Profiles of Teachers in the U.S. 2011

Alicia Goldberg


This survey report from Emily Feistritzer’s National
Center for Education Information (NCEI) shows the changing face of America’s
teacher workforce—and offers glimmers of hope to reformers looking for allies
in the teacher ranks. (Are you watching, Steve Brill?) Of the large group of teachers
who have been on the job five years or less, a third received their training
through alternative programs. Such educators, in addition to being more
racially diverse and STEM-oriented than their colleagues, are decidedly more
supportive of ed-reform initiatives. Seventy percent of alt-cert teachers favor
performance-based pay (compared to 58 percent of those traditionally trained),
52 percent say “yea” to axing teacher tenure (versus 31 percent), and 27
percent note that the unions need to go (compared to 19 percent). Reformers
ought to enlist these non-traditional teachers—and thinkers—in the larger
policy battles ASAP.

C. Emily Feistritzer, “Profile
of Teachers in the U.S. 2011
,” (Washington, D.C.: NCEI, 2011).