Title: Workforce watch
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090862/00022
 Material Information
Title: Workforce watch
Series Title: Workforce watch
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education, College of Education, University of Florida
Publisher: Center on Personnel Studies in Special Education, College of Education, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: February 2005
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090862
Volume ID: VID00022
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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*I I
W S PECI A E0 CTI O
15RKOR,


Growing and Improving the

Special Education Teacher

Workforce

A Focus on Beginning Teachers Can Help


Is a shortage of special education teach-
ers posing a problem in your district
or state? If so, you are not alone. Na-
tionwide, shortages are reported in 98
percent of all school districts-with the
greatest demand reported in the poor-
ges est schools. At the same time, demand is
special increasing. An estimated 135,000 more
special education teachers than there
r quality were in 1998 will be needed by 2008.
npossible- Chronic attrition is a major barrier to sup-
ninistrators plying qualified special education teach-
s know to ers. Research suggests that teachers are
rs know to
most vulnerable to attrition during their
ge? first five years of teaching. In addition, the
number of new teachers who enter the
special education workforce every year is
not sufficient to meet the demand.
How can school district administrators
and state policy makers balance compet-
ing demands for more teachers and im-
FEBRUARY2005 proved quality? Read on to gain insights
PB-22 from the research.


Combating Teacher Attrition:
Have You Considered Focusing on
Beginning Teachers?
Beginning teacher vulnerability is evident
in a number of areas that are critical to


success. For example, beginning teach-
ers typically report:
* Struggling with the demands of
teaching.
* Experiencing greater isolation from
colleagues.
* Being significantly affected by poor
school climate and ambiguous
expectations.
* Receiving insufficient curricular and
technical resources.
* Lacking opportunities for professional
growth.
Administrators and policy makers may
consider beginning teacher induction pro-
grams to help beginning special educa-
tion teachers succeed and increase their
intentions to remain in special education.
Effective beginning teacher induction
programs recognize that successful tran-
sition from teacher preparation to the
classroom requires both a positive work
climate and sustained opportunities for
learning. Key features of quality induc-
tion programs include:
* Clear goals and purposes.


Chronic shortat
make focusing or
education teacher
difficult but not ir
What should adm
and policy maker
meet the challen


CENTER ON PERSONNEL
STUDIES IN SPECIAL
EDUCATION









I = SPECIAEDUCATION WORKFORCEWATC INSIGHTS FROM RESEARH*


* A focus on instructional con-
tent, pedagogical content, and
psychological support.
* Opportunities for interaction
between new and experienced
teachers.
* Less emphasis on evaluation,
with opportunities for summa-
tive and formative feedback.
* Ongoing professional devel-
opment opportunities.


- quality counts.
Not only do grad-
uates of inten-
sive alternative
route certification
programs dem-
onstrate more
effective teach-
ing practices than
their counterparts
in short-cut alter-
native programs,
they also have
higher retention
rates.


Mentoring is one
of the most sig-
nificant elements
in beginning spe-
cial education
teacher induction
programs. Men-
tors should have
pedagogical and
regulatory knowl-
edge of special
education, and
be matched to
beginning special
education teach-
ers on the basis of
similarities in the
following areas:


* Grade level and content area
taught.
* Disability categories taught.
* Teaching model and style.

Did You Know That Some
States and Districts
Offer Formal Induction
Programs?

How does your district and/or
state induct new special educa-
tion teachers? Following are sev-
eral programs that show promise.

STATEWIDE: CONNECTICUT'S BEST
PROGRAM

Connecticut offers new teachers
the Beginning Educator Support
and Training (BEST), a compre-


hensive teacher support program.
The program boasts an initial
pass rate of 85-92 percent. Com-
ponents of the BEST program in-
clude:

* Mentoring. Participants en-
gage in regular meetings with
mentors. In addition to provid-
ing support, mentors conduct
classroom observations.

* Portfolio assessment. Begin-
ning teachers prepare highly
structured portfolios that con-
tain lesson plans, reflective
journals, videos of classroom
teaching, commentaries, and
examples of student work.

* Professional development.
In addition to mentor support,
beginning teachers participate
in a content-specific seminar.


STATEWIDE: CALIFORNIA'S BTSA
PROGRAM

Fully certified new teachers are
eligible to participate in the Cali-
fornia Beginning Teacher Support
and Assessment Program (BTSA).
A remarkable 96 percent reten-
tion rate has been observed for
first year teachers who complete
the program. Components of the
BTSA program include:

* Daily on-site support from a
trained mentor.
* Monthly formative assessments.
* Individual induction plans.

LOCAL: SANTA CRUZ NEW TEACHER
PROJECT

The Santa Cruz New Teacher Proj-
ect is a collaboration between the
Universityof California-Santa Cruz
and surrounding school districts.
The program has established an
impressive 88 percent retention
rate for beginning teachers. Com-


ponents of the project include:

* Mentors. Exemplary teachers
are given release time to work
with novices. Working in a
non-evaluative role, they pro-
vide comprehensive support,
including weekly meetings and
classroom assistance.
* Formative assessment. As-
sessment is implemented using
formative tools such as logs,
analysis of student work, com-
munity resource guides, class
profiles, individual learning
plans, etc.


For More Information

Information reported in this
brief was based on syntheses
that COPSSE researchers-
Mary T. Brownell, Paul T.
Sindelar, Anne G. Bishop,
Lisa K. Langley, Seonjin Seo,
Michael S. Rosenberg, and
Larry Bishop-crafted into pro-
fessional presentations (avail-
able on the COPSSE web site at
www.copsse.org).


S CENTER ON
S PERSONNEL
STUDIES IN SPECIAL
EDUCATION

About COPSSE
The Center on Personnel Studies in Spe-
cial Education is funded by the Office of
Special Education Programs of the U.S.
Department of Education [cooperative
agreement #H325Q000002]. COPSSE
research is designed to inform scholars
and policymakers about beginning teach-
er quality, effective initial preparation, and
the effects of preparation alternatives. The
Center is directed by Drs. Paul Sindelar
and Mary Brownell. Workforce Watch is
produced by Warger, Eavy & Associates.
University of Florida, 300 Norman Hall,
PO. Box 117050, Gainesville, FL 32611
352-392-0701 (X283), www.copsse.org

Opinions expressed herein
W k-i y i do not necessarily reflect the
views of the US Department
F4,-7 w'r of Education




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