Alternative routes to teaching as a state policy mechanism: Implications for teacher supply and composition
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CitationLamb, Anne. 2022. Alternative routes to teaching as a state policy mechanism: Implications for teacher supply and composition. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
AbstractStates first implemented alternative routes to teaching (ARTs) as a policy mechanism to attract qualified candidates into teaching and alleviate rising teacher shortages. They hoped that ARTs would reduce reliance on emergency teaching permits to fill existing shortages. Proponents of ARTs suggest that by revising traditional preparation programs and requirements, ARTs can induce individuals to enter teaching who would not otherwise have done so. They also cite promising evidence that ARTs can diversify the teacher workforce given that they enroll proportionally more Black, Latinx, and other candidates of color. Alternative preparation programs still account for a relatively small share of all teacher preparation programs, so others doubt whether they can substantively impact teacher labor markets.
Using data from the Title II Data Collection and the Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), I explore whether ARTs have influenced the supply and composition of teacher labor markets. First, I examine variation in the features of alternative and traditional preparation programs and more precisely categorize distinct models of teacher preparation. Next, I examine the characteristics of candidates who enroll in and complete alternative preparation programs relative to traditional programs, paying particular attention to differences in the racial composition of teachers, their content background qualifications, and their placement in districts and schools serving high proportions of students from low-income backgrounds. Finally, I exploit variation in the timing of early-entry policies that expand alternative certification pathways to examine whether such expansions reduce teaching vacancies. I find that the fastest-growing segment of the teacher preparation market includes for-profit programs (both traditional and alternative) and non-IHE based alternative programs, while enrollment at IHEs has declined in both traditional and alternative programs. Additionally, states with more widely available alternative routes to teaching also have proportionally more racially diverse teaching workforces relative to states with less widely available ARTs. Lastly, I find evidence that the expansion of early-entry routes to teaching increased the number of educator preparation program completers but led to declines in the number of initial teaching licenses issued in states.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37371526