First 11 Years: 25 Exemplar Alternate Route and College-Prepared K–12 Teachers
by Karen Zumwalt, Judy Randi, Alison L. Rutter & Richard Sawyer - 2017
This longitudinal study follows 25 exemplar elementary, secondary English, and math teachers prepared in New Jersey’s alternate route program (AR) or college-based programs (CB) for 11 years. Half of the AR and CB teachers entered teaching in their early/mid 20s; the others were older beginners. The 12 AR teachers included four males and three teachers of color; all 13 CB teachers were White females. Initial and subsequent teaching placements were critical in what teachers learned and how long they stayed in a particular job and in teaching. Four AR teachers’ placements did not match their stated interest or undergraduate major. Quantity and quality of supervision varied for AR teachers. Five AR teachers, but no CB teachers, began teaching in low-wealth districts. Ten CB and two AR teachers taught in the same school district for the first six years. Six-year retention was 25% for AR teachers and 85% for CB teachers. Eleven-year retention was 42% for AR and 62% for CB. No AR math teacher lasted more than four years. Age at entry, match between setting and teacher, and classroom focus were related to retention. Considering those with school-based administrative jobs, jobs supporting K–12, and those on child leave breaks, CB retention was 100%, and AR retention was 67%, including all entering teachers of color.
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