AUSTIN, Texas — Schools are getting more educated, more educated and more educated teachers, according to a new report.
The report, by the National School Boards Association, found that for the first time, more than one in three elementary school teachers are now qualified to teach in the United States, and the number of high school teachers has more than doubled over the last 20 years.
Nearly 40% of school districts now have a teacher with a bachelor’s degree or higher, and nearly a quarter of teachers now have master’s degrees or higher.
Among the more surprising findings in the report: More than two-thirds of elementary school principals now have at least a bachelor or master’s degree in education, and almost half of high schools have at most a bachelor degree.
Teachers with degrees from schools with the highest concentrations of students are more likely to be promoted to senior positions, and more likely for those schools to be awarded the National Center for Education Statistics National Teacher Service Award, which pays a $500,000 stipend to a teacher who delivers a high-quality lesson plan and prepares students for school.
More than half of elementary and middle school principals, and roughly one in four high school principals and a third of principals in all schools are now teaching after completing an apprenticeship program, which is one of the most widely adopted training programs in the country.
In addition, the number and types of schools that have adopted high-level career development strategies has risen dramatically.
Nearly 70% of all school districts in the U.S. now offer career development programs, including more than 70% in urban areas.
At the same time, the amount of teachers with bachelor’s degrees has dropped by nearly 20% since 2000, and those with master’s and doctorates have dropped by 15%.
Teacher training and teacher certification programs have also expanded dramatically, from less than one-quarter of all schools in 2000 to nearly 60% today.