Current Research on Teaching Policy & the Teacher Workforce in Washington State

Over the past four years and in collaboration with the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession, a non-profit group that supports analysis, advocacy, and policy development to improve the quality of teaching in Washington State, CTP has undertaken a series of linked analyses that draw on state-wide databases and CTP-constructed surveys. These analyses probe various aspects of the state's teacher workforce and related policy questions.

Support for Teachers' Work

The state of Washington exhibits a number of issues in the development of state and local systems that support teachers' work in a standards-based reform environment. Here, principally through surveys, our analyses to date have concentrated on the ways that teachers experience state reform, engage in ongoing professional learning, work with diverse student populations, and respond to collegial communities and other aspects of the workplace. CTP research has also taken a special look at accomplished teachers (certified through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards) and high school mathematics teachers. These publications present the results of our work to date.

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  1. Taking Stock of Washington's Workforce: An Assessment of Conditions Prior to the Economic Downturn
    A Report Prepared for The Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession, November 2009.
    Description:

    This report provides baseline descriptive statistics and recent trend data on Washington's teacher workforce prior to the recent economic downturn. The trend data includes information regarding teacher age, experience, race/ethnicity, and retention and mobility, as well as school and district characteristics. In addition, district retention and mobility data is included for each school district and Educational Service District in Washington state. From this baseline, we can examine the extent and nature of the impact of current and future fiscal stress on the state's teacher cadre.

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  2. Undergraduates' Views of K-12 Teaching as a Career Choice
    A Report Prepared for The Professional Educator Standards Board by Ana M. Elfers, Margaret L. Plecki, Elise St. John, Rebecca Wedel.
  3. Teaching Math in Washington's High Schools: Insights from a Survey of Teachers in High Performing or Improving Schools
    A Research Report by Ana M. Elfers, Margaret L. Plecki, Michael S. Knapp, Gahram J. Yeo, and Michelle McGowan, June 2007.
  4. National Board Certified Teachers in Washington State: Impact on Professional Practice and Leadership Opportunities
    A Report prepared for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Hilary Loeb, Ana M. Elfers, Margaret L. Plecki, Brynnen Ford, and Michael S. Knapp, October 2006.
  5. Teachers Count: Support for Teachers' Work in the Context of State Reform
    A Report prepared for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Michael S. Knapp, Ana M. Elfers, Margaret L. Plecki, Hilary Loeb, and Amrita Zahir, August 2005.
  6. Preparation and Support for Teaching: Teachers' Response to State Education Reform
    A Working Paper prepared for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Ana M. Elfers, Michael S. Knapp, Amrita Zahir, and Margaret L. Plecki, March 2005.
  7. Preparing for Reform, Supporting Teachers' Work: Surveys of Washington State Teachers, 2003-04 School Year
    A Summary Report commissioned by the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Michael S. Knapp, Ana M. Elfers, and Margaret L. Plecki, with Hilary Loeb, Beth Boatright, and Nick Cabot, August 2004.
  8. Preparation and Support for Teaching: Support for Teachers' Professional Learning
    A Working Paper commissioned by the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Ana M. Elfers, Beth Boatright, and Michael S. Knapp, with Margaret L. Plecki and Hilary Loeb, June 2004.
  9. Preparation and Support for Teaching: Working Conditions of Teachers
    A Working Paper commissioned by the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Hilary Loeb, Ana M. Elfers, Michael S. Knapp, and Margaret L. Plecki, with Beth Boatright, May 2004.
  10. Preparation and Support for Teaching: Teachers' Assignment and Certification
    A Working Paper commissioned by the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Ana M. Elfers, Michael S. Knapp, and Margaret L. Plecki, with Beth Boatright, and Hilary Loeb, April 2004.

Teacher Retention and Mobility

Using a state-wide database CTP constructed for this purpose, CTP scholars have explored patterns of teacher retention, mobility, and exit from the teaching system through a series of analyses, aimed at the state as a whole and at different segments of the state's teacher workforce, across the past eight years:

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  1. High School Teachers in the Workforce: Examining Teacher Retention, Mobility, School Characteristics and School Reform Efforts
    A Report prepared for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Ana M. Elfers, Margaret L. Plecki and Michelle McGowan, July 2007.
  2. Examining Teacher Retention and Mobility in Small and Rural Districts in Washington State
    A Research Report by Ana M. Elfers and Margaret L. Plecki, November 2006.
  3. An Examination of Longitudinal Attrition, Retention, and Mobility Rates of Beginning Teachers in Washington State
    A Report prepared for the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies by Margaret L. Plecki, Ana M. Elfers, and Michael S. Knapp, June 2006.
  4. Teacher Retention and Mobility: A Look Inside and Across Districts and Schools in Washington State
    A Report prepared for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Margaret L. Plecki, Ana M. Elfers, Hilary Loeb, Amrita Zahir, and Michael S. Knapp, March 2005.

The Composition and Characteristics of the Teacher Workforce

To provide a reference point for state policy deliberation about the quality of teaching, teachers, and support for teachers' work, CTP has created and updated a review of the available data about the state's teacher workforce, in 2003 and again in 2006:

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  1. Who's Teaching Washington's Children? A 2006 Update
    A Report prepared for the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Margaret L. Plecki, Ana M. Elfers, and Michael S. Knapp, January 2007.
  2. Who's Teaching Washington's Children? What We Know-and Need to Know-About Teachers and the Quality of Teaching in the State
    A Technical Report commissioned by the Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) by Margaret Plecki, Ana Elfers, and Michael S. Knapp, August 2003.
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