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ERIC Number: ED546150
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-May
Pages: 24
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 16
A Teacher for Every Classroom: New Teachers in the Baltimore City Public Schools, 1999-2005. Brief Report Update, May 2006
Mac Iver, Martha Abele; Katz, Gregory; Vaughn, E. Sidney
Abell Foundation
This brief report provides an update to the analysis of five cohorts of new teachers in the Baltimore City Public School System (1999-2000, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04). Presented here are updated retention figures using Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS) teacher data for 2004-05, comparing teachers with different certification status: those with full professional certification, teachers in alternative certification programs (Teach for America [TFA], the Baltimore City Teaching Residency Program [BCTR], and Project SITE SUPPORT [PSS]), and conditionally (formerly provisionally) certified teachers who were not participating in alternative certification programs. Findings included: (1) On average, teachers in alternative certification programs had higher retention rates than either conditionally or regularly certified teachers for each of their first five years of teaching in BCPSS. (2) For multiple cohorts there was considerable attrition among alternative certification program participants between Years 2 and 3, due perhaps to the fact that TFA teachers completed their commitment to the school system. Nonetheless, teachers in alternative certification programs typically had higher than district average retention rates in Years 3 and 4. (3) Three-year retention rates were generally similar between TFA and regularly certified teachers, with an anomalous drop in TFA retention for the 2002-03 cohort that lowered the overall 3-year retention rate. (By cohort, TFA teachers had 50%, 45%, 49%, and 31% three-year retention rates compared to 44%, 50%, 51%, and 44% for fully certified teachers.). (4) Retention rates for Project Site Support teachers remained considerably higher than those for both conditionally and regularly certified teachers even after year 4. Because of the high attrition rate of TFA teachers after three years, the overall retention rate for all alternative certification program teachers was similar to those of conditionally and regularly certified teachers by year 4. Baltimore is not unlike other urban districts, where teacher recruitment has proved to be a challenge (e.g., Neild, Useem, Travers, & Lesnick, 2003; Neild, Useem, & Farley, 2005). Though Ingersoll (2001) argues that teacher turnover in urban districts is actually lower than in small private schools, new teacher retention continues to be a major issue for Baltimore. While considerable debate continues to rage over teacher certification and alternative certification (e.g., Darling-Hammond, 1994, 2000, 2002; Darling-Hammond, Berry, & Thoreson, 2001; Decker, Mayer, & Glazerman, 2004; Goldhaber & Brewer, 2000; Goldhaber & Brewer, 2001; Hess, 2001; Laczko-Kerr & Berliner, 2002; Walsh, 2001), recruiting fully certified teachers to urban districts like Baltimore is particularly difficult. During such a challenging period for the Baltimore City Public School System, alternatively certified teachers have not only filled the gap but also have stayed on to become certified and continue teaching in the district. It is not yet possible with BCPSS data to examine the "effectiveness" of alternatively certified teachers in helping to raise student achievement. Recent studies of alternative certification using data from other districts have found mixed results, with some studies (e.g., Decker, Mayer, & Glazerman, 2004; Kane, Rockoff, & Staiger, 2006; Raymond, Fletcher, & Luque, 2001) more positive than others (e.g., Darling-Hammond, Holtzman, Gatlin, & Heilig, 2005; Laczlo-Kerr & Berliner, 2002). In an era when recruiting fully certified teachers is extremely difficult, however, it is important not to underemphasize the findings of positive effects of alternative certification compared to uncertified teachers.
Abell Foundation. 111 South Calvert Street Suite 2300, Baltimore, MD 21202. Tel: 410-545-1300; Fax: 410-539-6579; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Abell Foundation
Identifiers - Location: Maryland