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The Washington Teacher Education Pipeline

As part of a larger project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CEDR recently published two papers using a unique longitudinal sample of prospective teachers from six Washington state teacher education programs to investigate patterns of entry into the state's teaching workforce.





We use data from Washington State to examine two distinct stages of the teacher pipeline: the placement of prospective teachers in student teaching assignments; and the hiring of prospective teachers into their first teaching positions. We find that prospective teachers are likely to complete their student teaching near their college and hometowns, but that prospective teachers' student teaching positions are much more predictive of their first teaching positions than their hometowns. This suggests that the "draw of home" in new teacher hiring is driven by patterns in student teaching assignments. We also find that more qualified prospective teachers tend to student teach in more advantaged districts, suggesting that patterns in student teaching assignments may contribute to the inequitable distribution of teacher quality.

We use a unique longitudinal sample of student teachers ("interns") from six Washington State teacher training institutions to investigate patterns of entry into the teaching workforce. Specifically, we estimate split population models that simultaneously estimate the impact of individual characteristics and student teaching experiences on the timing and probability of initial hiring as a public school teacher. Not surprisingly, we find that interns endorsed to teach in "difficult-to-staff" areas are more likely to find employment as public school teachers than interns endorsed in other areas. Younger interns, white interns, and interns who did their student teaching in suburban schools are also more likely to find a teaching job, all else equal. Prospective teachers who do their internships at schools that have more teacher turnover are more likely to find employment, often at those schools. Finally, interns with higher credential exam scores are more likely to be hired by the school where they did their student teaching. Contrary to expectations, few of the measures of the quality or characteristics of an intern's cooperating teacher are predictive of workforce entry in the expected direction.

A modified version of this working paper was published in the Economics of Education Review.


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