California data shows how many teachers are qualified

Bay Area school districts lag the state when it comes to ensuring kids have highly qualified teachers, and new data released this week shows the gap is even wider. important in some poorer districts such as Oakland Unified.

The data, first released by the state on Thursday, assessed the qualifications of kindergarten through high school teachers to show how many are accredited in the subject taught in their classes and how many are not.

A Bay Area News Group analysis of Bay Area data from six counties shows Alameda and San Francisco counties lagging the state, with 77% of classes taught by teachers qualified to teach courses assigned to them, based on state degree status, compared to 83% in the Golden State as a whole. The picture is darker when broken down by school district.

In 2020-21, among the 10 largest districts in the six-county Bay Area, Oakland Unified did significantly worse than other districts in placing highly qualified instructors in the classroom subject, with only 56.7 % of its teachers graduated in the courses they taught.

Rounding out the bottom, Oakland Unified was followed by San Francisco Unified at 77.3% qualified and Hayward Unified at 82.1%. Other Bay Area districts fared better, with 88.2% of Fremont Unified classes taught by fully qualified teachers, followed by San Ramon Valley Unified at 87.6% and Antioch Unified at 85.1 %.

At 27.9%, Oakland Unified also surpassed the Bay Area in classes taught by teachers considered ineffective by state credentialing standards, compared to 11.8% in Alameda County as a whole. A teacher is considered ineffective if they do not have a California teaching credential or are teaching with an emergency permit.

San Francisco at 8.9% and Hayward Unified at 8.2% had the next highest rates of classes taught by teachers considered ineffective, while at San Ramon Valley Unified only 1.9% of classes were taught by ineffective teachers and in Fremont, 2.2%.

When it comes to specific subjects, the number of unqualified teacher placements is even worse. For English and math, the statewide rate is about 4.5%, while Alameda and San Francisco counties have rates more than double.

Oakland school leaders say they want the community to know they are doing what they can to increase the number of credentialed teachers for their students with the resources they have. And they value the work of unaccredited teachers, Superintendent Kyra Johnson-Trammell said.

“It is essential that credential data is not seen in a vacuum,” Johnson-Trammell wrote in a letter to the school community on Thursday. “The complexity of the accreditation process, the diversity of teachers, and the national teacher shortage all play into the story. We know what we are up against and we will continue to rise to the challenge on behalf of our students and our families. »

The state separated the data for the 2020-21 school year into four main categories: clear, ineffective, out of scope and interns.

  • Clear — The teacher has a degree in the subject and is fully authorized to teach a course in these subjects.
  • Ineffective – The teacher does not have a California credential, teaches with an emergency permit, or teaches outside of their licensing area without permission.
  • Out of scope — Teachers are accredited, but not in the subjects they teach.
  • Intern — Student teachers.

Statewide, 83.1 percent of classes or lessons in the past school year were taught by fully qualified teachers with the correct state credential in the subject, while 4.1 percent of them did not didn’t have a degree or only had an emergency teaching permit. The others are either classified out of scope or trainees.

Every county in the Bay Area had a higher instructional rate of ineffective teachers compared to the state, except for Santa Clara County, which has 4% of classes or classes taught by teachers ineffective. At the other end of the spectrum, 11.8% of teacher assignments in Alameda County were classified as ineffective, and in San Francisco, 9% were classified as ineffective.

The new dataset will establish a baseline for years to come and help state and local educators develop plans to address teacher shortages, according to a joint press release. from three agencies that published the data: the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing reads.

“When students are subject to teacher error, they suffer and experience poor academic and career outcomes,” Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-South Los Angeles, wrote Thursday. Jones-Sawyer introduced a related bill, AB 1219, to update state and school reporting systems to identify teachers assigned to classes they are not qualified to teach. He presented the example of the placement of a gym teacher teaching biology students.

“It further helps reinforce existing law that requires underperforming schools to report this information annually, not for punitive reasons, but rather to identify schools for targeted investments to spur improvement on behalf of children. vulnerable students,” Jones-Sawyer said.

In the same letter from the OUSD superintendent, Keith Brown, president of the Oakland Education Association, points out that although the data is now publicly available, teacher quality and shortage has long been an issue across the board. State and have been exacerbated by the coronavirus. pandemic.

To fill the short-term need earlier this year, Governor Gavin Newsom briefly allowed schools to hire teachers who were not in the “clear” category deemed by the state. Schools have been allowed to bring in recent retirees or longer-term replacements.

The plan got more educators into the classrooms but did not solve the long-term teacher quality solution.

“While this very first set of benchmark data shows that a large majority of teaching assignments are being adequately fulfilled, there is still work to be done to hire, train and retain teachers, especially in light of the shortage National Teachers’ Association,” Linda Darling-Hammond, president of the State Board of Education, wrote in a press release.

Darling-Hammond highlighted statewide initiatives that could help close the quality teacher gap: the $500 million Golden State Teacher Grants, $350 million program investment and $1.5 billion in Educator Effectiveness Block Grants.

The programs “aim to bring more teachers into the pipeline and provide them with effective training — steps that will move California toward a day when 100% of assignments are ‘clear,'” she said in a statement. Press release.

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