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Dover, DE 19901
1-866-734-5834 (toll-free)
FAX 302-674-8499

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Suite 101 Newark, DE 19713
302-366-8440 (not a toll-free number)
FAX 302-366-0287 

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NEA Spotlight on Key Issues Facing Each Profession

As part of its annual National Teacher Week celebration, the National Education Association (NEA) is highlighting key trends in the teaching profession.

The trends identified that have played a critical role in shaping the teaching profession include:

Changes in the workforce and the student population

  • There are 3,232,813 teachers in K-12 public schools nationwide. About 16 percent of these positions become vacant each year.
  • Forty-five percent of new teachers abandon the profession in their first five years.
  • There’s a growing demographic divide between America’s predominantly white teaching force and an increasingly diverse student body, and the proportion of women teachers continues to rise.
  • Nearly 40 percent of those entering America’s classrooms today are coming from other careers.

Changes in working conditions and school environments

  • More teachers believe collaborating with colleagues is essential to their work, but many districts still don’t provide time for teachers to learn, share and collaborate.
  • Nearly all classrooms (97 percent) have one or more computers, but half of the nation’s teachers say they need training to better integrate technology into classroom instruction—and such support is unevenly distributed across schools.
  • Newer teachers put a high premium on exploring new roles and taking on new responsibilities in order to expand career options.
  • Teachers’ salaries still lag behind those for other occupations requiring a college degree, and the pay gap is growing larger.

Changes in teacher training, licensure and evaluation

  • Many charter schools do not require new teachers to have certification for what they are teaching.
  • The proportion of public school teachers holding master’s degrees has more than doubled over roughly the last 50 years, from 24 percent in 1955 to 52 percent in 2007.