Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Selectivity of the Teaching Profession

Given that selectivity of teacher education programs, or the lack thereof, is coming up more and more, I'd just like to remind everyone that the number of people with teaching certifications does not affect the number of teaching jobs. Everyone with a teaching certificate isn't guaranteed a job.

My understanding is that in Finland, which comes up often in this context, the government pays to train more or less the number of teachers they expect to hire.

Both systems are equally selective insofar as either way, you still need X teachers and you're going to hire the ones that seem most promising.

I'd be in favor of a Finland-like system where fewer teachers got free training via a more selective teacher education system, but I find it very difficult to believe that our current system with more stringent entry requirements would help -- unless you believe that school administrators systematically make the wrong choices in an incredibly stubborn way.

2 comments:

Mike said...

"...unless you believe that school administrators systematically make the wrong choices in an incredibly stubborn way."

I don't believe they make the "wrong choices" necessarily, but an argument could be made for "arbitrary choices," or, more specifically, "choices that seem arbitrary when considering previous hires' future value-added."

That's what Brian Jacob and Tom Kane argue below. And they even have a solution!:

http://www.gse.harvard.edu/cepr-resources/files/news-events/ncte-recognize-effective-teacher--jacob-kane-rockoff.pdf

Tom Hoffman said...

I tend to think that they've traditionally made conservative choices insofar as people who have been subbing or otherwise have experience in the district have had an advantage -- thus getting around the problem of predicting who can handle a given school/population.

I don't really believe that schools would persist in making wrong choices over a long period of time if there were clear and correct guidelines, or that college admissions offices would be a significantly better place to make those decisions than schools.