Pipeline to the Future: Developing A Statewide
Teacher Recruitment Plan for California

A Discussion Sponsored by the California Education Policy Seminar
and
The California State University Institute for Education Reform
April 1997

The California Education Policy Seminar

provides a neutral forum for state-level education policy makers and educators to gain in-depth knowledge about emerging policy issues. The seminars contribute to the development, modification and enhancement of education reform initiatives in California.

The California Education Policy Seminar is funded by ARCO, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, the Weingart Foundation, Pacific Telesis and the Stuart Foundations.

 

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.

 

Additional printedcopies of this report including charts and illustrations

may be obtained by contacting:

 

The CSU Institute for Education Reform

CSU, Sacramento

6000 J Street

Sacramento, CA 95819-6018

Telephone: (916) 278-4600

FAX: (916) 278-5014

 

Introduction: California's Worsening Teacher Shortage

The New Realities of Teacher Demand

Issues related to teacher quality and supply have been a part of the policy dialogue surrounding California's education system virtually since its inception. The demand for more and better teachers has been a constant companion to California's growth and emergence as an engine of both technological and sociological innovation. Yet the current state of alarm over the inadequate supply of fully-trained and qualified teachers in California is different from past such episodes in some very significant ways:

 

The Effects of Class Size Reduction

The recent implementation of class size reduction in the early elementary grades (now being supplemented by calls for expansion of this initiative to additional grade levels) has heightened the strain on California's pool of teachers and teacher candidates, and thereby focused policy-makers' attention on this key issue. The implementation of class size reduction in a state where enrollment is already expected to grow by a million students in the next eight years is creating unprecedented demands on California's ability to keep pace with its need for new teachers.

 

The Potential Benefits of Recent Recruitment and Retention Efforts

A number of local, regional and statewide efforts have begun in recent years with the common goal of recruiting, training and bringing into the workforce more and better-trained new teachers than in the past-efforts which are not widely known and which could have increased benefits for all involved if coordination amongst them was made a priority.

 

The Improved Fiscal Outlook For Education

The fiscal environment for education in California has improved dramatically due to the growing economy, the funding guarantees put in place by Proposition 98 and the President's decision to focus national attention on education and education reform in his FY 1997-98 budget proposal. The timing is right for a thorough reconsideration and strengthening of California's efforts to recruit and retain the best teachers possible in our education system.

 

The California Statewide Task Force on Teacher Recruitment

The combination of circumstances described above points to the very significant challenges and opportunities for the state's education leaders as class size reduction efforts continue. In January of 1996, recognizing these challenges, the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), in collaboration with the state Department of Education and the California State University Institute for Education Reform, and with support from the Stuart Foundations, awarded a competitively-bid contract to Recruiting New Teachers, Inc. (RNT) to assist the Commission in developing a coherent, comprehensive action plan for increasing and improving teacher recruitment, induction and retention. The sponsors and RNT proceeded to convene a task force made up of 23 representatives of various elements of the California education and teaching establishments, to explore key issues through interviews with education stakeholders and research on major policy issues, and to examine teacher recruitment efforts occurring nationwide. The result of this work is the Statewide Teacher Recruitment Action Plan.

 

February 11, 1997 Seminar

On February 11, 1997, a group of 50 state officials, local education leaders and academics gathered in Sacramento to discuss teacher recruitment and class size reduction issues in general, and the Task Force's draft report in particular, in an effort to synthesize and identify key points for policy-makers' consideration.

The major presenter at the seminar was David Haselkorn, President for the past eight years of the Boston-based non-profit company Recruiting New Teachers, Inc. and Senior Policy Advisor to the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future. Mr. Haselkorn serves as consultant to the Statewide Task Force on Teacher Recruitment. Following his presentation, an active discussion occurred of teacher recruitment issues and potential means of addressing them. Mr. Haselkorn's presentation and the subsequent discussion are detailed in later sections of this report.

Early in the seminar, Sam Swofford, Executive Director of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, suggested two elements as priority issues requiring policy-makers' prompt attention and concern:

 

The Need For Attention to Competency Standards

There are currently over 5,000 elementary school teachers in California working in classrooms under temporary emergency permits, and the CTC believes this number will increase to at least 8,000 as a result of the new demand generated by class size reduction. Meanwhile, more and more emergency permits are being processed without the expectation that the permitees will stay in the system and complete requirements for their teaching credentials. The need to recruit new teacher candidates into the career pipeline-and then retain them through effective training, internship, mentoring and induction programs-has never been more immediate.

 

The Need For Support of Effective Induction Programs

Programs that assist fledgling teachers in tackling the complex and challenging real-life situations and issues they often face as new teachers in the classroom are an essential component of addressing the current teacher shortage. The Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment program (BTSA) has proven very successful in increasing retention of new teachers in the system, and Governor Wilson has proposed that BTSA receive a $10 million enhancement in FY 1997-98 to increase its accessibility beyond the 7 percent of new teachers it is currently able to reach.

 

David Haselkorn: Developing Strategies for Responding to the "Demographic Double-Whammy"

(Note: Here and throughout this report, comments made by individuals participating in the February 11 seminar are summarized without quotation; all text contained herein should be regarded as paraphrasing and/or synthesizing what was actually said, and not as quotes attributable either to Mr. Haselkorn or to any other participant.)

 

Origins of the Statewide Task Force

Work on developing avenues to address the need for more new teachers in California was already well underway before class size reduction's recent emergence as a major issue for state policy-makers. At a national conference on teacher recruitment conference in Coral Gables, Florida, five years ago ("Pathways to Teaching," sponsored by RNT), representatives of a number of teacher recruitment programs from California convened and realized they were operating essentially in isolation from one another (all appreciated the irony of having to travel to Florida in order to meet their colleagues). Realizing they should be working together, they developed a network and began meeting regularly. Many participated in a 1994 CTC sponsored conference on teacher recruitment and development which featured RNT's research on pathways to teaching.

 

What RNT ultimately found in California was a patchwork of very effective, highly innovative programs operating for the most part in isolation from one another; a piecemeal landscape of innovation and effectiveness without much connectedness or cohesion. What developed out of this discovery and the efforts of California programs to become connected with one another was a move to create a strategic approach to teacher recruitment in the state-hence the California Statewide Task Force on Teacher Recruitment was created.

 

The Task Force's effort is aimed at developing a flexible framework, not simply a cookbook or a catalog. The framework highlights a range of programs that are working today either in California or around the nation, and suggests ways to connect them conceptually and operationally in a manner that can be expanded and modified as needed, and that incorporates as much as possible of the work that's already going on, so as not to reinvent the wheel.

 

The Scope of the Need

California is expected to need to hire somewhere in the neighborhood of 260,000 to 300,000 new teachers in the next ten years. This assumes the continuation of the current class size reduction program and a slight acceleration in the current attrition/retirement rate (currently, California loses six percent of its teaching workforce every year to attrition and another two percent to retirements). Policy changes and economic factors may influence how these numbers develop in reality, but they are reasonable benchmarks for measuring the need as we now understand it.

 

There are several key reasons for this growing need:

Rising Enrollments: A Million New Students

By 2005, California's schools are expected to serve over 6.3 million students, 1 million more than are served today.

Class Size Reduction

Increasing enrollments combined with reduced class sizes equals a tremendous need for new teachers.

Aging of the Teacher Workforce

The average age of California's public school teacher workforce is almost 45, and over 30 percent of California teachers currently have more than 20 years' experience.

Need for Teachers of Color

Sixty percent of California students are people of color, versus just 20 percent of their teachers.

Demand for Urban Teachers - Acute and Growing

The greatest needs are in the toughest classrooms with the weakest support system for new teachers.

 

The combination of increasing enrollments and California's aging teacher workforce constitutes a demographic double-whammy with significant consequences for teacher demand. Adding class size reduction to the mix ensures California will face a major challenge as it attempts to build a framework for new teacher recruitment, induction and retention.

 

The growing number of teachers operating on emergency teaching permits further demonstrates the gap in fully qualified teachers.

 

Table (Haselkorn slide # 4)

 

Emergency Permits

 

Single Subject 6,095

Multiple Subject 5,928

Bilingual Education 625

Special Education 3,628

 

Among the emergency permits teachers noted in the table above, approximately 2,100 are math and science teachers. Nearly 50 percent of the currently credentialed science teachers in California will retire within the next 10 years. There are also chronic shortages in bilingual and special education; in 1990 the deficit in bilingual teachers was 14,000. In California today, there is one Spanish-speaking teacher for every 90 Spanish-speaking students; there is one Vietnamese-speaking teacher for every 900 Vietnamese-speaking students; and there is one Hmong-speaking teacher for every 15,000 Hmong- or Laotian-origin students. The need here is critical.

 

The pressure to bring new teachers into the system is great, but it must always be placed within the context of adequate preparation. Just filling classrooms with adults is not acceptable; California needs highly capable teachers with training who can fill specific needs and niches such as assisting limited English-speaking students to master English. Sending emergency waiver people through a revolving door into and out of the profession is a waste of resources, does damage to the children in the classrooms involved and does damage to the systems in the school districts in which they teach. We need to come up with a comprehensive approach.

 

Pie Chart (Haselkorn slide # 9)

 

New and First Time Credentials in California (1994-95)

 

Preliminary 43.6%

Emergency Permit 25.3%

Clear 25.2%

Intern 4.2%

Waiver 1.7%

 

In 1994-95, over 25 percent of new credentials in California were emergency permits, and that number is going up. These numbers and trends were disturbing-and rising-before class size reduction. With class size reduction, this issue has become (as Michael Kirst described it in Education Week) "the 800-pound gorilla of education reform in California." We can coax that gorilla back into a nice habitat-if we work together to build and implement a comprehensive framework for meeting the state's teacher recruitment goals and to build the teacher candidate pool and expand the pipeline into teaching.

 

Addressing the Need: Task Force Mission and Recommendations

 

The Task Force's mission is "to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for addressing California's serious teacher recruitment challenges." To that end, the Task Force's recommendations seek to:

Expand the pool of prospective teachers;

Strengthen the pipeline into teaching across the career continuum; and

Remove unnecessary barriers to teaching careers.

 

With regard to the latter element, it is important to stress the word unnecessary. There was no inclination or sentiment among any of the Task Force members to lower standards. In fact, there was strong sentiment in general that standards for teaching needed to be raised, because the challenge of teaching is growing in California. However, there are some barriers in California that the Task Force identified as preventing individuals who might otherwise pursue teaching as a career from doing so. The recommendations sought to address these barriers, to ensure there is not just an adequate pool of candidates but also a strong pipeline into the teaching profession.

 

In exploring the obstacles to building a larger and stronger teaching force, the Task Force identified two very damaging paradigms at work in California's education system. First is the idea that teachers are born and not made, that preparation and expertise don't matter. The second is that schools of education and school districts exist in relatively splendid isolation from one another-that schools of education are the producers and school districts the consumers of their product. The vision of the Task Force was to move forward as collaborators, joint stakeholders with common interests who must communicate effectively with one another to improve the current situation.

 

The Task Force identified 33 recommendations for improving teacher recruitment, induction and retention in California; 11 of these were singled out as priority recommendations that should be implemented as quickly as possible because they show the most promise for short-term results in building and expanding the pipeline into teaching. These were the Task Force's priority recommendations (a complete list of their recommendations is included in this report as Appendix A):

 

Develop a California-Specific Public Service Announcement (PSA) Campaign

Generate News Coverage of Teacher Need and Opportunities in California

Create a "What It Takes To Teach in California" Brochure

Develop a "California Careers in Teaching Handbook"

Establish a California Center/Clearinghouse on Teaching Careers

Develop a Prospective Teacher Helpline and Referral Database

Create a Respondent Database via Helpline and Response Cards

Expand the Paraprofessional Teacher Training Program

Provide Internships

Expand the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment (BTSA) Program

Link the Mentor Teacher Program to New Teacher Support

 

 

Expanding the Pool

The bulk of the Task Force's recommendations addressed its first goal: expanding the pool of potential teachers.

 

Public Service Announcements

The recommendation to create California-specific teacher recruitment PSAs is based upon PSA initiatives in other regions of the country. The numbers from RNT's national teacher recruitment PSA have been very encouraging: over a million calls, a response rate of 33 percent individuals of color, 58 percent individuals with a bachelor's degree or better. PSAs have proven to be highly effective at building the pool of potential teachers. They are also highly effective in providing greater prominence and positive images for the teaching profession, which is a significant piece of the puzzle. They must, however, be matched with a referral mechanism and some sort of information clearinghouse in order to do more than simply raise esteem for teaching.

 

Media Campaign

An aggressive outreach campaign to the news media is also needed, not only to get the message out about California's urgent teacher recruitment needs, but also to draw attention to the successful models identified in the Task Force report. The news about education both here and around the nation tends to be unrelentingly negative, so the Task Force felt strongly that a positive outreach campaign was needed to provide greater balance.

 

Information Clearinghouse

The helpline and database proposals are designed to generate over time a statewide teacher job bank, with requests for information and interest in teaching being matched up with teacher training resources and teacher recruitment needs. The intent is that this would all occur under the aegis of a California Center for Teaching Careers, a recommendation that is the focal point for this framework.

 

Teacher Induction

California's BTSA program may be the best state teacher induction program in the nation; the biggest problem with it presently is that, due to inadequate funding, less than 10 percent of new teachers in California have access to it. Along with expanding access to and improving screening for teacher internship programs, expanding BTSA is undoubtedly one of the most immediately effective things California could do to reduce attrition and improve teaching in this state. Stronger training programs for mentor teachers are also needed to strengthen and expand these efforts.

 

Stakeholder meetings at the district level are also vital, particularly in the larger districts. Union leaders, human resources directors, superintendents, deans of the schools of education and community groups need to sit down together and assess their needs and resources at the community level in order to develop this common stakeholder approach to teacher recruitment and retention.

 

Strengthening the Pipeline

Strengthening the pipeline into the teaching profession has to start at the pre-collegiate level.

 

Chart (Haselkorn slide #28)

Strengthen the Pipeline into Teaching

 

(box) Precollegiate and Community College Programs

(arrow to)

(box) Traditional and Non-Traditional Programs

(arrow to)

(box) Expanded Induction Programs

 

The career continuum needs to start with future educator clubs, teaching magnet programs and fellowships, and with better articulation between community college programs and high schools, as well as with state universities.

 

Another key recommendation is to strengthen the pipeline for paraprofessionals to become fully licensed teachers. Here is one of the great success stories in education in recent years. These individuals have repeatedly demonstrated the knowledge and commitment needed to succeed in teaching, even as many of them serve in the toughest schools and classrooms in the state. Their knowledge of their own communities and commitment to bettering them results-along with the completion of their formal training and certification-in reduced attrition rates and greater community support for neighborhood schools.

 

Removing Unnecessary Barriers

The Task Force felt that this was an important area which was nonetheless somewhat beyond its charge, so the recommendations here are not meant to be final nor comprehensive. The key issues are CBEST accessibility and CBEST test preparation. Again, the Task Force is not suggesting any desire to lower standards for CBEST; it is concerned with making sure that the test and test preparation resources are more widely accessible to the state's pool of potential teachers.

 

Chart

Remove Unnecessary Barriers

slide #30 from presentation

 

In addition, candidate screening and selection processes need to be overhauled, particularly in large urban districts. Districts around the nation have begun re-examining the designs of their in-house recruitment efforts, to look at ways that technology and better screening can create a more efficient processing system for prospective teaching candidates, both in terms of expanding the numbers of candidates who can be reviewed, and of expanding the efficiency and effectiveness with which they are reviewed. We clearly should concentrate our recruiting efforts within California's boundaries, while also streamlining the interstate transfer process, particularly with regard to the timing and accessibility of CBEST. Greater recruitment from the reserve pool and retiree ranks is another good option which may require a review of related concerns such as pension rules.

 

Conclusion

None of these steps is a magic bullet; they are all part of a comprehensive framework for increasing the teacher candidate pool and building a stronger pipeline into teaching. The teacher recruitment and development system needs growth in capacity to meet the state's recruitment needs. Then, once teachers enter the profession, we need improved and expanded induction programs to increase retention rates and new incentives for the continuous development of knowledge and skills of the existing teaching force. We can't be thinking we only have to prepare a teacher once for the challenges they may be facing ten years down the road.

 

Forging a Statewide Teacher Recruitment Plan For California: A Discussion

QUESTION / COMMENT: This is the first time there's been an effort to address these issues that avoids finger-pointing, and for that reason it seems to have some real promise. Let me mention points regarding some of the issues you've mentioned, points that I think should be reflected in the Task Force's priorities. First, we wouldn't have so many emergency permit teachers if our colleges and universities would give candidates the course availability and accessibility they need to complete their degrees and credentials. Second, some of the problems with CBEST accessibility could be addressed with better timing of test offerings and quicker results from the test administrators. And third, we must streamline the interstate transfer system-it's ridiculous to ask a fully credentialed teacher from another state to go back and earn a new credential or Master's degree in California. Finally, despite all good efforts and intentions, this plan will not be successful without funding.

 

HASELKORN: One of the benefits of the timing of this seminar is that we are still engaged in finalizing the Task Force report's recommendations. Your comments about priorities will be very helpful as we refine the document. Our focus in establishing priorities was to identify the most immediately available measures with the most immediate effects. With respect to the interstate transfer issue, while we agree this is a critical issue, we didn't want to jump ahead of the SB 1422 Advisory Committee's work. With respect to the rest of your comments, I agree.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: One barrier I didn't hear mentioned is the six-unit minimum requirement at CSU (Note: under this rule, a one-unit or three-unit course costs the student the same amount as six units of university coursework). Teachers need a lot of scheduling flexibility while they are finishing their credential and training, and this six unit minimum rule is a real barrier. We also need state funding for summer courses, particularly to increase access for people pursuing non-traditional routes into teaching. Finally, in an earlier draft of the report there was a specific reference to teacher cadet programs (such as are in place in South Carolina), which are a really good long-term strategy for bringing young people into the pipeline.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: The thrust of the report is building up our teacher corps in California. How does this effort integrate with the SB 1422 Advisory Committee recommendations?

 

RESPONSE: The Commission on Teacher Credentialing is, under SB 1422, sponsoring a comprehensive review of the existing teacher credentialing process, standards and recruitment practices, and the SB 1422 panel will likely include the Statewide Teacher Recruitment Task Force's report as part of the package it recommends to the CTC. The CTC would like to co-sponsor legislation incorporating these and related credentialing and recruiting recommendations. Everyone agrees that high standards are essential; the goal should be to create a more cohesive, coherent system. We need to look carefully at how these issues all fit together and who will take the lead in pursuing each of them, building on the strong spirit of collaboration present among the stakeholders involved in this ongoing discussion.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: We have experienced a great deal of success in the field with paraprofessionals making the transition to teaching. It is important to encourage them to try taking the CBEST early in the process so that they can identify any academic problems areas and address them through coursework before they take the test again. We also need more summer course offerings for prospective teachers and better integration of credentialing programs with undergraduate programs.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: Fourteen percent of the active teaching force in the Los Angeles Unified School District today are operating under emergency permits. And yet we have less than one percent in university internship programs. If we are going to make internships a key part of this recruitment plan, we need to maximize opportunities for university internships. We also need a stronger funding base for BTSA, especially grant funds to support bringing paraprofessionals through the system into teaching.

 

RESPONSE: With the signing of AB 18 (Mazzoni) today, we now have $4.5 million in additional resources for university internships. I think most of the CSU campuses have university internships in the special education area; not all have them in the multiple subject area, but I think that's really changing and we're seeing, especially in the urban campuses, a strong effort to get these programs up and running.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: A bill was introduced by Assemblyman Scott (AB 351) that would set up a loan fund to help paraprofessionals pursue full credentialing. If they give five years service as a teacher, the loan would be forgiven. It's one more potential piece of the puzzle we're looking at today.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: The role of independent institutions should play a significant part of this policy review and discussion, because 37 percent of California's teachers today are prepared at independent universities and colleges. There are 90 independent institutions providing teacher education in California today. In many cases independents are better able to respond to market forces and newly identified training needs. The presence of the independents is important to underscore because student aid is sometimes targeted only to public institutions. For example, independent institutions prepared probably over 80 percent of the bilingual teachers in Ventura County, however, they just lost their federal money to pay tuition costs.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: This is a good example of the need for more collaboration between the public and private institutions. We've seen isolated cases of this like cooperation between CSU Dominguez Hills and Loyola Marymount; we need to see it happen more often. Keep in mind that National University and Chapman turn out more teachers in California than any single state institution.

 

We've talked about BTSA and university internships; another program worth mentioning in the same context is the Literacy Corps, the program that provides $5 million for college students to serve as tutors for elementary school students. It helps college students give something back to the community and can be a valuable recruiting device as well.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: Could you comment on what you would identify as a particular strength, and also perhaps our greatest weakness or area of need here in California?

 

HASELKORN: California has excellent para-educators programs, some of which are now national models. It also has some excellent precollegiate programs and community college transition programs. The BTSA program, even though not fully funded, is the strongest statewide model for induction programs in the nation. There is a great depth of expertise about teacher recruitment and development throughout the state. California has a strong commitment from both the public and the private institutions and an enlightened philanthropic community. However, California's size, diversity and political complexity challenges its ability to bring these things together into some kind of coherent framework. It's always been my contention that California has more of the elements of a comprehensive solution to issues of teacher recruitment and retention than any state that I know of-but that it also presents greater challenges than any state. The key is to bring the leading stakeholders together like this and forge a common strategy to be carried through the legislative and regulatory processes.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: People who come up through paraprofessional programs generally know their community well and have a high success rate as teachers. Mentor support is very important to keep paraprofessionals on track toward becoming teachers; we need to make sure we both recruit and retain.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: UCLA just launched an undergraduate minor in education and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Every department on campus has expressed an interest in the program. It's essential in building this pipeline into teaching that we support quality alternative methods of bringing people in; we need to think creatively about how we do this. Apprenticeship and internship programs rely heavily on the quality of the mentor teachers-we need strategies to provide greater training and institutional support for the mentors as well as the students. The California Subject Matter Project is an example of a program whose structure could also be used to develop teachers as mentors.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: One of the major challenges we face in California, particularly in the UC system, is recruiting, developing and retaining math and science teachers. There are very often financial incentives present that tend to draw people to other career paths. In addition, UC academic requirements and the scaling back of remediation programs leads to real questions about UC's ability to recruit students from urban communities in particular to teach math and science.

 

HASELKORN: You're right to worry about this. Between retirement, attrition, lack of expertise and a lack of diversity, California is facing some very serious challenges with regard to the lack of diversity in its math and science faculties. Chances are 50 percent today that a minority child in an inner-city school will have a poorly prepared math or science teacher. We need a concerted effort by stakeholders to turn this around. Teachers' unions should play a significant role in this discussion, because a great deal of innovative professional development is done in the union context.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: The Assumption Program for Loans in Education (APLE), a state-supported program in existence since [year???] rewards 500 students every year with three years of loan assumption payments if they commit to teach in schools in low-income areas or in subject areas where teacher shortages exist. A study has already shown higher retention rates for teachers in this program, and the program is relatively easy to administer. There was another program-the Douglas scholarship program-that provided federal grants for teacher recruitment, but it was discontinued last year. Several years ago the Legislature also expanded the CalGrant program to give students in teacher credentialing programs a fifth year of grant eligibility; this was a good initiative that could be reinstituted.

 

HASELKORN: Studies have been done of loan forgiveness programs in North Carolina that indicate they work well initially, but when the loan period ends, the attrition rate shoots up. The key seems to be the lack of a strong induction program. Here in California you have at least the potential for a seamless system with the APLE program and an expanded BTSA program that prepares people well and then supports them in their initial forays into the classroom. At the federal level, the Congress is going through its semi-regular rethinking of the postsecondary education act, with an eye toward Title V's teacher recruitment provisions; this is something we should all be following.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: The reciprocity issue is another key element of teacher recruitment. A good place for California to begin on this front might be to grant reciprocity to teachers who have been National Board-certified. Another important issue is remediation; we need to focus more on in-progress assessments and achieving academic goals in high school in order to reduce the amount of remediation being done at the collegiate level.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: Two items in this report should be strong priorities: expanding bilingual teacher recruitment and improving the integration of all these good programs like BTSA and the paraprofessional programs with one another.

 

HASELKORN: Integration, particularly of the paraprofessional programs, has already been suggested as the 12th priority item for the Task Force's report. It's worth noting also in the context of your comment that paraprofessional programs typically get high minority participation rates.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: Strong, consistent support for and mentoring of beginning teachers is really an essential part of the process of training, development, induction and retention. Support from mentor teachers often times makes the difference for many new teachers between sinking and swimming. Teachers also need to understand that they do not walk out of a credentialing program a finished product; they need to recognize that learning is a continuous, lifelong process for everyone, including teachers.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: Four points: (1) the media always focuses attention on the weak links in the long chain which is education, e.g. the shortage of math and science instructors-we need to draw attention to the strong links in the chain as well; (2) 50 percent of lower division math and science majors drop out, at least in part because of poor university instruction; (3) we must improve the daily professional lives, workplace climate and culture of teachers (this is one reason why BTSA is so important); and (4) we must connect these issues with school boards and make them aware of their critical importance.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: It's really almost impossible to overstate the importance of introducing new teachers into the life of the profession. Doing this well and with a great deal of attention to supportive induction methods is really the key to the professional development of teachers, and the report should make this point very strongly.

 

QUESTION / COMMENT: It's essential to understand and appreciate the links between school reform and teacher education and teacher induction. These are all parts of the same picture in California and each needs to be addressed in the context of the others.

 

Final Thoughts

There was wide agreement among those present at the February 11 seminar that the key issue a teacher recruitment action plan must address is the fragmentation currently present in California's teacher recruitment, induction and retention efforts. We should be taking much greater advantage of the range of effective programs present in the state than we are at present. Unfortunately, California's legislative tradition of individual bill authorship (rather than an omnibus approach) makes a comprehensive approach to teacher recruitment issues difficult.

 

At the same time, the elements are all present for the emergence of a coherent framework for the state's efforts. We must take advantage of the momentum which has been established. One thing everyone must understand is the urgency attached to this issue. California's needs in the area of teacher recruitment are very large and growing steadily with the implementation of class size reduction.

 

Key elements to consider in pursuing the Task Force's recommendations (which are included in this report as Appendix A) are:

 

Funding

The current set of circumstances supports the concept of public-private partnerships and the undertaking could certainly benefit from private support and vision (it has already benefited greatly from the support of philanthropic community). The business community has in fact driven substantial portions of the education reform movement in California. But a dedicated funding source-most likely a public one-is essential to put this strategic plan into place and keep it there.

 

The 1997-98 Governor's Budget proposes a $5 million augmentation to the CSU system for an Economic Development Initiative. Some portion of these funds could be dedicated to increasing the capacity of teacher preparation programs. In addition, the state has received over $40 million in federal Goals 2000 funds. The Legislature and Governor annually decide on expenditure priorities for these monies. Again, some portion of these funds should be dedicated to teacher recruitment efforts.

 

Timeline

Class size reduction is obviously increasing the urgency of this issue, and legislative deadlines are looming constantly. We need to consider timing issues such as whether foundations could begin funding elements of what the Task Force is proposing, such as the clearinghouse, with state funding following at the appropriate time in the legislative cycle. Recruiting New Teachers can help ensure that implementation of some of the easier elements (such as the California-specific PSAs) happens quickly once the commitment is made.

 

Legislation

A number of bills have been introduced to implement portions of the Statewide Teacher Recruitment Plan. these include:

SB 824 (Leroy Greene) which would establish a California Center for Teaching Careers to carry out a variety of duties related to recruiting qualified individuals into the teaching profession. these duties would include developing statewide public service announcements, distributing effective recruitment publications, providing information to prospective teachers regarding admission to and enrollment into teacher preparation programs, and creating a job bank for qualified teachers who are seeking employment in schools;

AB 352 (Jack Scott) which would create a Professional Teacher Loan Assumption Program;

AB 353 (Scott Wildman) which would significantly expand the Paraprofessional Teacher Training program; and

AB 1266 (Kerry Mazzoni) which would augment the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment program.

The 1997 Budget Bill includes $10 million for the expansion of the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment Program (BTSA).

 

Enactment of these measures would serve to implement the recommendations identified as high priority by the Statewide Teacher Recruitment Task Force.

 

Special Note: The Statewide Teacher Recruitment Action Plan reviewed and discussed by seminar participants was in draft form at the time. based on comments from the seminar, as well as from the CTC and a variety of other stakeholders, the plan has now been finalized. Copies of the Task Force's final report are available from the CTC at [address, phone number].

 

Appendix A: Recommendations of the Statewide Teacher Recruitment Task Force

 

(coming soon to the web site)


 
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