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ERIC Number: EJ790987
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Apr
Pages: 27
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0007-8204
What We Know about English Language Arts Teachers: An Analysis of the 1999-2000 SASS and 2000-2001 TFS Databases
Scherff, Lisa; Hahs-Vaughn, Debbie L.
English Education, v40 n3 p174-200 Apr 2008
Although there is a significant body of work related to overall teacher attrition and mobility, little research has been conducted that is specifically related to English teachers. Given the predominance of high-stakes reading and writing assessments for middle and high school students, studying those who teach literacy is critical for a better understanding of the relationship between teachers and student achievement. This study followed in the footsteps of Smith and Ingersoll (2004) in examining the individual and school characteristics of English teachers that have been found to impact teacher attrition, mobility, and retention. Knowing that attrition rates are very high for those in their first three years of teaching, the primary goal of this study was to develop a profile of middle and secondary English language arts teachers, including identifying working conditions and the types of professional development activities that English teachers take part in, learning about how novice English teachers were prepared, and understanding what their mentoring and induction experiences were like. Using the public access data file from the federally administered 1999-2000 School and Staffing Survey (SASS) and the 2000-2001 Teacher Follow-Up Survey (TFS) in constructing this profile, the authors hoped to identify the factors that affected teachers' retention, mobility, and attrition. The authors found that English teachers held positive perceptions of their schools, with 44% strongly agreeing that they were generally satisfied. Many teachers were happy with their class sizes (40%) and the resources available for them to teach (41%). Moreover, novice teachers seemed to feel well prepared for the first year teaching. The authors also found that the odds of a male leaving teaching were nearly eight times greater than the odds for a female. They conclude by highlighting some prominent themes to emerge from the data. They also discuss how some of the problematic issues uncovered in the data might be addressed. Implications of this study across the K-college continuum are presented. (Contains 2 tables.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A