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April 08, 2015

Study: Academic ability increasing among entry-level teachers

Status of teaching improving

Young teachers entering the workforce are increasingly strong academically, according to a recent study of educators in New York. 

Researchers from the University of Albany, Stanford University, North Carolina State University and the University of Virginia examined administrative data from 1986 to 2010 on New York teachers, EducationWeek reports.

"We find increasing academic ability of individuals entering teaching," Luke C. Miller, a co-author of the study and a research assistant education professor at the University of Virginia, said at a symposium last month at the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research. "We believe this is a signal that the status of the teaching profession is increasing."

The researchers found broad improvements over that time period in the average combined mathematics and language scores on the SAT college-entrance exam for newly certified and newly hired teachers, as well as increases in the selectivity of the colleges to which they were admitted before they were certified. 

While the scores were higher for teachers of all groups, those in high-need subjects like math and science, as well as black and Hispanic teachers, had larger improvements in SAT performance.

The study builds on a 2013 study that found that the average SAT percentile of U.S. teachers declined from 45 in 1994 to 42 in 2001, but then rose to 50 in 2009.

Read more from EducationWeek