Teacher supply analysis

UD report analyzes teacher, administrator supply and demand in the state


3:02 p.m., July 16, 2013--The University of Delaware’s Institute for Public Administration released the Delaware Teacher and Administrator Supply and Demand Survey Analysis last month.

The annual survey, funded by the Delaware Department of Education and now in its 11th year, examines teacher hiring, hiring difficulties, recruitment strategies and incentives, vacancies, shortages and other topics concerning teacher and administrator supply. All 19 school districts in the state completed the survey, along with 16 of the 22 charter schools. 

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“Public education accounts for one-third of the state budget, and the data from this series of studies plays a critical role in our ability to create policies aligned with state and student needs,” said Kelly Sherretz, assistant policy scientist and lead researcher on the report. 

In addition to the latest data on teacher supply and demand, the survey cited a January 2013 article from Education Week that found Delaware produces elementary teachers at a rate of three graduates for every open position. 

UD’s job placement rate remains high, with 95 percent of graduates from the 2011-12 elementary teacher education class currently teaching and 2.7 percent pursuing graduate studies. 

“Our students are eligible for certification in elementary education and a second certification in either special education or a middle school content area,” said Ralph Ferretti, professor and director of the School of Education. “Consequently, our teacher candidates are able to meet the instructional needs of diverse learners across the content areas, and our graduates continue to enjoy excellent employment prospects, despite challenging market conditions.”

Overall, the survey results were consistent with last year’s findings: 

  • Delaware teachers who began new positions in the 2012-13 year were hired slightly earlier than their predecessors from the previous year but still much earlier than two years ago (52.9 percent of teachers hired in July or earlier this year, compared to 51.4 percent in 2011-12 and 35.7 percent in 2010-11).
  • Of the teachers who left Delaware this year, 37.5 percent did so within the first five years of teaching; this is slightly lower than last year but still higher than two years ago.
  • Foreign languages and high school science and math were the most difficult subjects to fill due to lack of teacher candidates in these areas, lack of qualified candidates, and low salaries for experienced teachers in these fields.
  • Within the next five years, it is estimated that 14 percent of district office staff, 11 percent of principals, and seven percent of teachers will be eligible for retirement.
  • A high number of new administrators, 75 percent of the 32 principals hired, were first-time administrators, as were 71.8 percent of the 39 new assistant principals. A majority of these administrators were hired from within Delaware. 

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