ERIC Number: ED421571
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Reference Count: N/A
From High School to Teaching: Many Steps. Who Makes It?
Vegas, Emiliana; Murnane, Richard J.; Willett, John B.
The role of race and ethnicity in predicting who becomes a teacher was the subject of a study that used data from the sophomore cohort of the High School and Beyond study, a longitudinal survey that interviewed participants in 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, and 1992. The focus was on the impact of academic skills into entry into teaching. Four dichotomous outcome variables were used: (1) graduation from high school; (2) entry into college; (3) graduation from college; and (4) entry into teaching. Predictors of interest were indicators of racial and ethnic background and of 10th-grade academic skills. The initial sample consisted of 11,816 high school sophomores, of whom 62% were White, 21% Hispanic American, 13% African American, 3% Asian American, and 2% American Indian. A total of 434 individuals became teachers, 3.7% of the original sample, and the highest percentage was for African Americans, 4.4% of whom became teachers. There are important differences among racial and ethnic groups in the rates of success along each step along the path to teaching, and each of the defined steps was critical in determining who became a teacher. Weak academic skills play a key role in limiting the opportunities of African American and Hispanic students. Analyses suggest that improving the academic preparation of African American and Hispanic high school students would close the gaps between their success rates relative to those of White students. Raising the average preparation of Native American students, however, would not be sufficient to eliminate those gaps. This paper shows that focusing only on the occupational decisions of college graduates misses critical obstacles to developing a racially and ethnically diverse, academically talented teaching force. Appendixes describe the variables, show the principal components analysis of 10th grade academic skills, and model each step of the path into teaching. (Contains 10 tables, 4 figures, and 11 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Career Choice, College Students, Disadvantaged Youth, Educational Attainment, Elementary Secondary Education, Employment Patterns, Ethnicity, High School Students, Higher Education, Minority Groups, Prediction, Racial Differences, Tables (Data), Teacher Recruitment, Teaching (Occupation)
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A