Fewer Teacher Credentials Awarded in California

(Photo: Wikimedia, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Wikimedia, Creative Commons)

A new report from the Professional Services Division of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing takes a closer look at the teacher supply in the state of California and how current policies in the state affect teacher recruitment, teaching incentives, and teacher preparation.

The report, “Teacher Supply in California: A Report to the Legislature Annual Report 2013-2014,” found a 3% drop in the number of newly issued credentials throughout all three types of preliminary teaching credentials, which includes multiple subject, single subject, and education specialist.  While the number of California IHE prepared teachers declined by 7.8%, the other two pathways to obtaining certification, which include district sponsored and out-of-state preparedness, both increased, by 0.6% and 17.8% respectively, between 2012-13 and 2013-14.

The report noted the 10th consecutive year that had a decrease in the total number of initial teaching credentials issued.  In the past five years, a 26% decrease was noted in the number of new teaching credentials issued.

When looked at by type, 40.3% of the total number of new credentials issued in 2013-14 were found to be for Multiple Subject, while Single Subject made up 39.5%, and Education Specialist accounted for 20.2% of all new teaching credentials.

California colleges and universities were found to prepare over three-fourths of new teachers, or 75.3%.  Close to two-thirds, or 63.1%, came from the traditional pathway, while 12.2% followed the university intern pathway.  Teachers who completed preparation programs in other states made up 22.4% and the remaining 2.4% of teachers came from district intern programs.

Meanwhile, there was an increase in the number of permits issued, and a decrease of 0.5% in the number of fully-credentialed teachers currently employed in the California public school system.  The percentage dropped from 98.5% to 98% in 2013-14.

The average age for new intern credential holders was found to vary by type, with the average age of Single Subject intern credentials at 29.4 years while it was found to be 31.6 years for Education Specialist district intern credentials.

The report also concluded that close to three-fourths, or 74%, of the teaching force in California was made up of females, with almost two-thirds of those teachers, or 65%, being White.

According to Assembly Bill 471, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing is required to report to the Governor and Legislature each year pertaining to the teacher supply in the state of California.  Each report is required to include the number of individuals recommended for each type of credential, by higher education and alternative certification pathways and the type of credential or certificate they were recommended for; the number of individuals who were issued an initial credential based on a program that was completed in another state; the number of individuals who received an emergency permit, credential waiver, or other such authorization not meeting the definition of a highly-trained teacher according to the federal No Child Left Behind Act; the number of individuals who were  issued a Certificate of Completion of Staff Development; and the total number of credentials recommended by all Commission-accredited teacher preparation programs in the state.