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From Pre-Service to Persistence: Educator Preparation and Outcomes

Region:
Northeast & Islands
Abstract:

Description: REL Northeast & Islands is working with the Rhode Island Department of Education to investigate the mobility and retention rates of early-career teachers. The study will explore whether there is a relationship between where a teacher is prepared in Rhode Island and teacher mobility, retention, employment in the certificate area in which the teacher was prepared, and whether the teacher is working in a high-needs district.

Stakeholders are concerned about teacher turnover and in particular, that many early-career teachers in Rhode Island are not teaching in the area in which they were initially prepared, and therefore end up seeking additional certification. Currently, Rhode Island has nine preparation program providers in the state, offering certification in more than 100 areas of teaching, such as elementary education, and elementary/middle special education. Individuals can enter the teaching profession through a variety of pathways, including state-approved programs and preliminary certification (which is a certificate that allows educators who are not fully certified to serve as educators of record while pursuing certification). Stakeholders are interested in studying these pathways because they are particularly concerned about fully certified teachers using a preliminary certificate in another field from which they were initially prepared.

Using a sample of recent early-career teachers in Rhode Island, this study will determine whether mobility and retention rates differ given the characteristics of a teacher's preparation program or certificate. To address stakeholder concerns, the study will also examine whether early-career teachers are employed within or outside their certificate areas. Lastly, the study will examine the relationship between the institution where a teacher was prepared and mobility, retention, certification, and placement. Stakeholders intend to use the findings to better understand patterns and trends within Rhode Island regarding the mobility, retention, and attrition of newly certified teachers and how these relate to the providers. They can also use the information to improve preparation program policies and practices concerning the program areas offered and how those align with state needs.

Research Questions:

  • What are the mobility and retention rates of early-career teachers in Rhode Island? Do the rates vary by teacher preparation program characteristics, or teachers' certificate type and certification area?
  • Are early-career teachers teaching within the certificate areas or outside the certificate areas in which they were prepared?
  • Is there a relationship between where a teacher is prepared in Rhode Island and the teacher's mobility and retention, the teacher's employment in the certificate area in which the teacher was prepared, and whether the teacher is working in a high-needs district?

Study Design: The study will utilize both descriptive and inferential methods to address the research questions. First, researchers will examine mobility and retention rates of early-career teachers in Rhode Island after one and three years, with cohorts of teachers from 2012/13 through 2017/18. The rates will be provided separately for program characteristics, such as program type, and teacher characteristics, such as certificate area.

The next set of descriptive analyses will provide the number of certificates held by early-career teachers by certificate area. The report will also provide the percentage of early-career teachers teaching in the certificate areas in which they were prepared after one and three years.

REL Northeast &Islands will use regression models to examine (1) the relationship between a teacher's preparation program provider and mobility and retention after one and three years, (2) the relationship between a teacher's preparation program provider and the teacher's employment in the certificate area in which the teacher were prepared, and (3) the relationship between a teacher's preparation program provider and whether the teacher is teaching in a high-needs district.

Projected Release Date: Fall 2019

Partnership or Research Alliance: Teacher Preparation Research Alliance

Related Products: Making Connections Report
Stated Briefly Report

Principal Investigators & Affiliation:
Jessica Bailey, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
Contact: