Two pieces of data, if they hold, could bode very well for the future of education in the United States of America.
1. Teacher SAT Scores on the Rise
As this Education Next piece notes, entry teacher SAT scores are rising.
2. Teacher Turnover is Decreasing
According to this report, 70% of teachers now stay in teaching for at least five years. This is a marked increase from the 50-60% numbers we’re used to.
1. I previously have written that the combination of technology and globalization might make teaching a more attractive job for higher performing students (as other middle class jobs are lost). It’s probably too early to tell if technology and globalization are causing the recent increases in academic performance and retention. But, if the economic recovery doesn’t reverse these numbers, we may be in entering into a new labor equilibrium for the teaching force.
2. On this blog, I’ve staked my professional reputation on the idea that the academic performance will increase if we transition to well regulated, non-profit run, public school systems. This doesn’t mean that I think this is the only way we will increase student learning in this country. Better teachers who stay in the classroom longer will be good for students, regardless of governance structure.
4. If I was going to bet on whether American education will improve, flatline, or get worse – I would look very hard at the academic performance of teachers entering the profession, as well as how long these better qualified teachers stayed in the classroom. The aforementioned data makes me more bullish on American education.