% of its teachers on emergency permits or waivers. Among the top ten
emergency employers by total number of teachers, only Oakland Unified in Alameda
County had less than 13% on emergency permits.
In a few cases, rural school districts have also had trouble filling their
classrooms. These districts employ high percentages of teachers on emergency
credentials, although their small overall size keeps them off the list of those
employing the most emergency teachers by pure volume. The overwhelming majority
of emergency teachers, however, have been working in urban school districts,
especially in Southern California.
Education's "Dirty Little Secret"
Concern about emergency teachers has been minimized, in part, because of a
lack of public knowledge of the problem. One commentator called emergency
permits education's "dirty little secret." However, policy-makers have taken a
few initial steps to respond to the problem, chiefly in terms of increasing
requirements and providing support and training for emergency teachers.
Progress began in 1987, when California finally required all emergency
teachers to hold a bachelor's degree (previously, only 90 college units
qualified individuals for emergency teaching credentials). In 1988, a law was
enacted limiting permit renewal to those who were working toward their regular
credential. New internship programs to attract, train, and retain talented
teachers were developed, some aimed specifically at people currently teaching on
emergency permits. Finally, a recent state-funded effort -- the Beginning
Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) program -- has been successful in
dramatically reducing the attrition rate for new credentialed teachers, thereby
helping to retain fully qualified individuals in the teaching profession.
These and other such responses to the problem of emergency teachers have been
important, but progress has been slow and much remains to be done to strengthen
standards. Often in the effort to limit emergency permits, a step forward has
been followed by a tap dance back. Limitations on emergency permits may be
rendered meaningless by exceptions, just as requirements for emergency permits
may be rendered moot by being waived.
By way of example, a 1979 law limits schools in the Los Angeles Unified
School District to hiring a maximum of 5% of their teachers on emergency
permits. Although such a limitation -- if enforced so as to make it meaningful
-- could be an important change agent for other districts that are high users of
emergency permits, the 1979 law then proceeds to exempt emergency permits for
bilingual and special education, destroying the value of the entire exercise and
effectively sanctioning Los Angeles' current 24% emergency teacher rate.
Limiting emergency permits, except in the cases of bilingual and special
education, is like requiring a student to do all her homework, except for her
two hardest subjects.
State of Emergency: Where Do We Go From Here?
Californians must recognize that without capable, well-trained teachers,
efforts at school reform are predestined to fail. The available data indicate
the emergency teacher situation seems to be getting worse, perhaps in part
because so few observers are even aware it exists. How many California parents
know that their children's teachers may not meet minimum professional standards?
And what should policy makers do to reduce the necessity for granting emergency
California's goal should be to reduce and ultimately eliminate emergency
teachers. In the meantime, better training and support for all new teachers --
including emergency permit holders -- is essential. The steps outlined below for
state and local district action can increase public awareness of the presence of
emergency teachers, while improving support and training for new teachers and
raising standards for all.
The Governor, the Legislature and the CTC all have important roles to play if
the emergency teacher problem is to be sufficiently addressed. We recommend the
Public Awareness: State of the State of Emergency Credentials
Californians need accurate information about the presence of emergency
teachers in their schools if they are to comprehend and respond to the problem.
Public awareness of the seriousness of the qualified teacher shortage in
California can go a long way in putting pressure on local districts, state
agencies and the Legislature to take corrective action. An annual "State of the
State on Emergency Credentials" report should be issued by the Commission on
Teacher Credentialing (CTC), the gatekeeper agency for teachers in California.
The report should include the approved number of emergency permits granted by
district and subject matter fields and five-year comparison trends. It should
also identify successful strategies employed by the CTC and individual districts
to reduce the number of emergency permits.
More Rigorous Training Requirements for Emergency Teachers
The state should require that emergency teachers be enrolled in a credential
training program immediately upon accepting employment, and be required to
complete the program by a certain time. To ensure that appropriate training
programs are available, the state should substantially expand funding for
successful internship programs that provide emergency permit holders access to
intensive training programs coupling on-the-job experiences with academic course
Enhance Credential Candidates' Ability to Finish Programs
Credential program administrators should be more flexible and
customer-oriented, by working to match credentialing program schedules to the
likely schedules of credential candidates already working in classrooms or
elsewhere. This means scheduling more classes in the late afternoon, evening, on
weekends and holding more classes at school sites.
Waivers of emergency permit requirements should be eliminated, to ensure that
individuals who teach on emergency permits possess, at a minimum, a
baccalaureate degree and a passing score on CBEST.
Time Limit on Emergency Permits
Teachers should be limited to five years' eligibility for employment on any
type of emergency permit. Assuming reasonable efforts to make the necessary
classes more available to credential candidates, five years should be sufficient
time for any motivated person to complete an approved credential training
The state should substantially expand the Beginning Teacher Support and
Assessment program and other successful internships, to improve retention of new
teachers. As long as 50% of new teachers leave the teaching profession within
their first five years on the job, the need for emergency teachers will
continue. Since its inception in 1988, BTSA has had remarkable success in
reducing the attrition rate among beginning teachers by more than
Study Beginning Teacher Salaries
The Legislature and Governor ought to re-enact the beginning teacher
incentive salary program. In 1983 (SB 813) the state provided funds to local
school districts to increase beginning teacher salaries. The program was
successful, substantially increasing beginning teacher salaries (approximately
20%) and attracting stronger candidates to the teaching profession. However, the
program was discontinued in 1986-87.
The state should statutorily require a change in the Proposition 98 school
"report cards" to mandate that every school report on the number of emergency
credentialed teachers employed at each school site by subject and grade level.
Parents are entitled to know if emergency permit teachers are employed at their
school and such knowledge can pressure school districts to take appropriate
School District Action
School districts can take a number of independent actions to reduce the need
for emergency teachers.
Districts should direct attention to the possibility of paying teachers with
certain special skills in areas of persistent shortages (e.g. special education,
bilingual education and math and science) according to their market value,
instead of lowering standards. In addition, to the extent funds are available,
district should explore changing salary schedules to provide augmentation for
beginning teachers and thereby lessen the need to hire emergency teachers. This
is a subject for collective bargaining; there is no prohibition in state law
against such salary differentials.
Examine Lessons From Successful Districts
Districts that hire a large number of emergency teachers should study similar
districts that hire very few. Not all districts of comparable size and situation
are equally afflicted by the epidemic of emergency hiring, and those that suffer
more can and should learn from their healthier peers.
The County Superintendent of Education in Los Angeles County should convene a
summit to focus on the causes of and possible solutions for the major problem of
emergency hiring in Los Angeles County. Participants at the summit should
include deans of the Schools of Education for all higher educational
institutions in the Los Angeles Basin, school district personnel directors,
teacher union representatives, parents, school board members, and civic
Notes on the Data
Numerical data not otherwise cited came from the Educational Demographics
Unit of the California State Department of Education and from the California
Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Tables of this data are included with their
sources identified. All figures cited in the text are included in the charts or
in tables of raw data.
The California Department of Education (CDE) keeps figures on the number of
emergency teachers working in schools. CDE statistics are collected each year on
a representative day in October, designated as "Information Day." County and
district offices are asked to submit totals of teachers on emergency permits or
waivers in several subject areas. The state does not audit the data received.
When a figure is assigned to a particular calendar year, it was collected on
Information Day in October of that year. If for purposes of consistency it is
assigned to a given school year, it was collected on Information Day in October
of the first year listed (i.e., data identified as 1993-4 was collected in
October 1993). In the charts provided, it is always assigned to the calendar
year in which it was collected. Whether a date in October is truly
representative of the number of emergency teachers in a school throughout the
year is unclear; more emergency teachers might well be hired when teachers quit
as the school year progresses. Information Day varies in some year-round
districts; contact the state for information about these exceptions.
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing keeps figures on the
numbers of emergency permits and waivers that are granted. The Commission
recently discovered significant flaws in its data. A limited amount of corrected
information is available, and is included in this report in the appendix. This
data includes permits issued under two categories, "long term" and "bilingual,"
but does not include "limited assignment" permits that had been included in
earlier flawed data. Accordingly, the CTC figures are lower than CDE figures.
This report uses minimal data based on percentages of earlier CTC figures,
particularly the rough percentages of new emergency teachers in 1994-95 who
were inexperienced in their subject or in teaching. CTC's revised data is not
yet available in these categories. CTC is working to provide further corrected
PERCENT OF ALL TEACHERS ON EMERGENCY PERMITS,
Educational Demographics Unit, CA Dept. of Education
Acosta, Michael. Telephone conversation with
author, September 6, 1995.
American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, Task Force on Teacher
Certification. "Emergency Teacher Certification: Summary and Recommendations."
Journal of Teacher Education 35 (March-April 1984): 21-25.
Bond, Linda, et al. Emergency Permits and Credential Waivers: A Program
Advisory with Title 5 Requirements, Guidelines, Instructions, and Forms.
Sacramento, CA: Commission on Teacher Credentialing, 1994.
California. Education Code (1995).
California Department of Education. Administrative Manual for CBEDS
Coordinators and School Principals. Sacramento, CA: California Basic
Educational Data System, 1994. 12-13.
. LEP Program Manual: Organizing a Compliant Program for Students of
Limited-English Proficiency. Sacramento, CA: California Department of
Education, 1995 [cited September 1995].
Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Credential Handbook. Sacramento,
CA: Commission on . Local Assistance Funds for Alternative Preparation and
Certification Programs: Target Populations and Number Prepared, Summary
1994-5. Sacramento, CA: Commission on Teacher Credentialing, 1995.
Dorlag, Donald. "Summary of the Data on Special Education Teacher Shortage in
California 1984-85 to 1991-92." San Diego: Department of Special Education, San
Diego State University, 1993 [cited February 1993].
Gold, Norman. Solving the Shortage of Bilingual Teachers: Policy
Implications of California's Staffing Initiative for LEP Students. Paper
presented at the third research symposium on limited English proficient
students' issues, OBEMLA, Washington, DC, August 12, 1992.
Gunderson, Katherine, and Belinda Dunnick Karge. "Easing the Special
Education Shortage: Are Emergency Permits the Answer?" Teacher Education
Quarterly 19 (summer 1992): 79-90.
Jensen, Mary Cihak, Susan Mortorff, and Susan Pellegrini Meyers. "On-the-Job
Training: Is it the Answer to a Special Education Personnel Shortage?"
Teacher Education Quarterly 19 (summer 1992): 91-101.
Michael McKibbin. A Longitudinal Study of the Effectiveness of District
Intern Alternative Certification Programs in California: Report to the
Legislature. Sacramento, CA: Commission on Teacher Credentialing, 1995.
Roth, Robert. "Emergency Certificates, Misassignment of Teachers, and Other
'Dirty Little Secrets.'" Phi Delta Kappan (June 1986): 725-7.
"Shift Noted in L.A.'s Teacher Hirings." Sacramento Bee, 6 September
Other Publications Available from the
CSU Institute for Education
Building a Powerful Reading Program: From Research to
The Teachers Who Teach Our Teachers
School Choice: Lessons Learned A Retrospective on Assembly Bills 1114 and
Education Reform: Implications and Responsibilities for K-12 and Higher
State Policies and School Restructuring: Experiences With the Senate Bill
1274 Demonstration Program
Professional Development Schools: An Annotated Bibliographic
Teachers and Teaching: Recommendations for Policy Makers
ERRATA -- DATA CORRECTION -- ERRATA
FOR THE REPORT, "A STATE OF EMERGENCY IN A STATE OF EMERGENCY
The Institute for Education Reform was notified after publication of this
document that the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) had erroneously
reported their special education emergency permits to the California Department
of Education (CDE) in 1994. The district didn't discover the error until Fall,
1995, after the California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS) data report had
been certified for six months.
Because we used the certified data in the preparation of this report, we
incorporated the district's initial reporting error in our tables. In the table
on page 16, "Emergency Permits in Los Angeles Unified, By Selected Subjects"
special education permits should be 383 not 3,883. This error has a ripple
effect throughout the document and all totals cited in the text of the report,
as well as tables in the Appendices, are overstated by 3,500. Specifically, the
error affects Chart 1 (page 1), Charts 2 and 3 (page 6) and Chart 5 (page 8), as
well as the tables on pages 15-17.
We regret this error, but don't think it detracts from the substance of the
document; namely, that emergency permit teachers exist in large numbers in many
school districts and they significantly diminish the quality of the teaching
force. Moreover, with the advent of the 1996 Class Size Reduction Initiative, it
is likely that the number of emergency permits will again substantially
The error also serves to emphasize the point made in the "Notes on the Data"
on page 14 that state data reporting on emergency permits is quite weak and
inconsistent between the California Department of Education and the Commission
on Teacher Credentialing.
Included with reports distributed after 10/31/96