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Report: Strong Progress in Number, Diversity of New Teachers Prepared by USG

Atlanta — November 14, 2007

A progress report on the University System of Georgia’s (USG) production of new teachers released during today’s meeting of the Board of Regents demonstrates the University System’s strong commitment to meeting the state’s critical need for additional and more diverse educators. The System’s production of new teachers has increased 44 percent over the past five years. The report also shows that USG-prepared teachers are retained by Georgia’s public school systems longer than those not prepared by the University System.

“Since the first group of teachers prepared under the ‘Regents’ Principles for the Preparation of Educators for the Schools’ graduated in 2002, the University System has prepared more than 20,000 new teachers, most of whom were hired by Georgia’s public school systems,” said Dr. Jan Kettlewell, associate vice chancellor for P-16 Initiatives, who presented the report to the regents. “Our annual production rate has increased 44 percent in the last five years, and the number of minority teachers we produce is up 17 percent compared to three years ago.”

The report issued today is the first in a series of annual reports on the status of teacher preparation by the USG institutions. Prepared by Dr. Mark Pevey, director of P-16 data management, the report tracks progress in teacher production made under the “Regents Principles” – which offered school systems a guarantee of the quality of USG-prepared teachers – and the “Double the Numbers/Double the Diversity of Teachers Prepared by the University System Initiative,” launched in 2005.

In 2002, when the USG’s teacher-quality guarantee went into effect, the University System prepared 2,600 new teachers. The Double/Double Initiative used as its baseline data from 2004, by which time the USG was producing 3,157 new teachers. In launching Double/Double in 2005, Kettlewell and her staff asked the USG’s colleges of education to set specific goals for improving the number and diversity of their teacher-education graduates, and in 2007, the System prepared 3,822 new teachers, an increase of 44 percent over 2002 and 21 percent over 2004.

“By stepping up their recruiting efforts and providing increased support to teacher candidates throughout their preparation, our institutions have made great strides in improving both the number and the diversity of the teachers they prepare,” Kettlewell concluded. “Despite our progress, a lot of challenges still remain. We will continue to stretch to increase our efforts to meet more of the state’s needs for qualified teachers

The USG colleges of education that achieved the largest increases in the number of initial-certification graduates between 2004 and 2007 were as follows:

  • Armstrong Atlantic State University went from 181 new teachers prepared in 2004 to 318 in 2007, an increase of 76 percent;
  • The University of West Georgia went from 306 new teachers prepared in 2004 to 416 in 2007, an increase of 36 percent;
  • Kennesaw State University went from 358 new teachers prepared in 2004 to 473 in 2007, an increase of 32 percent; and
  • Georgia State University went from 363 new teachers prepared in 2004 to 462 in 2007, an increase of 27 percent.

Overall, the University System has improved the diversity of the new teachers it prepares by 17 percent since 2004, producing 702 new minority teachers in 2007, compared to 600 in 2004). Among the frontrunners in this regard:

  • Armstrong State increased the number of its minority initial-certification graduates by 193 percent, from 27 in 2004 to 79 in 2007;
  • The University of Georgia has seen a 144 percent increase, from 25 in 2004 to 61 in 2007;
  • Augusta State University has experienced a 136 percent increase in new minority teachers prepared, from 14 in 2004 to 33 in 2007; and
  • Kennesaw State increased its minority numbers by 88 percent, from 25 in 2004 to 47 in 2007.

Kettlewell noted that UGA consistently prepares the largest number of new teachers in the University System (572 in 2007) and Georgia State consistently prepares the largest number of new minority teachers (180 in 2007).

The report also shows that USG-prepared teachers are hired by almost every public school system in the state and that they tend to stay in Georgia classrooms longer than those not prepared by the University System.

New teachers in 2005 prepared by the USG were hired in 170 (94 percent) of Georgia’s 180 public school systems in 2006, and more than 95 percent of them were still teaching in Georgia one year later, compared to only 86 percent of non-USG-prepared teachers.

“How long teachers stay in the classroom, once hired, is a measure of the effectiveness of their preparation,” Pevey said. “Right now, we only have the data to track the retention rate for one year, but in time, we’ll have more long-term results to show what a good investment University System of Georgia teacher preparation is for both students and local school systems.”

Pevey pointed out that the progress report released today focuses only on initial teacher certification. A report forthcoming in the next few months will track the progress of programs designed for those entering teaching in mid-career as well as those seeking advanced teaching degrees and certification as school counselors or principals.

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